This chair by Korean designer Hyun-Gi Kim is made from hundreds of tubes that circulate blood around the furniture in response to pressure.

Kim, who designed the chair while studying at Hongik University in Seoul, wanted to introduce “vitality” into furniture by giving it a circulatory system that pumps fake blood.

The Red Series 001 Breath chair features two seats, made from blood bags, connected by a bundle of vein-like pipes. When pressure is added to one end by someone sitting down, liquid rushes through the tubes and into the adjoining seat – which then expands as it fills.

“It reminds us of the muscles and beating of the heart, creating visual and auditory stimulation,” said the designer. “There is a metaphorical meaning in this work. There must be a lot of blood in order for this creature to live a life.”

Its companion seat also sinks in response to weight as the bags are emptied, revealing the steel pipes which form the underlying framework for the furniture.

Although Kim wanted to use real human blood, the volume required made this impossible, meaning he had to mix his own fake version instead.

Other designers have sourced the real deal. For example, an Austrian men’s magazine printed a special issue with ink infused with HIV-infected blood, and a Lebanese title made posters to commemorate the mass killing of Armenians in 1915.

Past furniture projects from students at Hongik University have included a blocky stool made from leftover walnut and oak chips mixed with resin, a chair covered in a circular pattern burnt on using a heat gun and a lattice-like chair painstakingly created by hand with a 3D-printing pen.