The modern weapon is at once a symbol of power and fear, safety and danger. This conflict of values has made this symbol one of common idolization in western culture. It is in our films, our music, our art– and even our design. Love it or hate it, this symbolism is not lost on the work of creatives. To celebrate their inspiration, here are 20 weapon-inspired designs that poke fun at humanity’s obsession with tools of our own destruction.
Rehhab Fully Loaded Chair
It’s not easy to rest easy on the Fully Loaded Chair by REHHAB. This chair features a hard steel frame that is perforated with 388 once-fired shotgun shells that serve as it seat and back. Those shiny brass tips and bright red hulls are immediately recognizable, serving as a stark reminder of this chair’s weaponized past. Once you can get beyond that, the seat itself is surprisingly comfortable…
Rehhab Fully Loaded Chair Gallery
SuckUK Gun Vase
Flowers and guns make quite the contrast. The SuckUK Gun Vase makes a statement of peace from deadly inspiration, taking the symbolism of the gun and forcing it into new uses. It’s available as a three-barrel tabletop vase, as shown above, or a single-serving wall-mounted planter as shown in the gallery below. Add water and flowers, and you’ve got yourself the coolest bouquet on the block.
SuckUK Gun Vase Gallery
Hand Grenade Oil Lamps
Watch your friends freak when you light up one of these. These Hand Grenade Oil Lamps by New York artist Piet Houtenbos look realistic because they are. They’re made using decommissioned, de-powdered hand grenades from the U.S. Army that are retrofitted with an oil lamp. They’re available in their natural color, shown above, or coated in gold or silver.
Hand Grenade Oil Lamps Gallery
Gun Condom Case
The Gun Condom Case is the preferred sidearm of the sexually active, a deadly weapon to defend against deadly diseases. Whip this pistol out, eject the clip and you’ll find a magazine of rubbers ready for heated engagements. Safe sex never looked so deadly…
AK47 Bullet Ice Cube Tray
If these aren’t the world’s coolest ice cube trays (no pun intended), we don’t know what are. The AK47 Bullet Ice Cube Tray fires 12 fully-auto bullet cubes at a cocktail near you. Just connect the mold, fill with water, pop in the freezer for a few hours and you’ve got bullet ice cubes in the shape of the real thing. It may take some work to get them to look just right, but that’s a fair excuse to make a few extra drinks!
AK47 Bullet Ice Cube Tray Gallery
Ghetto Basics Gun Soap
Get your hands in the air, punk… and while they’re up there, wash your stinking arm pits. The Ghetto Basics Gun Soap challenges your mark to live a cleaner life, to rid the world of foul smells one trigger-squeeze at a time. Designed by Kraeftner, these bars of soap are molded in the shape of popular hand-guns, then colored to fit their user. We like the plain white above, but couldn’t bring ourselves to wear down its shape by using it…
Ghetto Basics Gun Soap Gallery
Kill Time Gun Mug
Your co-workers will think twice before “borrowing” this mug from the dish washer. The Kill Time Gun Mug has a trigger for a handle and a serious mean streak, set to be one-of-a-kind in any busy office. Instead of firing bullets, this one serves caffeine– but after all, isn’t that the weapon of choice for the modern worker of the world?
Kill Time Gun Mug Gallery
Shuriken Refrigerator Magnets
Toss a set of these on your refrigerator, and your kitchen will look like the scene of a crime. The Shuriken Refrigerator Magnets are formed like classic ninja throwing stars that stick to a metallic surface as if they’re embedded within it. The business end of these babies are sliced off, while three of the blades are left alone to appear like the real thing. Pop one of these on your ‘fridge, and you can bet that the note beneath it will be taken seriously…
Shuriken Refrigerator Magnets Gallery
The dynamic design duo at Materious developed a new kind of weapon to face the torrential rains of the city of Chicago– specifically, Sword Umbrellas. Two University of Chicago based designers merged the classic umbrella with the hilts of vintage weaponry. The cutlass, the katana and the medieval longsword are re-designed here to fight wind and rain, not the ne’er-do-wells of the past. The resulting look is at once deadly and playful, a fun way to face the days when bad weather isn’t always at your back. [dig this sort of thing? you’ll love TheCoolist’s list of the 20 coolest umbrellas you’ll ever see]
SuckUK Grenade Ornament
Deck the halls with balls of fire. SuckUK returns to this list, this time with Grenade Ornaments for your local Christmas tree. When it comes to the so-called “war on Christmas”, there is no weapon greater than this. But these ornaments aren’t about assaulting your favorite holiday, they’re a weapon of charity where the proceeds of your purchase go to help fight the notion that children should ever be soldiers. CTRL.ALT.SHIFT is a design-minded charity organization determined to make a better life for what could become a lost generation. The ornaments are amazing. The message is even better. What’s on your Christmas tree?
