Antique, unfinished and natural-looking at first glance, one could imagine someone using simple tools to make these chairs for a classic kitchen, office or dining room over a century ago – until you take a second look, that is.

While the seat or legs of a given piece might make sense of out of context, creative choices make the results anything from ordinary: lathe-carved grooves where they serve no structural function, bent-wood chair backs used on the feet instead of supporting the top and benches like look like the results of mating two chairs into a new mutant hybrid furniture object.

This was an experiment in (and by) design titled Bodging Milano, via DesignersBlock: modern-day furniture students taking time off from the computers, desks and other contemporary equipment to try out lathes and other traditional tools in a forest setting with unseasoned wood – a good brain-jogging solution to potential ‘designer’s block’ if ever there was one.

The results are a strange and unique mix of modern thinking and historical styles, the former a result of a recent design education and the latter a by-product of the methods and materials being used. While you are unlikely to see these starting a new designer trend, they are certainly an interesting exercise in stretching the mind with respect to the arts of classic wood craft and modern wooden furniture design.