We might carry briefcases and dabble in the stock market, but no matter how many adult responsibilities we take on, most of us are still kids at heart, with a fondness for things that bring back that carefree, innocent feeling. Some adults get to revisit their childhoods by sharing their favorite toys and television shows with their own children, but for the rest of us, nostalgia may come into our lives in a subtler and more abstracted form. For Cyprus-based designer Stelios Mousarris, that means infusing his creations with a sense of fun, combining functional objects with sculptural elements.
His ‘Rocket Coffee Table’ is a prime example, supporting an ordinary glass table top with the most unexpected shapes: five wooden rockets shooting up toward the ceiling, resting on resin supports in the shape of smoke plumes. Mousers combined various techniques from lathe to 3D printing, resin casting and traditional hand-curved pieces to create the creative table. One rocket pokes up higher than the rest to emerge from the glass, as if piercing the sound barrier, while the others aren’t attached so you can move them around however you like. Hoping to draw a smile from anyone who looks at it, the designer says he created the piece for “nostalgic adults, children, and children trapped in adult bodies.”
“Ever since I was a little boy, I loved playing with action figures and spent my weekend mornings watching cartoons on the TV,” says Mousarris. “I have been collecting toys and action figures and anything nostalgic from my childhood until this day. Every time I take a look at my collectibles I remember my childhood, when I used to play for hours on end without a care in the world. I wanted to recreate that feeling of carefreeness and nostalgia with the Rocket Coffee Table. The design is visually playful bringing cartoon-like clouds and aerial rockets from a personal toy collection to life, in the form of a table.”
The result is a piece of furniture that somehow manages to combine cartoonish qualities with a sense of sophistication, with the help of a subtle color scheme and simplified shapes. It’s a cool way to indulge in a trip down memory lane for those who are somewhere in between playing with their kids’ stuff and being a childless owner of a full-on adult toy collection.
Mousarris previously captured our imaginations with his incredible ‘Wave City Coffee Table,’ a design that flips an intricately carved cityscape onto itself, Inception-style. Streets, sidewalks and skyscrapers are arranged on a street grid like they would be in a real city, the plane they’re built upon curving upward so part of it hangs upside-down. One version is made primarily of wood in a simpler shape, while the second employs a bit more curvature and complexity, balancing a sheet of glass on top of the flipped wooden city. “I wanted to merge two completely different things together: the ocean, something very organic and beautiful, with buildings, something very manmade.”