Deceptive Design

For the month of November, I’ve decided to focus on furniture design. Later this week in Chicago is the 15th Annual Sculptural Objects & Functional Art Fair – SOFA. I’ll be attending lectures all day, walking the floor of the exhibit, and reporting back to Ponoko on the world’s leading contemporary decorative arts and design.


But before I get to SOFA, I want to share the work of a group of designers currently exhibiting at the Chicago Cultural Center. The show is called Deceptive Design – Experiments in Furniture and runs through January 4th of next year. These designs provoke the question ‘Is what you see really what you get?’


above: Yantra by John Kinstler – A square coffee tables that folds out into an octagon


above: Tone Knob Lamp by Josh Owen – an analog knob to increase light


above: All Stool by Wendy Uhlman – multi-functional stool, table and storage unit


above: Riveli by Mark Kinsley – my personal favorite, a versatile shelving unit and wall art combined


Wolf in Sheep’s Lighting by Marcus Bosch + Geraint Krumpe – a sheep lamp that casts a wolf’s shadow


above: Deceptive Garden by Chris Brandel – a compact garden unit that maximizes Chicago’s small balcony spaces


above: Nautilis Screen by Brian Peters – a wooden screen of concentric rectangles that individually pivot to create a variety of forms


above: Herd by Andrew Peerless – a table that evokes a herd of cows in transit


Coil Lamp by Craighton Berman – wire coiled into the quientessential shape of a lamp

Many of the designers are currently living in Chicago, and throughout the month I will be posting interviews and studio photographs.

7 Responses to “Deceptive Design”

  1. Craighton Says:

    Thanks for the post– we’ll have photos from the exhibition posted on the Deceptive Design website in the next week!

  2. Ponoko Blog Says:

    […] Just a couple days after the election celebrations in Chicago, I went downtown to meet with Andrew Peerless. Andrew greeted me on the 12th floor of a high rise near Grant Park, housing the School of the Art Institute’s Department of Architecture, Interior Architecture and Designed Objects. A former student of architecture at the University of Michigan and public relations professional of six years, he is currently a Masters candidate in Designed Objects and designer of the Herd table featured at the Deceptive Design exhibit. […]

  3. Ponoko Blog Says:

    […] Josh Owen is the designer of the Tone Knob Lamp featured at Deceptive Design. Below is a selection of his furniture work all available at Unica. […]

  4. Ponoko Blog Says:

    […] IC: How did you find out about the Deceptive Design show? […]

  5. Ponoko Blog Says:

    […] CB: I’m very drawn to designs involving user-interaction. Pinch, my salt and pepper shaker, came from the way my wife and I use salt while cooking; we pinch Kosher salt from a bowl and sprinkle it over our food to season it. And I thought, how can I make a product that brings that action, that function, to the table. With my Coil lamp, which was in the Deceptive Design show, it was driven by this idea of making a lamp out of just it’s cord. I started with fabric covered cord and soaking it in resin. But a lot of factors were keeping that from happening, so I moved on to the plexiglass frame. And I started to get excited, because the user can create their own lamp using my frame and their own cord. […]

  6. Ramei Keum Says:

    Craighton Berman’s Coil Lamp is a copy of the spiral(2007).

    Check it>works->spiral>press->2008 web

  7. Ponoko Blog Says:

    […] Industrial Design candidate from University of Illinois Chicago, Wendy Uhlman was recently involved in the design of a new food co-op to open this March in Chicago. I was introduced to Wendy’s work at the Deceptive Design show, where her Allstool was on display. Last week I asked Wendy to talk about her project with the co-op for my January theme on lighting. […]