Dutch designers make a seat to cure coach potatoes
Jurgen Bey and Rianne Makkink produce a self-contained desk, cupboard and chair that moves with you
More and more jobs are sedentary, what with the proliferation of computer-facing tasks. The New York Times reports that, in 1960 50 percent of US jobs required moderate physical activity, whereas by 2011, that figure was closer to 20 percent. What's more, sitting can be bad for us. The godfather of ergonomic design, Niels Diffrient, argues that office chairs can damage our spines, and that the furniture really should recline - hence his reclining models for US office furniture company Humanscale.
But one of the Netherlands' best-known contemporary designers Jurgen Bey and his sidekick for the last decade Rianne Makkink have attempted to put the 'fun' into 'functional' with their latest chair project. They've turned reclining on its head and come up with swivelling.
Called #006 SideSeat, the seating attempts to answer the questions: "How do you provide an environment which allows for changes in work focus and accommodates a full capacity workforce at the same time? How do you ensure that your visitor is free to decide how he spends his waiting time?"
The answer, according to SideSeat's manufacturer Prooff, "is a self-contained desk, cupboard and chair which moves with you". The chair's seat is perched on a sturdy base, and can spin 90 degrees. Bey and Makkink explain the art of swivelling: "The swivel seat on top, allows users to be interactive and flexible with their working space, but create privacy in public areas at the same time. The college table can be an armrest, side table and small desk, depending on the use." SideSeat has a plywood frame, which is covered in linoleum and laminate for durability.
As well as Prooff, Studio Makkink & Bey's work is produced by those Dutch household names Droog and Moooi. For more on Studio Makkink & Bey, go here; and for a deeper understanding of chairs in the work place, please take a look at our Taxonomy of Office Chairs, which details over 130 of the most innovative office chairs designed and built from the 1840s to the present.