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A Slime Mold-Inspired Innovative Seating System | SIT(UATION)

FDT Bureau

At this year’s NYCxDesign festival, local designer Riley Hooker unveiled an innovative seating system titled SIT(UATION), crafted in collaboration with designer Nick Meehan and fabricated by Rhode Island design studio Pneuhouse. The inspiration behind this modular and adaptable seating arrangement draws from the remarkable behaviour of slime mold, a single-cell organism that exhibits remarkable collective action in times of crisis. Know more about it on FURNITURE DESIGN AND TECHNOLOGY (FDT).

Installed at Creative Time HQ (CTHQ), a hub for art and politics in Manhattan’s Lower East Side, SIT(UATION) serves as a flexible gathering space. Comprising large, worm-like inflatable volumes interconnected by zippers, the seating system allows for versatile configurations, promoting interaction and collaboration among users. Hooker’s vision for SIT(UATION) emphasizes collective authorship and cooperation, reflecting the ethos of forming communal bonds in response to adversity. The design echoes elements of radical architecture movements from the 1960s and 70s, as well as alternative education practices and mutual aid initiatives.

The seating’s vibrant yellow colour and organic forms evoke the resilience and adaptability of slime mold colonies, which exhibit sophisticated problem-solving abilities despite lacking a centralized brain. This metaphorical connection underscores the seating’s purpose as a space for communal engagement and collective storytelling. Textural pillows and cushions, adorned with animal and floral prints, enhance the sensory experience for visitors, inviting them to relax and connect with their surroundings. The arrangement of the seating on a lavender shag rug further contributes to the inviting ambiance, creating a cozy environment conducive to conversation and reflection.

Hooker and Meehan’s collaborative process involved iterative design exploration, culminating in the realization of SIT(UATION) through inflatable construction. This innovative approach opened up new possibilities for the project's form and function, facilitating its adaptation to diverse environments and contexts.

Image credit: Mario Miron

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Furniture Design India and the magazine FURNITURE DESIGN & TECHNOLOGY (FDT magazine) are from the trusted 22-year-old media house of SURFACES REPORTER and PLY REPORTER.

FDT is a B2B monthly bilingual magazine from India that shares the pulse of the furniture business in India and connects the manufacturers, OEMS, product designers, architects, showrooms, designers and dealers.

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