Leo Maher charts history of homosexuality with Unfamiliar Passions furniture

Design and style Academy Eindhoven graduate Leo Maher has made a series of unusual furniture items that incorporate references to queer culture from throughout historical past.


Unfamiliar Passions is a series of 5 patterns that includes an assortment of visual references, such as a cockerel, a backgammon board and an assortment of physique parts.

As nicely as serving a realistic function, each and every object utilizes a unique lens to explore the record and lifestyle of homosexuality, from the time of the Historical Greeks and Romans proper up to the modern-day day.

Unfamiliar Passions is a collection of five home furniture designs that investigate themes of homosexuality

“The collection investigates the history of homosexuality and its dance through time and western civilisation,” reported Maher, who graduated from DAE’s bachelor degree programme.

“Each individual piece of the collection explores the heritage of identifiers, legends, euphemisms, deviant behaviours and signalling mechanisms, noting how they transcend cultures and societies before ending up woven into the fabric of present day gay lifestyle.”

Homo-Delicatus from Unfamiliar Passion homosexual furniture by Leo Maher
Homo-Delicatus explores various features thought to suggest homosexuality

Homo-Delicatus is an elevated bowl that references attributes made use of to one out homosexuals at diverse factors in historical past, from actual physical attributes to style alternatives.

It incorporates a 3D-printed limp wrist, a ceramic leather boot and a particular style of walk depicted in sheet metal.

Violet Patriarchy from Unfamiliar Passion homosexual furniture by Leo Maher
Violet Patriarchy appears to be at the position of punishment in homosexual interactions

A desk lamp referred to as Violet Patriarchy explores homosexual conduct in a master and slave relationship, which Maher discovered was widespread among the initially and fifth centuries in London, or Londinium as it was then recognised.

The piece centres about a ceramic radish, which was infamously applied by Ronan soldiers to rape warriors triumph over in struggle.

Purple-toned steel flowers enhance the lampshade, referencing the ongoing association among homosexuality and the color purple.

Gentleman of the Backdoor by Leo Maher
Gentleman of the Backdoor highlights different euphemisms made use of to explain queer adult males

A person of the most distinct designs is a little desk, which is titled Gentleman of the Backdoor.

This design explores various euphemisms employed to describe homosexual men in England in the 18th century. These involve “faggot”, a term that Maher said was “once applied to describe a bundle of sticks on which accused sodomites have been burnt to death”.

A backgammon board references the slang expression “backgammon players”, when mouldings of cockerel heads and a youthful man’s crotch refer to the time period “ganymede”, generally employed to describe an effeminate queer boy.

Cruising by Leo Maher
The Cruising price tag stand highlights the culture of working towards sex in general public areas

The tradition of cruising is subject explored by a piece that appears to be a coat stand, which includes references to saunas, general public bogs and Turkish baths.

The fifth piece, identified as Polari, is a aspect desk that focuses on language. It features a sequence of phrases applied by homosexuals to steer clear of attracting consideration to them selves.

The piece is topped by a metal flower, symbolizing the environmentally friendly carnation worn by Oscar Wilde – who was trialled and prosecuted for his homosexuality in 1895 – as a image of his queerness.

Cruising by Leo Maher
The piece imagery from saunas, public bogs and Turkish baths

“All these references just started out to repeat and overlap and alter themselves as the enquiry prolonged,” described Maher.

“This was something that captured me, anything that deserved to be spotlighted with the luminescence of more conservative narratives, but admired for its queer, chaotic assembly of record at the same time.”

The designer worked with a array of different products and craft techniques to create every single, which lends the layouts a collage good quality.

Polari by Leo Maher
Polari appears at how language was utilised by homosexuals as a indicates of disguise

In every single scenario, Maher selected the product that he felt ideal equipped the strategy relatively than trying to make items match aesthetically.

“Materials had been definitely preferred with my know-how in excess of how to manipulate them,” the designer instructed Dezeen. “For occasion, I knew I could far better sculpt the hen heads digitally and 3D print them, alternatively than carve them from a block of wood.”

“Although there was unquestionably a thing acutely aware about suggesting some kind of regality to their aesthetic,” he added, “gilding them with gold leaf an attempt to offer them the aesthetic of standard iconography.”

Polari by Leo Maher
It characteristics a surfaces embossed with words from the Polari language

The models ended up exhibited at the Layout Academy Eindhoven graduate display, in which other tasks on show integrated garments built to mend trauma, a big gown and instruments for turning human breath into clouds.

Maher claimed that quite very little of his designs is primarily based on his very own encounters, but that he “growingly finds the traces” in his personal existence.

He hopes that the task will provoke dialogue about the transcultural character of homosexuality.

“I uncover it definitely gorgeous and a good privilege to see these queer narratives in an atmosphere where by they can ultimately have discourse, not only with one particular a further but previous their former confines,” he mentioned. “It has taught me a lot about delight.”

The DAE Graduation Display 2021 was exhibited from 16 to 24 October, as part of Dutch Structure Week. See Dezeen Occasions Manual for an up-to-day record of architecture and style and design situations getting put close to the world.