Mantis is a dining chair that looks more like an alien robot at your service

The primary consideration when picking chairs is, of course, their comfort. With all things being equal in that regard, however, many also make their choice based on their appearance or how well they will match the rest of their furniture. That’s especially true with dining chairs since they’re supposed to go with dining tables. There’s no hard rule on that, though, and some people might actually prefer contrasting or varying themes to spice up life and spark conversation. This dining chair is definitely a good example of the latter, looking almost unstable and unearthly with its bent legs and segmented parts that might resemble a robot more than a piece of furniture.

Designer: Troy Smith

Chairs, just like tables, are supposed to convey a sense of stability and confidence that they won’t topple over or come crashing down when you sit on them. That’s why in most cases, the legs of chairs are designed to be wide, sturdy, and whole, with feet that are almost always flat. This dining chair design throws all those conventions outside the window and almost evokes the opposite emotions. At the same time, it also appears to challenge the viewer to have a little bit more confidence in going beyond what the eyes see.

The dining chair is called “Mantis,” most likely because of how its segmented legs and arms resemble those of the insect. One variant even shares the same green and yellow motif. Perhaps another association between the chair and the insect is how the piece of furniture leans back rather than standing straight, almost like how a mantis’ body is in a perpetual state of leaning forward. Unlike the insect, however, the legs end in soft spheres rather than sharp feet, though it might make one worry that the chair will slide all over the place.

It might also remind others of robots that have likewise been associated with living creatures, like Boston Dynamics’ infamous BigDog and Spot. The ink-stained hardwood, either in blue or green, almost makes it look metallic, reinforcing that image of a machine at pause rather than a static piece of furniture. Compared to the powder-coated stainless steel of the blue variant, the mirror-polished brass contrasts nicely with the green chair and gives it a bit more personality. In both cases, color-matching leather offers some physical comfort to what looks like an uneasy chair.

The Mantis dining chair will definitely give your guests something to talk about with its unconventional and almost bizarre appearance. Unlike the state of rest associated with chairs, there is almost a sense of dynamism here, as if the chair is ready to spring to life at any given moment. It’s undoubtedly a great conversation starter, but whether they’ll actually want to sit on it during their meals is going to be a different question entirely.