Local design studio Tian & Teague has created a series of furniture and homeware based on the everyday struggles of living in New York City, including a tufted rug made to resemble a run-over rat.
The NYC Series features three different pieces, designed by the studio’s founders Tian Wang and Teague Miller based on aspects of living in the city that everyone “dreads”.
It includes a lamp modelled on the handrails of New York’s subway trains, a shelf made to look like scaffolding and a rug that resembles a flattened rat.
The pieces were gleaned from Wang and Miller’s own experience of living in the city and locals’ ability to live among things that might be considered jarring, taking the “discomforts of NYC” and turning them into a collection of home decor.
“The collection just came about from things we see on our daily commute,” Tian & Teague (TNT) told Dezeen. “I think in New York, you kind of learn to tune everything out and you start to get used to things that maybe you shouldn’t be used to.”
The shelving unit, for example, takes on the appearance of the ubiquitous scaffolding seen throughout the city. It consists of vertical and horizontal aluminium tubes that are held together with clamps, while a single diagonal bar supports the back.
Made to look like the vertical bars that serve as handholds on the city’s crowded underground trains, the lamp is made from powder-coated steel and has a single spherical bulb.
Meanwhile, the idea for the rat rug came from the designers seeing a run-over rodent on the street and being “in awe” of its morbid symmetry.
The final piece is “reminiscent of those Tibetan tiger rugs”, according to TNT, and was hand-tufted by the studio using wool yarn.
“Our work never takes itself too seriously and we like the idea of solving a problem by making the problem a great problem to have,” TNT told Dezeen.
“So for this collection, we wanted to take these objects that we don’t even want to touch, let alone be in our homes, then turn them into furniture that you would want in your home.”
TNT said that the works are meant to be conceptual and will not be mass-produced at this time.
Previously, the studio has worked on other conceptual furniture projects including Mother’s inflatable sofa, which was designed to critique climate change complacency.
Other conceptual design objects that have recently been featured on Dezeen include a portable black cat radar, designed as a commentary on superstitious beliefs in everyday life.
The photography is by Matthew Gordon.