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 private conversation is 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?
Chair designs like this are starting to pop up a lot more, and thank the heavens for that. We absolutely need more semi-private spaces within public places like airports, train stations, waiting rooms and lobbies. But the designer takes the private, head-enveloping shell chair one step further with the fun phone-shaped design, and that’s what makes it a standout item. Would you feel more comfortable making a private call in this chair than in any other ordinary public seating?