This Chair Allows Plants to Grow On it And Puts Nature Before Human Needs

Notice that cool abstract design on the chair? It’s not just some fabric, it’s real plants! 3 design students from the University of Gothenburg in Sweden changed the narrative of chairs for humans. Why do chairs always have to be used for us to come sit on them? We’re all taught that plants are living beings right? What if these living things could practically bring furniture to life? This chair is a unique piece of furniture that prioritizes plant life over human occupants by allowing them to grow on it.

Designers: Alice Hultqvist, Emelie Sjöberg and Linnea Nilsson

The Chia-Chair is different from regular chairs. Instead of cushions or upholstery, the chair has a seat and backrest that are composed of a knitted, knotted tube that doubles as a planting bed for chia seeds. The idea is to let the plants be the main users of the chair, and humans are just visitors. The designers emphasize that humans should approach it with respect, recognizing that it’s a living thing.

Hultqvist, Sjöberg, and Nilsson, all students in the MA Design program at HDK-Valand, the University of Gothenburg’s art and design academy, showcased their creations at the Making Transparency exhibition. This event, hosted in the student-focused Greenhouse section of the Stockholm Furniture Fair, explored posthumanist design principles.

The inspiration behind the Chia-Chair arose from the designers’ contemplation of humanity’s negative impact on the planet. They acknowledged that throughout the last century, humans have prioritized their needs at the expense of nature and wildlife, leading to severe consequences. The Chia-Chair, therefore, serves as a symbolic gesture, aiming to redress the balance by placing the plant at the forefront and demanding reciprocity from its human users.

yanko design images to size – Chia_chair_furntiure_05

Constructed with an ash wood frame and a wool sock filled with polyester stuffing as the cushion, the Chia-Chair offers a distinctive aesthetic. The chia seeds, mixed with water, were planted in the knitted structure, and the designers diligently watered them twice daily. To maintain optimal growing conditions, a plastic cover was placed over the chair overnight to retain moisture.

While the Chia-Chair may be more of a statement piece than a functional item, the designers foresee a future where greenery becomes integral to our living spaces. In an era of increasing urbanization that disconnects people from nature, incorporating natural elements into furniture and homes is seen as a natural progression.

The Chia-Chair serves as a thought-provoking exploration of the relationship between humans and nature. By prioritizing plant life over human comfort, the designers challenge us to reconsider our impact on the environment and encourage a more harmonious coexistence with the natural world.