Dezeen Magazine

Masahiko Ito redesigns school chair to improve posture and tackle fidgeting

Masahiko Ito redesigns school chair to improve posture and reduce fidgeting

Kingston School of Art graduate Masahiko Ito has created a saddle-shaped chair for school children, which is designed to maximise concentration and improve posture.

Called Saddle Seat, the chair features a narrow, curved body that resembles the shape of a horse saddle.

"Saddle Seat is a new archetype school chair that provides good posture and encouraging movement in order to maximise concentration" said Ito, who studied Product and Furniture Design at Kingston School of Art.

"It leverages design to tackle both physical and mental issues that are currently overrunning our culture."

When designing the chair, Ito looked at the relationship between posture and concentration.

"I noticed that we naturally want to fidget and to move around in our chairs, for instance when we concentrate on our teacher, we tend to sit in a more alert position towards the front of our chair in a kind of riding position, while when we reflect, we tend to recline," he said.

The structure of the Saddle Seat encourages children to sit upright, which Ito believes is important to maintaining interest and concentration while sitting.

The product is made of three components: the seat, the frame and the back. Each part was chosen to have the lowest carbon footprint and waste.

Masahiko Ito redesigns school chair to improve posture and tackle fidgeting

The frame is made from one continuous piece of steel tubing and is available in pink, blue and orange.

The seat is crafted from oil-finished birch plywood, while the back support – a cylindrical tube – is made of solid timber. "Students will be able to enjoy the ageing of wooden components and cultivate a sense of care and longevity," said Ito.

"A slumped posture makes people feel more fearful, passive and dull due to lower level of physiological stimulus," said Ito.

"In later life, poor posture can act back issues, slipped discs and more serious diseases such as heart disease and colon cancer."

Saddle Seat was on show at New Designers week two, which took place between 4 and 7 July 2018. Other graduate projects created this year include a series of brass tools that aim to encourage muscle memory to help train dancers and a portable cooking set for kitchenless millennials.