Gallery: Creepy Products That Look Like People

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From the first time a prehistoric human made a lady-shaped pot up through the smile of the new Volkswagen Beetle, designers have consistently made objects that evoke the human form. And sometimes it gives me the willies. The great literary theorist Jacques Lacan identified “the Gaze” — that eerie sense that our objects were looking back at us — as a feeling that supposedly undermines the connection between symbolic meaning and the real world. Whether they’re a screen for narcissistic projections or merely injection-molded whimsy, these face-full products are worth looking at. Creepy or fanciful? Let us know what you think.

[Image via marcofolio]

The soles of these shoes convey a distinctly stunned expression and their ovoid features are undeniably reminiscent of Edvard Munch’s The Scream . Let’s all remember to be kind to our running shoes and avoid glass and other obstacles while jogging, shall we?

Injection-molded objects are rife with anthropomorphic fodder. They’re so precise yet abstract. This piece is allegedly a traffic light component but in products-with-faces-land it’s obviously a robot wearing a steampunk monocle, right?

[Image via listsoplenty]

This cheery chair is making the Happy-with-Totoro-face characteristic of blissful anime characters. I’m guessing that the mouth is meant to be a handle?

No. It’s definitely a mouth.

With the release of the New Beetle in 2008, the curve of Classic Beetle’s schnoz was transformed into a subliminally positive smile. This redesign succeeded in moving the Beetle from quirky to perky.

[Image via marcofolio]

This cheerful grater is a little too enthusiastic, no?

The human brain is a curious thing. Even though I know that there are only 5 holes in this odd bit of plastic, I can still somehow see a pair of endearingly awed faces. Just like this baby… except, you know, the baby has two eyes.

The face-ness of this coffee lid had to be intentional. Why else would its designers have it use a first person pronoun: “CAUTION I’M HOT”? And the arrows are nostrils! Seeing as I normally consume my coffee from the mouths of other people, this one doesn’t bother me so much. Kidding.

This is the Mate Feeding Plate designed by Scott Henderson for Skip Hop. Another injection-molded beauty, Henderson told me that the “eye” holes in the base were a production requirement. The addition of a mouth was just his touch of whimsy. I like it because, you know, it’s nice for kids to know that SOMEONE IS ALWAYS WATCHING.

[Image via listsoplenty]

I like to imagine that the outlet on the bottom left has just been accidentally shocked. Looks like an ouch face to me.

Funnily enough, after stumbling upon several injection-molded object faces I found this: an injection molding machine. He looks like a stooge. But appropriately anthropomorphic, like the objects it manufactures.