Stool designed for quick escapes

Designer Yi-Fei Chen has designed a chair that will explode if you sit on it for too long. This way she can easily get away from an awkward, social situation. The project is intended to symbolise her struggle with social anxiety.

The stool is made out of wood topped by a cushion stuffed with foam pellets. As you sit on it, it will slowly inflate. When not being used, the cushion will deflate but will explode when someone sits on it for too long.

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On the side of the chair there is a a glass tube in which you can pour water; this triggers a valve to release air and stop the seat from exploding. This causes the seat to shrink slightly and gives the user a constant excuse to leave a conversation to fetch more water.

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The designer wanted the chair to represent the build-up of anxiety and social pressure that she herself feels in group situations. “I was actually inspired by a smoker,” she says. “I wanted to create something that’s like my cigarette. It needs to be something that you see in social occasions a lot, and that only one person can use, so I think a chair is the perfect thing.”

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References (including photos) and for more reading:
https://www.dezeen.com/2017/11/02/yi-fei-chen-excuse-me-stool-chair-furniture-social-anxiety-dutch-design-week/

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