Although we can’t guarantee the accuracy of this figure, Japanese company Product Design Center says that the average human will shed 64 liters of tears in a lifetime. To help visualize this, designer Keita Suzuki created the Tear Drop Chair. It consists of a very thin layer of vinyl and 64 liters of water to represent a lifetime of tears.
It may seem a maudlin sentiment, but the Tear Drop Chair is actually quite profound in its layers of meaning. Firstly, the designer envisioned the chair as a way to enjoy nature without harming it. Sitting on the Tear Drop Chair allows one to sit in the grass without damaging the grass. This desire to enjoy nature without harm goes back to Suzuki’s childhood, when he discovered that wrapping newspaper around a tree branch before hanging a rope swing protected the tree from damage.
The chair is also meant to symbolize all of the happy and sad moments of our lives. We cry not only with sorrow, but also with joy and laughter. The Tear Drop Chair is a visual reminder that without the sorrow, we wouldn’t be able to experience joy.
Finally, the designer wanted to give people the surreal experience of sitting on water. Because there is only a very thin barrier holding the water in, it is possible to imagine that you really are perched atop a teardrop. Since water is nature’s lens, the world looks different when seen through a bag of collected tears. The Tear Drop Chair was produced for and exhibited at the Tokyo Midtown “Design Touch 2014” with a theme of “Design x Science x Chair.”