Dezeen Magazine

Dezeen's top 10 quirky furniture designs of 2020

Continuing our review of 2020, we've selected 10 of the most charmingly unusual furniture designs from the past year, from a futuristic birthing chair to sagging shelves made of foam.

The Metamorphosis by Tadeas Podracky

Design Academy Eindhoven graduate Tadeas Podracky rejected formal design methods when creating these unconventional furniture objects, which he made by layering materials like "a bird weaving its nest".

Podracky crafted the Rietveld chair (pictured) from wood, before messily covering it in layers of black, white and yellow paint and carving away at it with a chainsaw.

Find out more about The Metamorphosis furniture ›

Concrete Melt Chair by Bower Studios

This liquid-effect chair by New York-based Bower Studios features a pale concrete top that drapes over a metallic base and forms folds on the floor.

Bower Studios wanted to make the concrete seem like it was melting over its base structure to give the solid material a fluidity that isn't typically associated with it.

Find out more about the Concrete Melt Chair ›

Maximalist furniture by Messgewand

Romain Coppin and Alexis Bondoux, who make up Messgewand studio, designed a series of kooky furniture from amalgamations of waste and found objects, including wood, metal, foam and plastic.

The designers created a "collage" of random items to make each piece before adding ornamentation, paint, surface work and decoration details. The resulting designs offer an alternative to the highly polished products that most designers develop for mass production.

Find out more about Messgewand's furniture ›

Soft Cabinets by Dewi van de Klomp

Dutch designer Dewi van de Klomp made these squishy, warping shelves from green and pink foam rubber – a material typically used for cushioning in car seats and wall insulation.

The Soft Cabinets take on new shapes depending on their contents, sagging and twisting as books, magazines, plates or glasses are stored inside.

Find out more about the Soft Cabinets ›

Ultima Thule by Stiliyana Minkovska

London-based architect Stiliyana Minkovska designed three futuristic birthing chairs to support women during different stages of childbirth.

The chair collection, called Ultima Thule, aims to offer an alternative to "hostile" hospital maternity wards. The Solace Chaise (pictured) is designed for postpartum or recovery use, and is partially enclosed to give the mother privacy.

Find out more about Ultima Thule ›

A Wild Sheep Chaise; Dolphin Hotel Club Chair by EJR Barnes

EJR Barnes wrapped this cuboid-shaped chair with venetian blinds, which are inset into its sides and back and bordered by cork window frames.

Strip lights hidden behind the blinds softly illuminate the chair to give the impression that "there might be something behind them". The chair is just one of many designs by Barnes that he creates with "a wry smile".

Find out more about the A Wild Sheep Chaise; Dolphin Hotel Club Chair ›

Envisioned Comfort by Marija Puipaitė and Vytautas Gečas

Tufted, pink velvet seats droop over interlocking wooden dowels in this Envisioned Comfort furniture collection by designers Marija Puipaitė and Vytautas Gečas.

The dowels are cut at different lengths to form undulating, ergonomic surfaces that fit the shape of the user's body. The more poles that are incorporated into the structure, the more detailed the curves will be.

Find out more about Envisioned Comfort ›

Rockito seat by Thomas Musca and Duyi Han

Designers Thomas Musca and Duyi Han took cues from brutalist architecture when creating this squashed-looking, reinforced concrete bench, which is part of a wider collection of chunky furniture items.

The Rockito bench (pictured) was conceived as an abstract take on the traditional rocking chair, and features a sharply curved seat with eight voids that give it the appearance of a squashed set of shelves.

Find out more about the Rockito bench ›

Mother of Pearl furniture by Plasticiet

Dutch startup Plasticiet kneaded and stretched slabs of recycled polycarbonate plastic like taffy to make the Mother of Pearl furniture items, which feature a swirling, shiny finish reminiscent of the natural material after which the collection is named.

The designers wanted the collection to bring new value to recycled plastic.The resulting, monolithic forms take cues from primitive human-made stone artefacts from the final part of the Stone Age.

Find out more about the Mother of Pearl furniture ›

Foame chair by Bonnie Hvillum

Bonnie Hvillum's bio-foam Foame chair was displayed as part of the Ukurant Objects exhibition that took place during this year's 3 Days of Design festival in Copenhagen.

From a distance, the bumpy chair resembles a glossy black stone, but is in fact made from a squishy, biodegradable foam-composite of charcoal that the designer developed.

Find out more about the Foame chair ›