Space is at a premium, whether it’s at home, in the office, or even in classrooms. Never mind working desks, sometimes there’s not even enough space for more than a few chairs at a time. Common chairs designed for mass production aren’t exactly the most comfortable, nor are they the most versatile when it comes to functionality. Admittedly, it’s not that easy to execute multiple functions in a single product without risking its overall usability. Sit’n’Switch is a concept design that dares to take that risk, proposing a chair that can be used in a few different ways while still maintaining its sleek and modern aesthetic that makes it ideal not just for classrooms but even for workspaces or even your bedroom.
Designer: Shakthi Monesh
There are different chairs in classrooms that serve different purposes. There are plain, armless chairs that are often paired with desks, and there are chairs that have stationary or movable arm desks that are OK for writing on notebooks but not always for typing on laptops. There are also more typical chairs that can be stacked on top of each other when not in use, such as the stereotypical plastic Monobloc, but these are neither comfortable nor flexible in accommodating different sitting positions.
The Sit’n’Switch concept tries to accommodate all these cases with a single design that manages to look appealing despite trying to check multiple boxes at the same time. In its most basic configuration, it is an armless wooden chair with a wide seat and a padded backrest. Its general shape is similar to those Monobloc chairs, sans the arms, so they can also be stacked together to free up space when they’re not in use.
The trick is that the upper half of that backrest can fold down, transforming into a flat surface that can be used as a desk. Although it does mean that you have to turn around and sit “backward” with the central rail in between your legs, it is a lot more convenient for a desk, especially since it’s placed in the center rather than presuming that everyone is right-handed.
The design has another trick up its sleeve when you combine four of these chairs together in a cross arrangement with the desks facing inward. This forms a makeshift bench table for more collaborative activities, which is common in classrooms and office environments. The absence of arms and the wide seat lets Sit’n’Switch accommodate almost any sitting position, making it a versatile piece of furniture, whether for work, study, or just lounging around.