Continuum – Joey Zeledón
Coat Check Chair
Coat Check Chair
The Coat Check Chair recombines the plastic hangers and the steel closet rod from a standard closet in a way that creates a new purpose. Coat Check Chair brings these ordinary objects out into the open and features them in a way that is unexpected and useful.
This design achieves something that is always notable when done well – it makes us see a highly familiar object in a completely new way. This witty, delightful, and playful piece of design is guaranteed to evoke a smile. It incorporates an off-the-shelf, inexpensive, everyday object – the hanger – and yet, the overall value is hugely enhanced due to the commonplace nature of the building block.
Coat Check Chair
1. Summarize the problem you set out to solve. What was the challenge posed to you? Did it get you excited and why?
My challenge was to design an experience that brought the closet to life. I wanted to bring the elements of the closet out of the closet, and into the foreground of a person’s daily routine.
2. What point of view did you bring to the challenge? Was there anything additional that you wanted to achieve with this project or bring to this project that was not part of the original brief?
The idea for this concept is actually rooted in my childhood. I clearly remember my mother scolding me for draping my coat and other articles of clothing over the backs of chairs and onto the floor. Thus, creating small behavior change was a big mindset in the overall approach to this challenge.
3. When designing this project, whose interests did you consider? (Discuss various stakeholders, audiences, retailing, manufacturing, assembly, distribution, etc., for example.)
I wanted to design something that was truly universal. Taking such a familiar, everyday pair of objects - the clothes hanger and closet rod - connects the design emotionally to anyone who wears clothing.
4. Describe the rigor that informed your design. (Research, ethnography, subject matter experts, materials exploration, technology, iteration, testing, etc., as applicable.) If this was a strictly research or strategy project, please provide more detail here.
Proving that someone can sit on plastic hangers and not break them was the main challenge in designing the chair. When grouped together, the hangers become very supportive, yet maintain the right amount of “give” to be comfortable. Then, when the person gets up, the hangers have enough resilience and physical memory to return to their original form.
5. What is the social value of your design? (Gladdening, educational, economic, paradigm-shifting, sustainable, labor-mindful, environmental, cultural, etc.) How does it earn its keep in the world?
The real value in this chair is that it’s not just another designer chair, but a simple, elegant system designed to promote better behavior and tidier living that actually makes people smile when they see it.
6. If you could have done one thing differently with the project, what would you have changed?
I don’t think I would have changed anything in the existing design at this point, but I would like to make a children’s version of the chair. It would basically be a scaled down version of the original, using smaller hangers for smaller clothes. I would also like to create a Coat Check Chair collection, where I would experiment with different materials; for example, using bamboo for the hangers.