Chairless by Alejandro Aravena
for Vitra

| 48 comments

Milan 2010: at the Salone Internazionale del Mobile in Milan this week furniture brand Vitra present a strap designed by Chilean architect Alejandro Aravena to be wrapped around the body and used instead of a chair. Update: this project is included in Dezeen Book of Ideas, which is on sale now for £12.

Called Chairless, the product wraps around the user's back and knees to relieve tension while sitting on the floor.

See all our stories about Milan 2010 in our special category.

Here's some text from Vitra:


Chairless

Alejandro Aravena, 2010

Chairless is a simple tool for sitting – a textile strap joined into a loop, measuring 85 cm in length and 5 cm in width, which can be wrapped around the back and knees in order to stabilise the body and relieve tension, while in a seated position. Chairless is mobile. Weighing less than 85 grams, the strap can be folded into a compact size allowing it to fit easily into a pocket – the ideal sitting aid while out and about.

Chairless is not a replacement, but rather an alternative for a chair, particularly in situations where a chair isn’t available: at the park, beach or anywhere else outdoors; at concerts; in lecture halls and at seminars; in crowded trains and airport lounges. Of course, the strap can also be used at home on the carpet.

Chairless takes pressure off the back and thigh muscles. Arms and hands, which we normally need for support or to grab our legs when sitting on the floor, can be used for other activities. With Chairless, reading, writing, eating, drinking, making phone calls or using an iPod pose no problems at all.

Chairless is based on a sitting strap commonly used by the Ayoreo Indians. The nomadic tribe living in the Gran Chaco region (border region between Paraguay and Bolivia) has employed similar textile straps as a sitting aid for as long as anyone can remember. Chilean architect Alejandro Aravena came across the sitting strap and recognised its potential. In cooperation with Vitra, he developed Chairless into a product.
Vitra has had a long association with Alejandro Aravena. The young Chilean attracted international attention early in his career with his socially and environmentally oriented projects. In 2007, Rolf Fehlbaum commissioned him to design a workshop building on the Vitra Campus in Weil am Rhein. Aravena’s.

Chairless is designed for people who are between 1.60 and 1.95 metres (5 ft 3 in and 6 ft 5 in) tall. The strap made of wear-resistant polyamide comes in four colours: anthracite with decorative stripes in fuchsia or dark lime; dark lime with decorative stripes in fuchsia; fuchsia with decorative stripes in dark lime.

A portion of the proceeds from Chairless goes to the non-profit organisation called the Foundation for Indigenous Communities in Paraguay, which directly supports the Ayoreo Indians.


See also:


Dezeen Book of Ideas out now!

Alejandro Aravena is included in our book, Dezeen Book of Ideas. Buy it now for just £12.

  • CP

    Chairless is not inspired in the Ayoreo Indians… is copied.

  • seewoosagir ramgoolam

    wonderful. i hope vitra passes on some of its profits to the Ayoreo Indians. Ethical commerce please.

  • san

    no big deal to me – they mention that it wasn´t their idea in the 1st place (“The nomadic tribe…has employed similar textile straps as a sitting aid for as long as anyone can remember”). I think it´s a great product – simple and functional. as long as vitra gives credits to the ayoreo indians I think it´s great to bring the design to the public

  • Olivier

    At first I thought this product won’t be for me as I can sit very comfortable in the crossed legged (lotus) position for an hour.

    But then I realised that most adults cannot sit in this crossed legged position. Their muscles simply cannot cope because they’re too stressed out. Enter: chairless by Vitra :( It looks like the strap is going to cut your blood circulation.

    To me it is rather a design critique of dwindling resources than a product. People need yoga, not a strap.

  • http://www.flickr.com/photos/artifice/ james webb

    interesting, especially because i have never experienced any stress when sitting down cross-legged.
    maybe once i have tried it i’ll be convinced.

  • brian

    “Chairless is based on a sitting strap commonly used by the Ayoreo Indians. The nomadic tribe living in the Gran Chaco region (border region between Paraguay and Bolivia) has employed similar textile straps as a sitting aid for as long as anyone can remember.” ……

    “For as long as anyone can remember” …. this tribe lives in a heavily forested area of Paraguay and also avoid contact with outsiders …. also there’s as far as im aware only one photo of a Ayero using a strap whilst sitting …. http://www.vitra.com/chairless/#/ayero …… please spare me the long winded narrative ….. ITS A STRAP !!!!!.

  • chair-less

    This is absolutely ridiculous.

  • http://pencil-pop.blogspot.com Sam

    I’ve ALWAYS needed something like this for long flights when I’m dying to put my knees up on the seat in front of me, but its too far away…I think this would work!!!

  • http://www.rothring.com Rothring

    Vitra making a non-chair. Very ironic.
    BTW: How to work on sitting, instead of remake a new useless chair.
    Nice proposal.

  • slater

    What if the ground is wet…? Maybe they can include a trash bag that you can pull over your body so that your bum and head will both stay dry. Then you can tie yourself up comfortably with the strap and you’re ready for the garbage bin!

  • charlie chan

    the strap should have been incorporated with a deeper sense of “design”.

    THIS is just a strap, wrapped around your body saying “chairless”.
    Well, i can say the same, instead saying its a bag instead of chair. Or even book binder.

    This strap is not yet a chair, but the concept behind the product is viable. I think this is just one of those lazy design that lacks design process and development.

  • pavs

    que pendejada

  • http://mimo9.wordpress.com Antonio Conroy

    I tryied it today in Milan at the Abitare magazine debate, it is really comfortable, you can even incline back without falling. I think it is a good solution for many informal sitting situations.

