179_Michael Fohring: Pet Furniture

Michael Fohring

M Arch Graduate 2016

We finally got a new mattress the other week.  Like many couples of our generation, we have a small apartment with one bedroom, so we had no room and no use for the old mattress we were replacing.  When we got it, it was the cheapest we could find, and of fairly poor quality -- it was really always meant to be temporary.  Once we finished unpacking the new mattress, making the bed, and, of course, testing it out, we rolled up the old one and bound it tight with some string.  It was raining, so we didn’t want to leave it outside.  Instead, we leaned it up against the wall in a corner of our living room, where it sat rolled up for days.  Gradually, the thought of getting rid of it became sadder and sadder to both of us.  It was the first mattress we bought together, for the first apartment that we shared, and it made the trip from Montréal to Toronto with us when we moved.  We had both developed a strange sort of attachment to it, like it was part of our little family, and part of our story together.  We even started to refer to it as “her,” for no particular reason, other than, I guess, we somehow started to empathize with this pile of fabric and foam we were suddenly casting aside after two and a half years of service. 

Pet Furniture seeks to reimagine our relationships and stories with our furniture, amplifying this odd sensation that inanimate “things” just may, possibly, have a soul, or gender, or feelings.  While we largely take furniture for granted for their functionality, or merely idolize their beauty and craft, Pet Furniture aims to imbibe them with a sense of eroticism, curiosity, and humour, re-charging our domestic spaces with these qualities as well.

The project was recently exhibited at the Toronto Design Offsite Festival where it was selected as an Expert Pick by Azure Magazine's Catherine Osborne."