Bastiaan Buijs turns Rietveld chair into kinky BDSM device

Milan 2016: Dutch designer Bastiaan Buijs' latest sex-inspired furniture piece is a BDSM version of Gerrit Rietveld's iconic Red and Blue Chair, which aims to "shine light" on sexual taboos.

Through the BDSM Icon chair, Buijs aimed to question the apparent boycott of sexuality in design.

BDSM is used to define a variety of erotic practices or roleplaying involving bondage, dominance and submission, sadomasochism. It has recently received a wave of media attention thanks to popular novels like EL James' Fifty Shades of Grey.

While designing his chair, Buijs focused on sadomasochism – the act of giving or receiving sexual pleasure through acts of pain or humiliation.

"I wanted To bring BDSM into the light," he told Dezeen. "I wanted to show it in another context and to start the conversation or discussion about it."

"To talk about it and recognise it as a taboo results in making it less of a taboo," he added.

In contrast with the "taboo" topic, Buijs based the shape of the chair on a design classic – Gerrit Rietveld's iconic 1917 Red and Blue Chair.

"The chair itself is inspired on the Rietveld model, but adapted to its functionality in BDSM terms," said Buijs. "Once again this is a beautiful, exciting and intriguing object meant to be used sexually, but also as a showpiece – triggering discussion about lust and excitement."

BDSM Icon Chair by Bastiaan Buijs

Rietveld – who was a principle member of the De Stijl artistic movement in the Netherlands during the early 20th century – used primary colours inspired by artist Mondrian to mark the different parts of the chair.

Buijs reinterpreted this use of primary colours, and applied them to leather straps on the chair arms, seat, and backrest.

These are intended for strapping down the submissive partner while they are subjected to sexual acts by their dominant counterpart.

The rest of the chair is constructed from black anodised aluminium.

"The eye-catching design, together with construction materials, guarantee optimum comfort and luxury," said Buijs. "Ready for use and, also because of the famous Rietveld angle in the seat, it is extremely well fitted for BDSM pleasure."

Buijs work often revolves around dispelling sexual taboos. In the past, the designer has created a glass wind-up dildo, and a sex toy for men that is a fleshlight-cum-furniture piece.

"The positive reactions when people see my work inspires me to explore this topic even more," said Buijs. "People like sex, they like design, they like the combination, but they're just not used to it"

"Making sex more public might scare them, but I think the scary things in life are interesting," he added.

BDSM Icon Chair by Bastiaan Buijs

Others concerned with tackling sex-toy stereotypes include Czech designer Anna Maresova, who created a minimal-looking range of vibrators, and Dutch designer Mark Sturkenboom – whose idea for a dildo features a compartment for storing the ashes of a deceased partner.

Rita Catinella Orrell, a design journalist based in New Jersey, says that sex toys have become more artistic and sophisticated in recent years due to changing tastes and technological advancements.

"With sales of sexual wellness products projected to grow to $32 billion by 2019, sex toys are an incredible opportunity for new designers," she told Dezeen.

The BDSM Icon chair was on show during this year's Milan Design Week, which took place from 12 to 17 of April.