products designed by architects

When architects become product designers

Art and design have no boundaries of mediums. A designer is always searching for new mediums to give the world something new, beyond its imagination. That’s why same desire has driven many architects into turning their heads and hands towards creating something much smaller than buildings. Every architect strives to make the product intuitively functional and makes sure it is done in the least use of materials. These qualities create the uniqueness in products designed by the architects. Following are a few products designed by architects that stand out from every normal product in terms of appearance and function.

1. Three Cuff Bangles by Zaha Hadid

This beautiful and organically powerful piece of jewellery is commonly known as ‘Three Cuff Bangles’. Zaha Hadid took inspiration for the product from her own structures referencing the undulating silhouettes and fluid outlines. The pieces are crafted in both sterling silver and black rhodium set with black diamonds. The most striking feature of the bracelet is the basic re-imagination of how it is worn. The elegant cuff bracelet engages in a natural play of light, wrapped around the wrist in a deceptively simple twist of silver. The jewellery remarks a perfect blend of aesthetics and form making it a unique architect’s work.

2. Bourgie lamp by Ferruccio Laviana

Kartell’s best seller lamp designed by a world famous architect is a unique glazed beauty. The lamp, an amazing combination of modern technology and traditional features, is inspired by the Baroque style of architecture and is crafted using material like modern polycarbonate. Made with a pleated effect, the lamp creates a myriad play of reflections when switched on. Its ability to adjust to three different heights makes it quite users friendly. The lamp is available in rich versions of gold, black and opaque white.

3. Nomos desk by Norman Foster


Architects are the ones who need the most multi-functional desk for working. That’s why it comes as no surprise that an architect put his mind in designing one. Nomos desk is designed by Norman Foster and his team for all types of functions.  It was the most adaptable piece of furniture for every office use. The table could be adjusted for every purpose like meetings, drafting or display.  It is also used in different spaces like offices, restaurants, libraries and colleges. The structure consists of finely finished glass top of several shapes. The main spine and legs are made of metal bars and cables accommodate the extra shelves. The system is designed for unlimited flexibility but is governed by the ergonomics of the human body, seated or standing.

4. The 04 Counter by Rem Koolhaas

This multi-functional piece of furniture is created by Rem Koolhaas for Knoll brand. In this particular case, he has focused on making a high-performance instrument rather than a design statement. The furniture was conceived to facilitate the contemporary flow between work and social life while adjusting to the different needs of both. It is a monolithic stack of three horizontal beams; the user can rotate the top two beams and transform this wall-like unit into a series of shelves and cantilevered benches. Patterned wood grain and leather surfaces provide unexpected and subtly sensuous contrasts. Each piece is made from a simple material palette (transparent acrylic, leather, travertine, steel, wood, glass, concrete) making the furniture compatible with a range of residential and workplace interiors.

5. Kanera 1D Double Washbasin by Graft

This spatial concept which revolutionised the bathroom design is done by ‘Graft’, a Germany-based architectural firm for the brand ‘Kanera’. The slopes and slants that let you experience the poetry a drainage system draw their inspiration from Earth’s topography. With this design, the washbasins can be moved to the centre of the bathroom. For the first time, a double washbasin has been designed as a standalone installation within the bathroom, enabling unventured possibilities of completely new room layouts. The design has won the Steel Innovation Award 2009.

6. Shoe stool by Koichi Futatsumata

This elegant piece of furniture is made by Koichi Futatsumata Studio for Fujito (a fashion brand). This compact, yet useful stool was created for especially the putting on, taking off and light care of shoes. Not only does it provide a seat for taking off and putting on shoes, but it also serves as a platform for tying and polishing shoes as they are worn. The additional feature is that it is fitted with storage for care-related goods such as brushes, cloth, creams and spray. The stool is made from solid steel at a width of 250mm and is more stable. Keeping a roughness of use in mind, this stool is finished in trivalent chromate plating, the likes of which is also used in the production of tools.

7. Door Handle by Frank Gehry

Simple looking and high-value door handles are the latest trend setters in interiors. The world famous architect has created this unique design of door handle which perfectly blend with the contemporary themes. Designed by keeping in mind the inner side of the fist, this handle gives an intuitive ease while using it. The handle is made of brass and finished in varied polishes.

8. Z-chair by Zaha Hadid

The design of Z chair is the core essence of Zaha Hadid’s design philosophy. A simple three-dimensional gesture zigzags in the space as part of the continued discourse between form and function, differentiation and continuity. It is typically made of polished stainless steel. The shape curves to perfectly blend with a person’s sitting position and give maximum comfort. The smooth curves disable any form of physical mishap; a perfect blend of elegance and functionality.

9. Paragon Lamp by Daniel Libeskind

Paragon, the new floor lamp designed by a famous architect Daniel Libeskind for Artemide, has a long slender profile that casts a vertical blade of light. The unique geometry creates a warm lighting effect making it suitable for office, shop or home use. The asymmetric section gives the form a multifaceted appearance and accentuates the lightness of the vertical structure, giving Paragon a sense of refined complexity. The first segment performs a complete 360º rotation on a vertical axis, while the other three parts perform a 90º rotation on the horizontal axis. The joints direct light to the top of the unit and across space with great flexibility. Each one is made from an anodised aluminium rod, with a steel base covered with a thermoplastic finish, and is illuminated by LEDs which are recessed into the head, ensuring a 90% yield without glare.

10. Furniture set by Jean Nouvel

This collection of furniture is popularly known as stripped-back custom seating. The architect has taken inspiration of domed roof of the building where this collection was going to be displayed. Furniture features black leather upholstery with a ribbed pattern that runs across the seats. The seating’s frame is made from large pieces of moulded foam, to create a single shape with tensed curves.The furniture range consists of armchairs, stools and double-sided sofa benches, all made from curved forms that reference the rounded dome of the museum building.


About the author:

Prajakta Joshi, an architect by profession, she is a vehement pursuer of other forms arts such as writing, designing and even dancing. Her inquisitive nature and love for perfection have taken her ahead in her profession in very short duration.

2 thoughts on “When architects become product designers

  1. Absolutely “brilliant” information shared by author. I highly appreciate for posting such a good post!!

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