Reinventing the chair

Tired of hunching over your office chair or trying to get comfortable at the dinner table? British duo BarberOsgerby have designed a new chair that gives form to fidgeting.

“There are so many bloody chairs,” says Jay Osgerby, of British design team BarberOsgerby, “you don’t really need another one.” At least so he and partner Ed Barber thought, when they were researching furniture ideas for an academy in Tipton in the Midlands. Yet somehow the pair, who met as disgruntled architecture students at the Royal College of Art, have managed to invent a whole new genre — not quite rocking, not quite stationary.

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“It’s a tipping chair,” says Osgerby. “We didn’t think it was revolutionary, but the interest has been enormous.”

The appropriately named Tip Ton, soon to go into production for Vitra, allows users — be they home office workers, dinner party guests or restless school kids — to sit in two stable positions: one sitting back, one leaning forward. “It keeps your back straight,” explains Barber, “but the movement increases blood flow, meaning you get more blood to the brain and increased concentration.”

The duo currently have an exhibition of conceptual sculptural pieces, inspired by the structures of boats and aircraft, at Haunch of Venison, Burlington Gardens, London W1 until 26 November, haunchofvenison.com