Materials like oak, Carrara marble, and jute have dominated popular decor lately, but we’ve spied a new addition to the scene: foam. No longer relegated to packing peanuts and running shoes, this lightweight medium is being embraced by some of today’s most innovative makers. From building block–like chairs to colorful cushions, our favorite foam items have one thing in common: They’re simply fun. Take a look at our top picks below to stay ahead of the curve.
Take a Seat
Danish artist Ulrik Weck turned to polystyrene boards and nozzle-ejected polyurethane foam after growing “frustrated with the flat surface of the canvas,” he says. Now his artistic process is almost akin to cake making; he cuts the boards into layers and then “frosts” them together with foam. Eventually, the sculptures began to take the shape of furniture, culminating in a pair of monochromatic armchairs that he titled No Sleep. Explains Weck: “I didn’t want a chair in the studio that I could fall asleep in.”
Soft Green Flamingo, Ulrik Weck
Block It Out
South Korean designer Sang Hoon Kim was searching for a “freer and more intuitive design language” in which to craft his sculptural furniture when he turned to an unexpected source for inspiration: the flexible foam factory that his family has operated for three generations. Colorful and unapologetically boxy, the resulting collection of lounge seating is the culmination of three years of research into foam production, during which Kim experimented with structure, color, and density. “I worked as if modeling with clay or drawing pictures,” says Kim.
Foam Sofa Set, Sang Hoon Kim
“My practice lies in working between an imagined future and a far, pre-civilization past,” says Israel-born, Berlin-based artist Michal Fargo. This focus on bringing together the primitive and the hyper-modern—combined with a meager post–art school budget—led the sculptor to the use of spongy, industrial foam for her Synthetic Mimetic series. With her hands—and, occasionally, a bread knife—as tools, Fargo reduces large pieces of the azure-hued material into captivating, rough-hewn objects meant to emulate the “first vessel on planet earth,” she says, “one inspired by native landscapes of rocks and mountains.”
Else, Michal Fargo
Foam for Your Home
Fictive Kin Chair D, Andy and Dave, $550
Industrial Craft Vessel, Charlotte Kidger, £750
Splash Memory Cushion, Nomess, price upon request
Pouf, Dimoregallery, price upon request
Marshmallow Stool, Kinder Modern, $450
Undercover x Nike React Element 87 Volt Sneakers by Jun Takahashi and Nike, Stadium Goods, from $259
Triangle Ottoman, Fort Makers, $3,250
Guise 4 Spray Bench, Odd Matter, price upon request
Bookends, Studio Furthermore
This story originally appeared in the Winter 2018 issue of Domino, titled “Foam Home.” Subscribe to be the first to receive each issue!