SuckUK Grenade Ornament Gallery
Koffski Gun Bag
If you’re a fan of cop dramas, it’s likely that you’ve always wanted a set of over-the-shoulder gun holsters. The Koffski Gun Bag gives this look to those that don’t carry fire-arms but want to add edge to their personal style. If all you carry in this is chap stick, a journal and a mirror, you might as well get yourself a purse. But if you need the perfect case for your technologic sidearms, this bag is public enemy number one.
Koffski Gun Bag Gallery
These Knife Combs bring new meaning to the word “haircut”. A handle, a set of comb teeth and a knife blade design make for a humorous and stylish alternative to the classic plastic comb. Just don’t pull one out in public unless you’re prepared for shifty looks from law enforcement. The yellow won’t fool anybody, but the black can look menacing on its own.
Knife Combs Gallery
Rock and Royal is a two-man duo from Rotterdam whose work is crafting artful and… well, strange chandeliers. They design chandeliers in the shape of Jolly Rogers, revolvers, penises and yes, even the venerable M16. This M16 doesn’t fire bullets (or ice cubes), it provides light and a point of conversation for your next dinner party.
Grenade Salt Shakers
White for salt, black for pepper, 100% cool. These Grenade Salt Shakers are made from pure porcelain and shaped in the form of a classic knobby ‘nade. When your food could use some seasoning, these grenade shakers offer a taste explosion– and laughs out of your dinner guests.
Grenade Salt Shakers Gallery
Brass Knuckles Mug
Another creation of Thabto (the makers of the Salt/Pepper Grenades above) brings some bad-ass to your coffee cup. The Brass Knuckles Mugs feature a knuckle duster as the handle, available in either silver, gold or simple white. As past-owners of a white-on-white mug, we can tell you there’s nothing quite like giving co-workers menacing looks while sipping out of one of these.
Brass Knuckles Mug Gallery
Pistol Coat Hooks
When these Pistol Coat Hooks ask for your hat, your coat and your scarf, you don’t argue. This set of three colored pistols can be screwed to the wall to support the outerwear of you and your guests, doing so in a playful, weaponized style.
Pistol Coat Hooks Gallery
Brass Knuckles Umbrella
Unlike the knuckle duster mug above, this Brass Knuckles Umbrella features the real thing at its hilt. The standard umbrella handle is tossed for a set of hard metal knuckles, ready for the self defense of its owner. If you want to carry one, however, you’ll need a license. What a way to stay dry!
Take aim with the Ring Sight by Stuart Bannocks, a playful ring that will inspire impromptu and imaginary gun fights. This simple piece of laser cut plastic fits your pointer finger with classic crosshairs, ready to zone in on the target of your choice.
Phillipe Starck Bedside Gun Lamp
The famed industrial designer Phillipe Starck is no stranger to weaponized design. His Bedside Gun Lamp is a long-time favorite of TheCoolist, the prime inspiration for this list. While an AK-47 floor lamp is also available, this golden pistol is the true stand-out. Around its base is the phrase “happiness is a hot gun”, a take on the Beatles tune of a similar name. Note that Starck’s aim is not to glorify the gun, but to poke at the symbolism the weapon has gained in modern culture. “Glory to our dictators,” Starck mused.
Phillipe Starck Bedside Gun Lamp Gallery
Gun Umbrella by Alex Wooley
Rounding out yet another strange fusion of weapons and umbrellas, the Gun Umbrella by Alex Wooley completes the circle. At the base of this umbrella is a playful little plastic popper that does not require a license. However, we sincerely caution about carrying one of these in the street. There’s nothing worse than bringing a fake gun to a gun fight.
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Until we beat our weapons into plowshares, we can at least make them useful in playful designs. What’s your favorite from this list? Is there an item you would have included here? Let us know in the comments. In the mean time, check out these other features on TheCoolist.com: