Ted Lott Retrofits Vintage Furniture and Suitcases with Stark, Miniature Dwellings

a char with a cabinet in the center that appears like an apartment building

“Carpenter Gothic 2.” All images © Ted Lott, shared with permission

For Ted Lott, the distinction between a shelter and a home is endlessly fascinating. Using vintage furniture as the foundation, the Grand Rapids-based artist and designer (previously) outfits common domestic objects with bare-bones models of houses, apartments, and other living spaces. His architectural additions are often minimal and pared back to just the essentials, which contrasts the ornate trimmings and motifs of the found bases.

Recent works include “Carpenter Gothic 2,” which retrofits a dining chair with a cabinet that appears like a four-story building. Illuminated by four small bulbs, the structure emits a warm, welcoming glow that once opened, reveals a barren interior. “Sometimes people see the miniature first and sometimes the furniture,” Lott told Craft Council about this piece. “It’s fun to notice where people land before they go the other way. Then there’s that moment when they realize it’s this, but also that!”

The sculptures in his Migration series are especially timely as they transform suitcases into tiny dwellings. Given the ongoing refugee crises around the world, the works are poignant reminders that populations are on the move and in need of shelter, a basic human right.

For more of Lott’s work and to follow news about upcoming exhibitions, visit Instagram.


a suitcase with a wooden door and windows carved out

“Migration #24”

two images of a lamp with an architectural lighthouse structure surrounding it. the right image is a detail shot showing four embedded light bulbs

“Pharos Aquinnah”

wooden stairs, a balcony, and doorways connected two suitcases stacked together

“Migration #3”

a wooden trunk standing upright with wooden windows carved from the top and lights inside

“Migration #23”

a wooden house frame is built around a child's rocking chair

“Habitation #3”

a wooden suspended barrel shade with windows built into the side to appear like a hosue

“Round House Chandelier”

a suitcase with a miniature fireplace inside

“Migration #24”

a wooden circular building rests atop a stool with a long wooden staircase leading up to it

“Habitation #4”

Do stories and artists like this matter to you? Become a Colossal Member today and support independent arts publishing for as little as $5 per month. The article Ted Lott Retrofits Vintage Furniture and Suitcases with Stark, Miniature Dwellings appeared first on Colossal.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.