Sit down, unplug and log off: designer comes up with chair that helps us disconnect from the wifi world
A Polish designer has created an “offline chair” that can help people disconnect from the internet, read a book or simply daydream.
There is a growing awareness around the world that too much time spent surfing the web, shopping online or scrolling through social media can have negative consequences, from how people manage their time to their mental health. Popular New Year’s resolutions include spending more time offline – reading, seeing friends or going for a hike – whether that means using an app to limit screen time or leaving your phone outside the bedroom to charge overnight.
Responding to this need, young Polish designer Agata Nowak has designed an “offline chair” that enables users to escape from the constant influx emails and notifications for at least a few minutes.
“Today we spend more and more time looking at the screens of our smartphones. We pull out our smartphones unconsciously whenever we have a free moment, which prevents us from focusing on one thing, and simply from relaxing,” she explains on her website.
The 28-year-old, whose work focuses on furniture, product and exhibition design, studied in Britain and Poland, receiving her bachelor’s degree in Product and Furniture Design from De Montfort University in Leicester and a Masters in Furniture Design at the University of Fine Arts in Poznań. Her designs have featured at exhibitions from Warsaw to Milan.
Her projects respond to “a specific need for the user to deal with new material or technology”, as she puts it.
In this case, she designed an upholstered chair somewhere between a wingback chair and a booth, with a high back and sides. As well as looking smart, the chair has a special feature designed to help users disconnect: an “offline pocket” that blocks mobile and Wi-Fi signals.
Photos on Nowak’s website show the chair upholstered in an elegant grey fabric, with “offline pocket” embroidered on the pocket located on the inside of the chair, where the person sitting on it can leave his or her phone. A clip-on roof made of fabric adds to the feeling of being cocooned.
According to Nowak, the chair “makes you feel safe and isolates you from the surrounding environment”.
The designer is seeking a producer for the chair, which has already featured in leading lifestyle and interiors publications including Vogue and Elle Decor. If it becomes available on a larger scale, it could save users hours of mindless browsing on their phones.