We’ve all used dining room chairs as ersatz stepladders to change light bulbs or reach that serving platter on the very top shelf. Italian designers studioventotto ran with that concept to come up with a slightly easier-to-use version of the chair stepladder.
The Suppergiù chair was inspired by observing everyday life. The designers knew that dining chairs often served to lift people up to higher heights, and they designed a chair that would require less effort to use in that way. The design is simple and elegant, which is a lot more than you can say for most step ladders, and you don’t have to store it away when it’s not in use.
The Suppergiù looks like a normal dining chair, with lovely light-colored wood making up the seat, backrest and supports. The front half of the seat lifts up and off, then finds a new home resting on the horizontal leg supports below. In chair mode, two cutouts at the front corners keep the front half of the seat in place. In ladder mode, two small pegs hold the wooden piece where it belongs and prevent it from wobbling.
Because the designers wanted to make the chair as simple and easy to produce as possible, the vertical back supports are made from laser-cut thin metal rather than curved wood. The chair is a lovely testament to the idea that great design can be functional, attractive, and affordable – then goes one step further to be delightfully multi-functional.
“Suppergiù comes from the observation of our usual everyday behaviour. To use a chair to reach objects we placed on the top of a shelf is quite common, anyway this situation may evolve in a domestic accident. We observed the current market offer of step-chairs is characterized by the presence of mechanisms (which raises the costs) and an heavily influenced appearance due to the dual function.”