Ma Yansong's Mogu Chair is based on the rounded shapes of mushroom caps

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Mogu chair by Ma Yansong at Milan design week

Ma Yansong's Mogu Chair is based on the rounded shapes of mushroom caps

MAD founder Ma Yansong has created a chair for Italian brand Sawaya & Moroni that's designed to be arranged like clusters of fungi.

Mogu chair by Ma Yansong at Milan design week

The Mogu chair – which was unveiled at Milan design week – has an undulating seat that resembles the shapes of mushrooms.

It's supported by three trunk-like legs that appear to be sprouting from the ground, and includes a single circular dip in its surface.

Mogu chair by Ma Yansong at Milan design week

The seating was first created as a prototype for a public art installation, and is designed to live somewhere between public furniture and sculpture. Both resin and wood versions were presented at Milan design week.

According to Sawaya & Moroni – which has collaborated with several architects including Zaha Hadid and Jean Nouvel – the chair references the feeling of a resting place found in nature, and its tri-lobal shape allows it to be arranged into different configurations.

Mogu chair by Ma Yansong at Milan design week

"Mogu's form appears to grow naturally from the earth, adapting to diverse spatial configurations, and affecting the perception of its larger environment," said Yansong, whose Beijing firm is currently working on the George Lucas Museum in Los Angeles and ranked 61st on Dezeen Hot List.

"Its surface forms an organic landscape that allows people to respond with their bodies and encourage a variety of social interactions," added the architect, who also previously entered the world of industrial design to create a meat-patterned rug for dogs.

Mogu chair by Ma Yansong at Milan design week

Milan design week featured several pieces of furniture by high-profile designers, including seating designed by Philippe Starck and based on historic torture devices.

Danish-Icelandic artist Olafur Eliasson also revealed prototypes of triangular-patterned shelves and tables, and Konstantin Grcic showed a sofa with metal details based on railings from Milan's subway.