a piece from the ‘wooden heap’ series, designed by boris dennler

with ‘wooden heaps’, swiss designer boris dennler injects an element of the unexpected into the world of furniture. referencing the work of ettore sottsass and the anti-design movement, the pieces disguise at first appearance their true function. they are designed so that the revelation of their utility as desks or cabinets comes as a surprise.

boris dennler: wooden heap with its hidden drawers but obvious legs, this piece invites user play

history is full of examples of misleading objects, from Trojan horses to hollowed out books. the ‘wooden heaps’ approximate this tradition in their form, but diverge from most of these objects in their open-endedness. dennler makes no suggestion of how to use or contextualize his pieces, and this makes the disingenuity of their appearance something that feels charming rather than deceptive. the ‘heaps’ vary in the extent to which they actually camoflauge themselves as piles of wood, but this too only invites further user engagement.

boris dennler: wooden heap ‘wooden heap’ with drawer extended

boris dennler: wooden heap another of dennler’s ‘wooden heaps’