Inspiration: Salvador Dali

The man synonymous with surrealism was a master of multiple trades – painter, sculptor and designer. From furniture to interiors to home accessories to perfume bottles to film sets, everything that he touched left a distinct Dadaist fingerprint. His works have inspired creative thinkers across the globe for generations. Even now, the theatrical man with the funny moustache continues to be a reference point for modern surrealist design. We create a collage of contemporary lifestyle artists who have retained the Dali strain.



The Italian fashion house launched a collection of Dali-inspired home accessories and objets d’art in 2009. The furniture pieces, books, mannequins and lamps, all seemed to be melting. The lamp in the adjoining photograph was named ‘Soft Construction Without Boiled Beans’ – a minor word play on a similarly titled painting by Salvador Dali.


Kathryn Hinton

The British jeweller and silversmith designed a range of cutlery in 2008 and named it ‘Exhausted’. The forks, spoons and knives appeared to collapse and almost melt into the plates that they fell on, seemingly taking the shape of the sides and ridges of the dishes. A minimalist reinterpretation of Dali’s ornate style.


Lila Jang

While living in Paris, the designer, who originally hails from Seoul, struggled to fit her furniture in her cramped apartment. Thus began her ‘space-saving’ experiments, which led to her sensational range of ‘fluid’ furniture. The distorted 18th century French pieces have been showcased at exhibitions worldwide since 2009.


Pieke Bergmans

The Dutch designer first showcased her ‘infected’ bulbs in Milan in 2008. After that, she claims that the virus spread to her other lights. ‘Their DNA has mutated, more grotesque, more mutilated than ever before’ – says the website. This is modern surrealist humour, rather simplistically put.


John Nouanesing

The French product designer and art director created his ‘Love Me’ table in 2007. Crafted from resin, the piece illusively resembles paint dripping from a large, rectangular surface. The attention to detail is remarkable; the shapes and sizes of the drops and the edges make it look soaking wet. Plays with your mind.



Acne Studios

In 2013, the Swedish company launched a limited edition line of ‘irregular’ vases. Originally, these were display objects that were crafted for the headquarters of the design collective, but upon realising the retail potential of the style, the brand decided to release a special range from their home division.


Livia Marin

The UK-based Chilean porcelain artist, who is passionate about Chinese pottery traditions, created a series of sculptures called ‘Broken Things’ in 2009 and another called ‘Nomad Patterns’ in 2013. The splintering of crockery, when dropped on the floor, is reimagined as ‘melting’ instead of breaking. The sculptures can also function as dry serving platters.


Rikako Nagashima

In 2011, the Japanese designer collaborated with acrylic artist Hideto Hyoudou to craft a line of ‘Mizukagami Water Mirrors’. The point of inspiration is obvious. The mirrors come in different shapes and dimensions. One particular table-edge design resembles the melting clocks from Dali’s most famous painting – ‘The Persistence of Memory’. 

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