Hammock stands are purely utilitarian objects — right? Not according to designer Federica Sala of Geometrie da Compagnia, who’s determined to bring a little more happiness and humor into the world with her handmade home decor objects. “The Happy Hammock” is just the latest example of her artistic approach to product design, and it’s definitely a standout. Instead of merely providing a basic support for a hanging hammock, this sculptural piece rises nearly ten feet in the air in the shape of a cartoonish smile.

“Since I was a child I have always loved hammocks,” Sala explains. “My grandmother was of Mexican decent and had all kinds of them in the garden of the beach house. When I was 20 years old I was living in Lisbon and I bought my first hammock and I used to hang it in the ‘miradouros’ of the city. Later the hammocks accompanied me on all my wild travels to the Greek islands. During the lockdown I was lucky enough to find myself in a house in the countryside and I hung one from two trees to get back to these wonderful memories and feelings, to that sweet rocking that cures all my worries. Long live the hammocks, they always make me smile… maybe because they are themselves giant smiles?”

A smile is a sweet way of looking at the arc shape of an occupied hammock, integrated here into a black metal frame as the bright red mouth while basic line work suggests the shapes of the eyes, nose, and face.

“Bruno’s Swing” is another incredible piece by Sala that similarly makes the interactive component the “heart” of the structure, while the frame offers both support and an aesthetic element. A child’s swing takes the shape of a bright red heart in the chest of the motherly figure wrought in black iron. Sala was inspired to create this sculpture after spending many hours in playgrounds enjoying the happiness and wonder of her child swinging.

Her child had recently grown too heavy to swing in her arms, and she missed that feeling. “With the swing I felt I was doing the same thing but with the help of an architectural structure,” she says. “Before this I had been that structure and in the future I will always be that structure, of care and affection. That is why when I drew it, it came out in the form of a self-portrait.”

“Fly High” is more decorative in nature, but no less impressive. This kinetic ceiling sculpture of a woman’s figure places her head, arms, legs, and heart on different hanging wires so they move independently, making it look like she’s floating or dancing any time a breeze rolls in.

Sala also uses wires and movement in her kinetic human sculptures series. Each one is like a meditative stress-relief toy — just twang a part with your finger and watch its moving elements gently sway or spin. Many have maternal themes, like a mother bird flying with her baby bird, a woman’s figure cradling an egg, and a family of figures relaxing together, all intertwined.