It can be a hard criticism to declare a designer’s product to be a solution looking for a problem, but the leaning rocker is just that. Fortunately this will be brief; there’s not much to the product (or idea) and there’s no need to pad out this discussion; no need to sit down for this one. Okay that’s enough cheeky quips.
Don’t worry, that’s all there is. You’re in luck because this thing has no usb powered … whatever. It’s just half a chair nailed to a wall. That’s pretty much it. But we should analyze the pros and cons of this … device versus its tried and trued competitor: The Chair.
Round 1: Mobility
Most chairs aren’t permanently affixed to the floor (exceptions being things like theatre seating), so the idea that the leaning rocker might be more versatile than a chair goes right out the window. Even if it had a quick-release backing, you’d still have to stick that backing onto the wall; somewhere where you might want to hang a picture instead. Or somewhere where you wouldn’t want to affix a permanent half-chair.
Round 2: Cost
Okay, chairs can be produced for pennies nowadays, but in theory the leaning rocker could be produced for less. This is mostly because it’s pretty much just HALF A CHAIR NAILED TO A WALL. Still …
Winner: Leaning rocker
Round 3: Space
The leaning rocker isn’t going to save you any more space than a chair. Why? Because a person standing reclining on one of these things will take up about as much space as a chair. If the tolerance for how much room you can allow in a room or hallway is dependent on the 6 or so inches you might save with one of these leaning rockers, maybe it’s time you re-approached traffic in that space. Oh, also there are things called folding chairs if you really get in a bind.
Round 4: Comfort
People get tired standing around all day, just ask any cashier at any retail store. The fatigue probably didn’t stem from lack of lumbar support while standing on your feet for 8 hours a day though. Sure, posture and so on have an effect on the amount of discomfort we feel while standing for a long time and people can have bad posture while sitting, but given the choice between this and an actual seat to sit in for minutes or hours at a time, I think there’s a clear winner in comfort.
Round 5: Utility
Alright, so this is kind of an all around category. What is the use of this thing? It basically takes the wall and makes it slightly more comfortable, in the same way that chairs take the idea of sitting on the floor and makes it less awkward (and comfortable too if you have a non crap chair). With the lean rocker though, you’re kind of done after that. It’s not a whole lot better than leaning against a wall, and it takes up a lot of space for that small offering. As mentioned earlier, it’s also immobile; presumably you’d have to space them as far apart as regular chairs so there’s no utility in that either. Also again: Folding chairs. And chairs can be used to change light bulbs. Some of them spin and have wheels. What CAN’T chairs do?
Really, this is something that belonged in someone’s sketch book and probably shouldn’t have made it further than that. Instead, it came to life but was then burdened by the unenviable tasks of having to justify its own existence. If this thing were sentient, it would face a depressing bout of existential self-doubt, followed by a maddening spiral into nihilism. In short, this idea sits at the top of flawesome products.
Via Yanko Design2 Comments
Chances are you’re on a computer right now. Behind this window (and probably a dozen other windows) is something called a desktop. Like a desk, it can be messy or clean and contain a bunch of tools that you use for fun or productivity. This concept is loosely translated to mobile devices; the organization is better, the ‘desktop’ is smaller, but the symbolism is the same. Now, let’s transfer that concept BACK to the desk. A real physical desk. Okay a table. Confused? Befuddled? Annoyed? Still in the mood for a name that’s a mash up of two words? ADAPTable by MAMIKIM & CO.
Here’s how ADAPTable is described on the MAMIKIM website:
ADAPTable is based on the playful concept of customising the work space to best suit an individual’s needs.
The work surface consists of six A4 sized modular panels slotted into the main structure.
The collection of modular panels available are each designed to fulfil a different range of functions.
So yes, it has lots of modular opportunities to customize your table to suit your needs. There’s another product on the market that’s very similar to the ADAPTable that does roughly the same thing but doesn’t require modular assembly. It’s called a Table. Yes, for the low low price of whatever you can find on craigslist (or Ikea. Or anywhere). You too can own your very own Table. It also comes with a variety of options, for example: Anything you can imagine that can be put on a table.
Okay, modularity has been this design mantra for whatever reason for quite some time. Some times that’s good, especially when it lowers cost and makes sense (like in IKEA furniture). Sometimes it’s not. This is a latter case, because presumably, you’d have a library of these table pieces that you’d have to assemble for optimized table… work. Alternatively, if you rarely had to change your modular table, then what’s the point of having these different modules in the first place? Even the modules on display are boring. A dip to hold pens and pencils? A cup holder? You know what else works as a cup holder? Flat surfaces.
I am redundant and so am I
The main problem that makes this table Flawesome is that it doesn’t do anything better than what a table already does. If anything it’s worse. Putting pieces together leads to uneven surfaces; so don’t draw over any of the divides. It also locks you in more than frees you to optimize. Guess you can only do grid work on that one part of the table now. Everything that the ADAPTable does can be done by just putting something on a table. It’s the equivalent of having remotes built into a sofa’s arms: amusing to think about, but pointlessly impractical.
Customization isn’t bad. Modularity isn’t bad. But this project smells of design for design’s sake. The question being asked here is not “What if we could design something better?” but “What if we could design something different?”. Difference isn’t good enough. That’s the low bar. As designers, we should reach higher.
Via MAMIKIM & CONo comments