Browsing at Herman Miller outlet online there were a variety of very unique chairs such as the Aeron chair, Yves Behar’s SAYL chair, and the Eames Lounge Chair. Although they were all very intriguing and amazing examples of industrial design, making typical accent chairs with arms, dining room chairs, kitchen or office chairs all look like some of the most boring sitting devices that you would see in Target or Walmart’s clearance section. There was something different about these chairs… and then as I kept scrolling there was one chair that really caught my eye, which looked more as an experience than just an object to sit on and that was the Spun chair.
In the video above Thomas Heatherwick states “There was no intention to design a chair”. The Spun chair was actually a result of an experiment, as opposed to being thought up to be a sitting device. Eventually the experiment did develop into a chair that I had never seen or experienced before. It’s basically the furniture version of a rollercoaster, because you feel surprise, uncertainty, joy, euphoria, thrill, all within a few seconds, which we don’t typically experience while sitting in a chair. The Spun chair has been designed to purposefully be unstable that rotates on its axis and rim, so it literally spins around you, making you feel as though you’ll fall at any moment, but the chair never actually tips over. That, we think, is some seriously incredible design engineering. At first when you spin it gives you a rush of adrenaline and releases endorphins that give you a sense of childhood joy. As soon as you are into the second half of the turn, reality sets in and you’re awareness makes you feel as though you’re going to topple backwards, but fortunately for the user, you never do.
Thomas Heatherwick of Heatherwick Studios for Magis designed the Spun chair back in 2010. It’s intriguing that when you stand it in an upright position, it doesn’t appear to be a chair at all, only does it become a chair when it is inclined. This rare type of chair would find itself fitting in in domestic spaces, as well as commercial ones too, being both indoor and outdoor friendly (can you imagine having one in your bedroom?!). It’s built using rotational molding with polyethylene and has lines or bands across the surface that have multiple purposes. The texture itself is the prevention technique used as to keep the user from slipping off of the chair. The lines also provide good grip for both your backside and your hands, because as you rotate you will surely find yourself hanging on for dear life. The ribbed lines equip the Spin chair to play with light and shade, making it look literally like blurred lines from the spinning chair!
Watch the above video for a break down from Thomas Heatherwick on the creation process for the Spun chair. The video was directed by Juriaan Booij.