I'm Just Looking, Thanks...

You know yarn bombing is really dead when it shows up as background decor in a glossy ad campaign by luxe furniture dealer Roche-Bobois. A better version of this image (and others) can be seen here. Thanks to my weekend paper for including the slick 16-page insert for Roche-Bobois's "Exceptional, once-a-year sale."

I do love the handwoven looking carpets strewn about the showroom. I tried to find out where they came from but had no luck. Whilst Googling the various names credited on the back of the brochure, I did come across a couple of interesting artists/designers. Aurelie Mathigot works in crochet, creating whimsical sculptural forms that relate to the natural world. (I suspect the Roche-Bobois "yarn bombings" are hers.) Wool and the Gang provided the oversized yarn balls that function as sculptural objects in the layout. And Piet Hein Eek's cabinet blows me away. Those handwoven rugs would go perfectly with his scrap wood wallpaper.

When you're selling furniture that retails for thousands of dollars, it is awfully disingenuous to show it off in a nouveau scruffy, DIY-esque setting. But then the furniture is all sleek modernism. I guess co-opting the handmade aesthetic to give the cool modular couches some warm fuzzy vibes is hardly a leap. Maybe the handmade decor is intended to make the furniture look more affordable. Who knows what goes on in the minds of art directors?

But it does make me wonder when we'll be seeing handknit lampshades made by children in third world sweatshops showing up at box stores like Bed, Bath and Beyond. Is there anything that's not grist for the mill of consumption?


  1. the same thing happens in the world of food. when artisanal cheeses and charcuterie get mass market knockoffs and make it into the Insiders report. I suppose the only remedy is to remain creative and continue to innovate by keeping our minds open to the amazing world around us.

  2. The previous comment is actually not from me, but from Bruce the Chef.

  3. Anonymous6:56 AM

    I understand what you're saying. Ever been to a Conran design shop? Half the overpriced stuff is from India and we all know Mr. Conran isn't paying his Indian nick nack producers anywhere near what he is charging. I guess the best thing to do is just AVOID Conran and his ilk like the plague. If you want craft from Asia or Africa or any other place where daily goods are still made by hand, I'm sure there are better fair traid sources.

  4. Anonymous4:42 PM

    did you check out the "virtual museum" on the Roche-Bobois site? it is great for a giggle.

  5. Some of it's pretty wacky, for sure. And how many ways can they do impractical? That sofa from 1974 that looks impossible to sit on/in? Hilarious! But I do like the Ping Pong coffee table. Very Zen.

  6. Anonymous2:01 PM

    The museum is interesting and oddly the company I work for still makes a beanbag similar to the "Sacco" chair here in little ole Burnaby. Yah! for the wacky 70's.


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