Ear Chair by Studio Makkink & Bey



Milan 09: Dutch brand Prooff present Ear Chair Studio Makkink & Bey at SuperStudio in Zona Tortona this week.


The chair, designed in 2002 for an interior for insurance company Interpolis in Tilburg, Netherlands, is now in production.


See all our stories from Milan in our special Milan 09 category.

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 Originally made as a bespoke product for a specific client, the Ear Chair is now available to you.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.

Posted on Thursday April 23rd 2009 at 6:48 am by . Copyright policy | Comments policy

  • I like that it looks quite comfortable and can be pretty though serious. Are those cranes inspired by the port of Rotterdam?

  • jen

    They have a lovely turquoise and black version at the Midland Hotel Morcambe, they’re rather snugly. Theres not a heck of a lot else to do in Morcambe….

  • RLS in AZ

    I’ve always loved wingback chairs and this has to be the ultimate! For me, making that classic design asymmetrical with one ‘Ear’ much larger than the other is the brilliance, nee genius, at the crux of this design.
    I can easily see its versatility and appeal in both small residential and large commercial spaces. As a big fan of porch and patio living, I could envision a range of these chairs in reed, rattan, wicker, bamboo, willow, etc. My kudos to the designers! You’ve given me one of those ‘special’ design moments.

  • Em

    The turquoise and black version was exposed at Superstudio during the Salone 09. Check here for pictures.

    They were really nifty and comfortable at the same time.