Social Chair by Yvonne Hung
The Social Chair is designed for apartment dwellers who love to host. It is one chair that transforms into three for when guests visit.
This project was an open brief to design a chair, loosely defined as an object that can be sat on. I started thinking about what a chair signified – a single chair can represent a place for rest and solitude, but a group of chairs indicates a social and engaging environment. Humanbeings need both types of spaces to flourish. I’ve always lived in big cities. I was born in Hong Kong, grew up in San Francisco, and lived in New York and London. In cities like these, housing is not only expensive, but small. Most people live in apartments. And while big cities are exhilarating places to live, I realized that loneliness was a prevalent problem. Perhaps that is exasperated by social media and digital communication because interactions are now more often virtual than physical. It also doesn’t help that flats tend to be small, and there’s no space to invite people over.
So, I designed the Social Chair to encourage apartment dwellers to invite friends to hangout at their home, regardless of how small their homes might be. The home is a most personal space, and there’s nothing more intimate than inviting your friends over. The design process was completely analog. No CAD or rapid prototyping were used. Instead, the form and materials were developed through iterations of sketches and physical models. I ultimately chose metal for its flexibility to create curves, and textiles to create softness that would appropriate for the home.