  • Capstick

    hahahaha … It´s a joke. Or isn´t?

  • eric

    hahahaha.

    that is ridiculous.

  • http://www.archzk.com

    cccccccoooooooooooolllllllllllllllllll

  • http://www.dougosborn.com Omikey

    And if you order now in the next 10 minutes…. we’ll add a second strap… absolutely free!

    Sorry, just had to. Good luck with it.

  • steve

    ok… so it is an idea… but where is the design? not in the implementation.

  • tanya telford – T

    are but, in the text above it does say – “A portion of the proceeds from Chairless goes to the non-profit organisation called the Foundation for Indigenous Communities in Paraguay, which directly supports the Ayoreo Indians, ”
    which is good.

  • flaneur

    hhahhahaa

    sooooo stupid

  • Xit

    Could have a double use as a ‘cool’ belt

  • E

    Invention for a problem that doesnt exist in the first place.

  • javros

    yep, or could use a belt instead of one of these and not buy one

  • jack the ripper

    non , non , and again non .

  • Xit

    Hey Jack, theres a bit ‘Yes’ in there I feel.

  • jack the ripper

    I can think of a hundred reasons why this is absurd.
    to start with , people need to relax their body and let it expand .

    practising sitting in lotus with a straight back is the most comfortable and organic position ever. strapped like a sardine can is not .

    this would multiply knots and soreness in the body.

  • http://6lumens.com/blog/ Tzu-yen Wang

    It will sure get looks from people. I wont understand how it feels until i get to use it.

  • DCV

    I’m sure Aravena’s having a fun time

  • msr

    Aravena is hot

  • bob

    still…might hurt your legs a bit???? a short term solution…

  • cy

    nice!
    it just suit me, i always have the problem in sitting like this cross-legged, as my body is too stiff..
    but it looks a bit odd, as seen in the photos..

  • Antny

    i swear to god i’ve thought of this before… trying to sit down comfortably on the ground is difficult, and the ergonomic functions of the strap make it comfortable

  • God

    LOL FAIL!

  • Davide

    DIY and f*** off!

  • no.

    this is worse than the bio-degradable poo bag.

    there are bigger problems in the world. Even if we choose to ignore them- this device does not SOLVE anything. when has sitting on the ground ever been an issue!?

    Chairless is an insult to humanity.

  • ms. miss

    why should this product solve all the big problems we have? Has design ever solved any of those?
    I tried it in milan and it was really comfortable. And when your travelling or spending a lot of time outside it’s a small and handy device to sit comfortable without carrying a lot of weight with you. I think it’s fun.

    You don’t have to find it great but at least try it before you judge so undifferentiated.

  • http://www.freundealterfahrzeuge.ch Chris

    Designer Alejandro Aravena in Design Trial:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rHqT4Gs8-uc

  • jared

    Very noble to donate money to the Indians but really it’s got nothing to do with them. The guy says he got the idea from them but so what? Most ideas/designs are copied from something one has seen… Should I give money to Italy if I design a new pasta maker?

    What about a jacket with the straps built in and a pair of trousers with an inflatable cushion for those with skinny arses?

  • WTF?

    there are a few things that need to be mentioned here..
    first of all, regardless of its quality as an object of design, this object has been industrially produced by another company for almost 25 years…just google “nadachair” and you will find it…this, then raises a few interesting questions about the world of “design”…how, and why, can a company as big as vitra present an object as a part of their new collection that falls within the category of blatant plagiarism/copy? and then build a whole media circus around it? if mr aravena, (who is one of the most interesting young architects in the world) knew about it, then it will definitely not look that good in his otherwise impressive cv…but if not, then he should have done a bit more research…but then again this is what happens when architects become industrial designers overnight…and as far as vitra is concerned, their creative director should avoid in the future committing similar elementary design flops…anyway…breuer had done all that around 80 years ago…

  • Rymal

    Such a shame that they are sold out on the Vitra website. Suppose I’ll just have to buy this instead:

    http://www.diy.com/diy/jsp/bq/nav.jsp?action=detail&fh_secondid=9284336&fh_view_size=10&fh_location=%2f%2fcatalog01%2fen_GB&fh_search=strap&fh_eds=%C3%9F&fh_refview=search&ts=1273071570637&isSearch=true

    How did this get past the drawing board??? Let alone launched in Milan and having an entire website dedicated to it. Come on Vitra! Standards!

  • TW

    I think what many of you forget is that design is NOT just about producing products. It’s about producing ideas that solve problems or find a use.

    This has more ‘design’ in it than a ‘designed’ product aimed to fill an already saturated market. Eg. Do we really need more chairs, more juicers, more kettles?

    The less products we can produce the better off the world would be.

  • Scott Smith

    and for my breakthrough design i present:

    The Floor.

    optional added extra: a mirror finished digging tool for customisation

  • Kayser

    I don’t know about you, but I think it’s clever. A chair that fits in your bag. What’s not to like?

  • peach

    one vote for TW

    Less products, please. and I do not think this “chair” is good design itself at all.

  • http://www.www.nbajerseyshut.com/ custom nba jerseys

    I think it is a good solution for many informal sitting situations.But then I realised that most adults cannot sit in this crossed legged position.

  • alan.h

    the weird thing is that Aravena is not a bad architect, such useless and bad design results very strange

  • crafty

    i really like the idea but the 20 euro price tag is hefty (even if some of the proceeds go to a good cause) . Ive decided to just make my own using some nylon webbing.

  • torince

    I found this really inspiring – I'm not sure how exactly it works, but I love when designers do something different.