If Fernando Botero designed furniture, this is what it would look like. Akin to something out of Disney's ToonTown, exaggeration is the piloti for these chubby furniture pieces. Frank Willems is the designer behind Madam Rubens, a collection defined by its voluptuous shapes and punchy colors. Cushions which are literally bursting at the seams sit grandly atop traditional decorative legs. Alice in Wonderland's Queen of Hearts would look right at home sitting in the Madam Rubens Chair.
Madam Rubens Collection. Designed by Frank Willems.
Frank Willems is a Dutch designer who initially studied advertising and presentation techniques at St. Lucas College and the Design Academy Eindhoven. An Eindhoven research project into the life of waste materials was the inspiration for Madam Rubens. Willems was introduced to the horror of matress disposal, a process which is problem ridden due to the design of the mattress. "They cause trouble because they get stuck between the shredders...For this reason, I started to work with old mattresses."
The mattresses are squished and bound into cushion-like forms which are then coated in a hygienic, water-resistant foam and painted with a pliable, soft paint. The end result a delightfully absurd rubbery look which manages to bring the unruly form and the decorative legs together in harmony. Willems own words about the pieces are priceless.
"Madam Rubens is a plump but sophisticated lady after an extreme makeover. She started her life as a mattress, but was thrown away after years of loyal service... After a full coating in a color at choice, Madam Rubens is back in business as a fresh, hygienic and exceptionally stylish stool."
via Cool Hunting