Sit down next to me

The Chairless 'chair' by Vitra: coming to a park near you
How about this for a summer craze? The Chairless is a strap that loops around your back and knees to make sitting on the ground feel a bit more like sitting on a chair. It's as simple as that - a temporary 'seat' you can roll up and keep in your pocket.

Picture the scene: you're in a park, at a festival, waiting for a train, you want to sit down, but there are no chairs, or handy walls to lean against. What do you do? Normally you would just sit on the ground with your arms hooked around your knees to prevent yourself falling backwards. But sitting like that occupies your hands. 

What if you could sit on the ground, lean back and remain hands-free to read a book or eat your lunch? 


Check out the slick website which invites you to join the party and become... Chairless. It's an intoxicating blend of colourful photographs and authentic backstory, put to a melodic beat. 

And pretty convincing it is too.

The Chairless has got credibility - it was designed by a famous architect Alejandro Aravena. It's got heritage - it was inspired by the Ayoreo Indians of northern Paraguay, who use a length of twine as a seat strap. It's got soul - part of the proceeds go to the indigenous Paraguayans. 

All that for £20. So far, so good. 

The craze of the summer?

Thing is, there's still a part of me that can't help wondering whether this is an elaborate hoax - all that jazz for what is essentially a belt? 

I know it's not a joke because it has been made by high-end design firm Vitra. This is a company which sells chairs costing a few thousand pounds, so selling a seat strap for £20 is a canny idea - and in that context feels like a bargain.

Will people buy into it? I reckon it's one of those things where you either get it - or you don't. And you are unlikely to fall in between. 

Try one out for yourself when it's launched this week at the inaugural Clerkenwell Design Week 25 - 27 May.