Alice Wang Designs Chairs for the Dysfunctional
Designer Alice Wang likes exploring the darker side of human nature, and with this installation of quirky, bizzare one-off chairs, it's evident she's also got a healthy sense of humor.
She claims that though the function of every day objects remains essentially stable, our relationships to them shift with the evolution of culture, and so why not have that reflected?
Says she: 'Should there be different chairs designed for people with different sitting habits? Do you sit on all four legs or just two? Do you continuously shake your leg? Or do you like to sit with your back facing the public?'
This series of five chairs was showcased this year's Salone Satellite in Milan, and collectively illustrate five different stories about different habits or dispositions of those who might use them
First up to bat is the 'Skilled Tilter' made for those who tend to lean back and like to test their balancing prowess. Integrated into the chair is a spirit leveler to give an accurate reading as to just how balanced one really is, though one's imbalance might be made very apparent within no time at all.
Ms. Wang's next piece is based on research that suggests taller people are more successful than their shorter counterparts. So to balance things out, she's concocted the great equalizer titled 'Equality Seeker', which allows all parties to come together at 140 cm through a series of adjustable chair legs.
My personal favorite is the calorie-counting 'Constant Shaker' which keeps count of just how much of that donut you're burning while sitting there, shaking your leg. Certainly not a substitute for good ol' cardio, but still better than lying around like a slug.
And for those of us addicted to Facebook status updates, this is the chair for you. Designed for those who might not remember how to interact in a face-to-face environment due to reliance upon online social network sites, this chair allows you to post your status on the back of your seat. Speaking is so overrated.
And finally, as the penultimate of social faux pas, we have the 'Silent Farter'. Thought you could get away with it? Think again. This chair has a built in amplifier to announce to the world just whose gastro-intestinal tract is in a state of malaise. As the designer says. "It can often cause misunderstanding and unnecessary embarrassment for the innocent others. This chair announces who the gas is from by amplifying the silent fart exhausted.
As the designer questions, "Will these chairs become props that normalize the unwelcomed habits?"
Err... probably NOT, but they're still fun.