The future of chairs: Dubai students reimagine seating

The future of chairs: Dubai students reimagine seating
Published: 27 November 2019 - 6:45 a.m.

Five Dubai Institute of Design and Innovation (DIDI) students have won a competition to reimagine ergonomic, wellbeing-focused chairs.

The students won Herman Millar and DIDI’s six-week competition – the region’s first design challenge to celebrate traditional workers.

Mohammed Baazim, Yangkai Zhang, Zeina Issa & Hashir Pervez, Zeina Issa & Hashir Pervez, Agma Aju and Noor Al Fahim won the competition.

Baazim’s designed a chair called A Sitting Device. Made from wood and fibre gel, it has an organic shape and adapts to an array of natural bodily impulses and aims to perform well in different postures.

Zhang created the Spider Baby Walker, designed for toddlers learning to walk. The seat gives children more range of motion and protects their limbs for improved growth. It has a soft memory foam seat and the plastic legs have three hinged parts to customise and adjust height and width.

Zeina Issa & Hashir Pervez created a chair for breastfeeding mothers seeking privacy in public. It is composed of a cocoon-like structure, which provides enclosure while maintaining an airy characteristic. The outer structure is made of elastic fabric stretched over bent pipes and a hinge enables easy opening and closing.

Agma Aju created The Twiddle, a chair designed for people who fidget. It allows motion and wobbling in many directions to help users release their energy, but limiting movement to avoid falling or tipping.

Noor Al Fahim created a chair with aluminium sheets and perforated holes that takes individual height and weight percentiles into account.

On the five winning chairs, Chris Morley, head of design at Herman Miller said: “The competition has brought out some great designs, out-of-the-box thinking and really intriguing concepts.”

Hani Asfour, dean of DIDI, added: “It is very important for our students to engage in industry led challenges for real world experience like this highly educative project with Herman Miller, and for this opportunity we are truly grateful. We are very proud of the results of this collaboration, and hope to continue to provide opportunities for our students that complement our curriculum.”

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