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KAMA, Sex and Design

exploring the history of desire in design...

KAMA, Sex and Design

Inspired by the Hindu God of gettin’ jiggy, KAMA, Sex and Design looks at this age-old relationship, spanning tacky stereotypes to the wildly provocative, but thankfully stopping short of playground sniggering...

Emmanuel Lacoste, Langue,
gioiello per lingua, 2006,
Courtesy Emmanuel Lacoste

Hands up if you’ve ever described an object as ‘sexy’. I’m sure Apple fanboys are particularly guilty of this sin: “phwoar, look at the bevel on that”. Opening last week at La Triennale di Milano, KAMA, Sex and Design is an exhibition that seeks to further explore the relationship between designed bits and bobs and sexual bits and bobs – from phallic cosmetics bottles to sadomasochist chairs, and practically everything in between. Curated by Silvana Annicchiarico, and inspired by the Hindu God of gettin’ jiggy, KAMA, Sex and Design looks at this age-old relationship, spanning tacky stereotypes to the wildly provocative, but thankfully stopping short of playground sniggering.

We Heart favourite Peter Jakubik makes an appearance with his bluntly suggestive Pony Girl Rocker and 8 international designers (including Nendo, Nigel Coates and Andrea Branzi) are presenting site-specific installations, whilst the likes of Atelier Fornasetti and Salvador Dalí provide a classic counterpoint to the contemporary; elsewhere, archeological finds detail the history of truly scandalous design.

One overriding theme that’s present throughout, is that when sex meets design: form over functionality is largely favoured. Which leaves me a little disconcerted – I’d always understood that it’s what you do with it that counts.

KAMA, Sex and Design

Peter Jakubik,
Pony Girl Rocker,
autoproduzione, 2011

KAMA, Sex and Design

Pierre Charpin,
Ceram X, 2005

KAMA, Sex and Design

Ted Noten,
Pump it up!, 20ltd

KAMA, Sex and Design

Andrea Mancuso,
Plat à fromage, tagliere, 2009,
Courtesy Andrea Mancuso

KAMA, Sex and Design

Barnaba Fornasetti,
Flying On My Back,
Atelier Fornasetti

KAMA, Sex and Design

Piero Fornasetti, Tronco femminile,
anni sessanta,
courtesy Archivio Fornasetti

KAMA, Sex and Design

Charlotte Kingsnorth, At One, poltrona, 2009,
Charlotte Kingsnorth Studio,
Courtesy Private Collection

KAMA, Sex and Design

Salvador Dalí, Mae West Lips Sofa,
divano, 1936, edizione 1974,
Courtesy Stratton Foundation for the cultural arts

KAMA, Sex and Design

Helmut Palla,
Triumvirat of the Seatyra, 2008,
Courtesy Helmut Palla

KAMA, Sex and Design

David Baskin,
Still Life (Cosmetic Bottles), 2007

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