This year’s RIT Metaproject had students teaming up with Herman Miller to design office furnishings that would increase workplace productivity by focusing on inter-office relationships. One piece in particular was a standout: the Invitation Chair by Alexander Bennett.

One Chair Becomes Two With A Simple Swivel in main home furnishings  Category

Alexander told me that he realized that people often share screens and his chair enabled people to briefly and comfortably share their seat with another person in order to demonstrate something on their computer screen. Essentially the chair goes from one butt to two butts with a quick swivel. Even the backrest splits to comfortably give the second sitter an ergonomic experience. Plus, it’s lightweight and features a handle on the backrest for easy portability.

One Chair Becomes Two With A Simple Swivel in main home furnishings  Category

One Chair Becomes Two With A Simple Swivel in main home furnishings  Category

One Chair Becomes Two With A Simple Swivel in main home furnishings  Category

Here’s what Bennett has to say about his design:

The office serves as a hub of interaction, much of it predicated on digitally mediated conversations. An object within that context should further encourage and enhance those interactions. The Invitation Chair allows for the creation of a temporary shared space to collaborate, by allowing a user to share their seat with someone. The chair facilitates short bursts of interaction between two people who must focus their attention upon a computer screen while seated. By making it easier for workers to collaborate including the computer as a ‘third entity’. The Invitation Chair promotes a stronger workplace camaraderie and encourages creative thinking.

One Chair Becomes Two With A Simple Swivel in main home furnishings  Category

One Chair Becomes Two With A Simple Swivel in main home furnishings  Category

What I love most about this is the ability to create two things from one. Imagine the possibilities of this for small spaces! Let’s hope Herman Miller can get this piece into production.

Photos by Elizabeth Lamark/RIT Photo Production Services.