Chairbag Adventures 1- 07.13.06
So i came home the other day, and the mailman had left this bizarre black bag at the door. Puzzled but curious - my first thought was really, WOW what efficient shipping- a simple, black canvasy rectangle of a bag with a zip along the top, and the handles had just been tied (see below). And the labels were just slapped on there. Talk about not wasting any materials to send it over.
Turns out it was a CHAIRBAG. You’ve been seeing it around all the design sites lately, designed by PS Labs of Amsterdam… part buoy, part bouncy kids chair, part giant workout ball, and definite design icon in the making. So thus begins my adventures with the Chairbag, and below is my extensive review with more pics. [also click the pic above to see larger]
These are the straps as it showed up at my doorstep. I’m impressed the mailman didn’t even seen confused by the strange package, but i guess stranger things have shown up before.
Here’s a close up of the tag section, and those two brass bits are the two attachments using either what i guess is a euro bicycle pump, and the one that i used at the gas station.
A pic of the flyer that comes with the bag.
Here’s the Chairbag hanging out in the hallway.
Ok so my breakdown…
PACKAGING: The shipping in the reusable zip bag impressed me, they streamlined this product ready to ship worldwide from Amsterdam to LA in just over a week, and it came looking untouched… not even UPS/FedEx… Regular mail. And no boxes, piles of paper/plastic to dispose of.
MATERIALS: While it is remiscent of buoys and excercise balls - it is much stronger and ready to take “people abuse” than i expected. It is certainly kid-proof/party-proof/weather-proof (well unless you do something ridiculous like stab it with a screw driver. It is after all inflatable furniture)… Which is more than i can say about a lot of designer funiture. Only thing that i guess is inevitable, is that it smells a bit - until it airs out for a few days… nothing like that fresh PVC smell.
DESIGN: Some nice details to this piece… the handle is incredibly useful (even filled with air, this is not exactly super light), and has a nice PS logo subtly etched on the back of that black section as well as on the bottom. The two black feet are cute - but don’t exactly keep you from tipping backwards, you must warn people (more about this later). I was really impressed with the way you fill the chair - the panel on the bottom has little valves you screwed the enclosed attachments to, and while i tried a bicycle pump to fill it initially, i quickly realized how futile that was, and just threw it in the trunk and filled it with air at the gas station.
FUNCTION: Regarding the tipping, i kind of tested it on a few people without warning them, and your center of gravity works against you, but if you have it near a wall its great to lean back. BUT once you try it out, and find your balance (just shift your weight forward a bit) its really fun… and i found that sitting on it backwards is incredibly comfortable and reminds me a lot of the kids toys (see below)… there’s something kind of calming about bouncing while thinking/working on projects… (i also lived on giant excercise balls at my old lab, so this chair fits my working style).
BOTTOM LINE: I’m a big kid. This chair brings out the kid in everyone, adds a very playful (bouncy) feel to the studio - and it simply draws people to come sit/bounce on it - and brings a little of that ocean feel (being buoy-like and all). Everyone who wanders into the room can’t help smiling when they see it, especially as they sit on it… Overall i’m impressed, there is far more to this Chairbag than i expected when i first saw the images online.
RECOMMENDATION: KID’s MINI ONES! Have a few friends who are grade school teachers, and we think this would be far too much fun for kids as well… and it looks far better than those silly Hoppity Balls above. At a smaller scale, the tipping should get better as well. Every class has that special spot that kids will fight for at reading time. This would be that chair.