Shell Shapes: motifs abstracting life under the sea

Designers take a deep dive into the sea this season, bringing back furniture, tiles and living accessories inspired by crabs and clams.

Designers take a deep dive into the sea this season, bringing back furniture, tiles and living accessories inspired by crabs and clams.

From the very literal references of a multitude of shell-shaped accessories launches this season to more abstract interpretations of forms or mechanisms in larger furniture, scalloped and swirling shapes are abundant in design at the moment. Combining natural references with an encasing, enclosing, protective feel, these subaquatic influences introduce a playful and imaginative note. They’re uplifting additions to an interior, like souvenirs brought back from a day combing the beach.

With their opening, closing and swirling shapes, shells and crustaceans inspire fun characterful designs.

Shell Shapes: motifs abstracting life under the sea

The late architect’s signature aesthetic of curved lines and fluid shapes was translated by studio Zaha Hadid Design into the Swirl glass bowl resembling a shell that’s just washed up on the beach.

Image: Zaha Hadid Design

Shell Shapes: motifs abstracting life under the sea

Michael Anastassiades designed the large Overlap Supsension lights for Italian brand Flos. The metal rings are covered with a resin mebrane resulting in a coocon-like look.

Image: Flos

Shell Shapes: motifs abstracting life under the sea

A more literal adaption of the theme, Danish brand Aytm launched a new series of bowls in the shape of shells including the Concha dish with a shiny brass finish.

Image: Aytm

Shell Shapes: motifs abstracting life under the sea

The designers of Danish label fermLiving also seem to have spent some time on the beach. The matte white Shell vase, which can also be used as a flower pot, is made from stoneware and only glazed in the inside.

Image: fermLIVING

Shell Shapes: motifs abstracting life under the sea

Italian designer Cristina Celestino has a knack for reviving historic patterns and styles in contemporary pieces. Her shell-shaped Giardino delle Delizie tiles for manufacturer Fornace Brionie are inspired by the natural motifs seen in the decorations of Renaissance gardens.

Image: Fornace Brioni

Shell Shapes: motifs abstracting life under the sea

Little scales cover the Ecailles wallpaper which French house Lelièvre launched under its Jean Paul Gaultier label. The motives are outlined with a metallic thread which gives them a mother-of-pearl-like shine.

Image: Lelièvre

Shell Shapes: motifs abstracting life under the sea

The Loafer sofa designed by Space Copenhagen for &tradition features a semi-circular ribbed backrest, a look which reminded us of the scalloped body of shells.

Image: &tradition

Shell Shapes: motifs abstracting life under the sea

French furniture brand Ligne Roset has produced the Clam sofa bed designed by LÈo Dubreil & Baptiste Pilato, featuring a fold in the middle that allows you to open it out like a clam.

Image: Ligne Roset

Shell Shapes: motifs abstracting life under the sea

Swedish collective Note Design Studio designed the Musa wall light for Spanish brand Vibia. In the streamlined dish sits a hand blown matte glass sphere emitting a soft shine just like a pearl.

Image: Vibia


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