A private space in a public place.
Nook is a chair that mysteriously reveals its intent through interaction and also provides users with a private space without completely isolating the user. Surfaces repurpose themselves and provide the user with an intriguing experience throughout the entire process of using the chair.
As a completely designed experience, Nook provokes intrigue, mystery, discovery and comfort throughout its use.
This project began with a reflection of self and was inspired by a hectic open layout studio space with the questions:
“How can I create a private space without completely isolating the user?”
“How can I create a new, exciting experience of using a chair?”
Typically when a chair is used, a person simply sees it, then sits on it. It’s quite simple, boring, and most people do it without any conscious thought or appreciation for the experience.
With Nook, the user is immediately intrigued by the initial form, but might not yet know its full functionality. Curiosity begins to bubble and users feel compelled to touch and prod the unique exterior skin with the intent of discovering the chair’s purpose through investigation. As the user begins to sit into the chair, an exciting fear develops as he/she doesn’t know just how deep the seat might be. However, the person is quickly assured with the underlying structure and can continue to sink in deeper. As the user sinks deeper into the chair, the armrests begin to reveal themselves and suspend the users’ elbows in the newly formed “elbow hammocks”. The head floats on the newly formed headrest and the user find him/herself inside their own private space, resting comfortably.
Research informing Nook
Insights into the nature of privacy informed the exterior shape of Nook. Initial research allowed me to understand that creating a sense of privacy in the chosen context would, at the very least, require the user to see the edges of the chair in their peripheral vision. After mapping out the limits of a number of users’ peripheral vision, a template was created which informed the shape of the outer edges of the chair. The shape of the interior edges and the “elbow hammocks” were also informed by user testing.
To maintain an intimate understanding of the materials, scale, proportion, and function, a conscious decision was made to develop this chair without the use of computer aided design software.
Nook makes the previously mundane experience of using a chair exciting again. It does this without compromising functionality or purpose.
Our lives are filled with mundane experiences and objects that don’t promote exploration or discovery. However,I imagine a world in which we can experience everyday things as if we’ve never done them before. A world in which we are continually challenged and in child-like state of discovery!
Nook is the first step.
“How can I create a private space without completely enclosing the user?”
5:1 Scale Prototypes
Informing the Design
To strike the perfect balance between providing a private space while remaining a sense of openness, the peripheral vision of people was mapped and used to inform the shape of the extents of the chair.
Resolving Forms – Rough Mock-Ups