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:
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.