The sheer number of cell phones present in our everyday lives means that we hear others’ conversations more than we would care to. It also means that your own conversations are often overheard more than you might think. Dutch designer Ruud van Wier created a chair that could help all of us regain a bit of privacy in our constantly-connected world.
The Firstcall Chair is shaped like an old-fashioned phone handset, immediately forming a visual connection between the chair and its purpose. The “earpiece” and “mouthpiece” provide an upper privacy enclosure and armrests, respectively.
Although it’s described as a place to sit and make short phone calls, the soft cushions would make it easy and appealing to sink into the chair and lounge while you chat. The chair comes in a variety of colors for €3,650 (just a bit over $5,000 US). Its most likely applications wold be in noisy airport lounges or public meeting places where privacy is difficult to find.
A second, and perhaps more important, function of the chair is to remind us to sit down and take time to pay attention to our conversations. Rather than walking around and multitasking while we talk (and, consequently, subjecting everyone around us to our conversations) why not sit down and take a few moments to really focus on conversing and making a human connection – even if it is through technology?