Single-purpose products have a particular appeal to them. They’re simple to use because they only have a single functionality, so there’s little to no room for misunderstandings or mistakes. These kinds of things can often afford to have more elaborate designs because designers can focus on things other than functionality that is inherently simple and fixed. At the same time, however, these products can also be a waste of space and material, especially when they can do a little more than what they’re designed for. Of course, these different functions still need to present a coherent theme, like this chair and carrying tool that is useful for outdoor activities, whether you’re sitting on it or not.
Designers: Sangeun Park, Minseo Kang, Junsang Park, Do hoon Kim
Given how outdoor activities have become trendy these days, it’s no surprise that there has also been a rise in interest surrounding outdoor equipment. From lamps to tools to grills to even portable power generators, more and more people have started to look into products that they can take with them for a road trip or weekend camping. When you’re packing for a trip or an outdoor activity, you often have even less space than you would at home. In cases like these, multi-functional products that save space and time are preferred, and a chair that does something when not in use is probably going to be a hot item for regular campers.
When it’s completely unfolded, the Chair – A looks like a typical foldable camping chair. It’s not going to be the most comfortable, of course, with a fabric seat and an absence of a backrest, but that’s to be expected from space-saving chairs like these. Unfortunately, even such a chair would become extra luggage you have to carry around since it won’t have any purpose when it’s folded up. This particular design concept, however, is anything but useless, and it can actually become a tool that helps you carry your luggage instead.
The Chair – A can be “half folded” into a form that almost resembles a “jigae” or a traditional Korean carrying tool. It is practically a frame that lets you load more things on your back without having to cram them into your backpack or have them dangling precariously from bags. This kind of tool has been used to easily transport loads of firewood, and its design hasn’t really changed at all in the past centuries. This chair, however, applies an A-frame design that makes the carrier look a bit more aesthetic while also providing more stability.
Of course, you shouldn’t be carrying more load than your back can support, but the Chair – A’s design, particularly its arms, does help shift the weight a bit to prevent strain and injury. And when you’re really done camping and carrying, it still folds completely flat so that it can be conveniently stored in cramped spaces. It’s not exactly a revolutionary design, and it even borrows ideas from tools that have existed for a long, long time. Still, even that slight change gives a camping chair another purpose even when you’re not sitting on it.