The chair, designed in 2002 for an interior for insurance company Interpolis in Tilburg, Netherlands, is now in production.
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Here's some info from Prooff:
Prooff is about progression, about creating products whose every last detail has been refined and refined again. Oftentimes, this journey starts by taking silly questions seriously. You see, for us, silliness is often original thinking in disguise.
The ear chair began with just such a question. we wondered: what would happen if a piece of furniture were also a room? The answer is: it could become a private space within the most public of areas, a meeting room of infinitely flexible size located almost anywhere.
Ear Chairs can be placed in different configurations to create private spaces suited to groups of various sizes. To explain, it turns out that if you make a chair high enough and round enough, it insulates you acoustically and visually- giving you personal space wherever you are.
Add another Ear Chair and suddenly you have a room. In the middle of a crowd, you can chat privately, make a call, talk about things meant for your ears only. The more Ear Chairs you add, the bigger your room within a room. You can add character to your room/chair by selecting from different types of upholstery. Originally made as a bespoke product for a specific client, the Ear Chair is now available to you. It’s a prime example of how furniture can influence buildings, and not simply fill them. All of which (we hope you agree) doesn’t seem quite so silly after all.
Studio MAkkink & Bey. The ear Chair was designed by Studio MAkkink & Bey for Prooff. Studio Makkink & Bey believes in a collaborative approach to product development. each product is the result of a group of talented individuals working together in an atmosphere where experimentation and free-thinking is encouraged.
Rianne Makkink and Jurgen Bey have worked together since 2002. Based in Rotterdam, their work has appeared in (amongst other places) the Pompidou in Paris, the V&A in London and the Stedelijk in Amsterdam. Clients include Vitra, Jean Paul Gaultier and Sketch.