Benoît Malta's Passive Behaviours furniture
collection encourages movement


École Boulle graduate Benoît Malta has designed a chair with two legs and a light that switches itself off in an effort to tackle the lack of physical activity in modern lifestyles (+ slideshow).

Passive behaviours by Benoit Malta

Aiming to reduce the health issues caused by increasingly sedentary lifestyles, Malta worked with ergonomists and physical therapists to create three products that introduce dynamic activity to typical domestic situations.

"Inactivity seems to be the disease of today," said Malta. "Our ways of living have evolved, and our bodies are less and less active. Our living spaces are conceived with the idea of comfort. My aim was to introduce a 'bearable discomfort' for our wellbeing – discomfort used to put the body in motion and thus out of its chronic stationary postures."

Passive behaviours by Benoit Malta

"I decided to work on different typical situations at home in which it would be interesting to insert physical activity," he added.

Passive behaviours by Benoit Malta

A beech chair with only two legs requires the user to constantly adjust their position to maintain their balance. "The chair proposes another way to sit," Malta told Dezeen. "With only two feet, it seems impossible because it's not stable, but it allows you to use the body as a component of the seat."

Passive behaviours by Benoit Malta

The chair activates muscles in the lower leg and back and encourages an upright, rather than a hunched, sitting position.

Passive behaviours by Benoit Malta

Made in collaboration with cabinet-makers and craftsmen, the chair's seat is shaped using a three-axis Computer Numerically Controlled (CNC) machine. The back is vacuum-formed from laminated beech and the other parts are shaped by hand.

The CNC-cut beech lamp with a disc of mirrored glass contains a mercury switch that turns an LED light on when its elongated handle is moved into a horizontal position.

Passive behaviours by Benoit Malta

An aluminium counter weight system keeps the handle vertical so the light remains lit, but only for a limited period of time, after which the user must move the handle again to turn the light back on.

Passive behaviours by Benoit Malta

"The lamp is inspired by Roman scales," said Malta. "It introduces another gesture in an everyday situation and offers a different perception of the object."

A series of small CNC-cut beech shelves, referencing climbing holds, are designed to be attached to the wall in positions that encourage the user to stretch to reach the things that are stored on them.

Passive behaviours by Benoit Malta

Passive Behaviours was part of Benoît Malta's final project for a Masters Degree in Product Design from the École Boulle in Paris.

  • Aida

    Wow. That designer should really re-evaluate her life.


    Bullsh*t for stupid people.

  • ingrid

    Great project! But I think there is confusion in this article. Benoît is a boy’s name, so it’s “he added” instead of “she added”.

  • DanLeno

    Good stuff.

  • Elliot Morgan

    According to the video, it takes exactly 30 seconds before the user realises “hmm, I’m probably better off enjoying this book on the floor as that is where I’ll end up anyway if I perch here any longer”.

  • Dan Howarth

    Thanks Ingrid, I’ve fixed the typo!


  • Nathaniel Bradford

    Benoît Malta wouldn’t happen to own shares in a wheelchair company would he? Or a rehab for quadriplegics?

  • SirBlazeMore

    God help whoever falls asleep on one of these.

  • Rae Claire

    Another choice for those folks who sit on giant spheres in office environments. But I’ll keep my overstuffed recliner, thank you very much.

  • Romain_M

    There’s a subtle perversity to all of this… like elegant torture instruments. A great way to advertise your sadistic streak in front of your guests!