Gigi Barker's skin-covered seats
are infused with bodily scents


Pheromones and aftershave are impregnated into these leather seats by Gigi Barker to evoke the sense of sitting on human flesh (+ slideshow).

A Body of Skin by Gigi Barker

For her A Body of Skin project, Gigi Barker of Studio 9191 wanted to explore people's reactions towards furniture that is strangely familiar to the sight, smell and touch.

She used moulded silicone as a base to create a series of squidgy seats designed to mimic rolls of fat.

A Body of Skin by Gigi Barker

"I wanted to create shapes that were not instantly recognisable as chairs," Barker said. "That made the viewers question how to interact with the shapes and to form their own conclusions."

A Body of Skin by Gigi Barker

Leather, the closest material Barker could find to actual skin, is stretched and moulded over the bulbous forms with the suede section facing side up.

A Body of Skin by Gigi Barker

"I hand make all the pieces myself, creating the initial sculptural shapes in the studio and then moulding the leather in my bath tub at home," said Barker.

A Body of Skin by Gigi Barker

The silicone is mixed with human pheromones and aftershave so the seats have the smell of skin as well as the appearance.

A Body of Skin by Gigi Barker

The collection includes a voluptuous seat formed from two rounded elements and a plump footstool. Both come in different shades to imitate various skin colours.

A Body of Skin by Gigi Barker

When experimenting with the shapes, Barker made small clay models before translating them into the larger objects.

A Body of Skin by Gigi Barker

Quite a few designers have used human flesh and body shapes as visual references for furniture.

Charlotte Kingsnorth created a collection of fat chairs and a sofa inspired by obesity, while Nanna Kill designed a chair that appears to be dressed in a fat suit.

  • Concerned Citizen

    As presented, I have no desire to touch any such thing that appears to be a gelatinous blob of puss. On the other hand, put a nipple on them and, well…

  • Ang

    Gross. Pure visualisation of gross.

  • Phil

    “Finally, a designer that gets IT.” – Buffalo Bill.

  • will


  • Holy balls! A video montage of reactions would be great to see.

  • Big fleshy blobs that smell like sweat and cheap aftershave. Why not just go to Cleveland or Scranton?

  • Mad Mordigan

    I see this being a hit in Japan soon.

    • James Hunt

      That’s inappropriate, offensive, and my thoughts exactly.

  • Nuno

    Perfect pieces of furniture for those situations with unwanted guests.

  • Jay

    ‘Leather, the closest material Barker could find to actual skin’. Really? Leather is skin! Skin of dead cows. How comforting?

  • wordwar

    Does Gigi intend to make these available to the masses, or is this endeavour only skin deep? Would the barcode be tattooed or sutured into position? And if one was damaged, do we take it to a repair shop or a dermatologist?

    It makes my skin crawl to think about it, and I fear that I wouldn’t know if my skin had gone completely numb and cold, or if I was just scratching the furniture.

    When I die can I leave my skin to be re-worked into a fat pillow so my wife can comfort herself after my passing?