Here’s an interesting piece of furniture: Michael Cooper‘s Pack Horse chair not only features a built-in bookshelf, but it also has straps to hold down a blanket and side compartments to keep various objects in place. Even though books are pictured, I’m already contemplating which snacks I could fit around the sides. Bags of chips seem most viable, but I am also open to candy and cookies.
You can even hide more snacks—maybe the ones you’re more ashamed to be eating—in a hidden compartment under the seat. Or you could use it for more practical items like sketching tools.
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Cooper is a recent Building Crafts College grad where he studied Fine Woodwork and Furniture Making for two years, but before that, he worked in journalism for around 15 years. He just showed his debut furniture collection, Analogue Living, at New Designers in London a few weeks ago. Cooper focuses on designing “active” furniture that gently encourages analogue activities. He describes his work as, “Furniture and objects that can more subtly than directly encourage people to spend time away from their screens and always on lifestyles.”
For the Pack Horse’s materials, Cooper used European oak, reclaimed birch plywood from the V&A Museum, Merino wool felt and cotton rope.
“I think furniture has the opportunity to play a meaningful role in redressing the balance between positive analogue behaviors and the constraints imposed by our digital heads-down behavior though suggestive and charming aesthetics and textural cues.”
I think I’m so focused on snacks here because of the last time I waited in line for an extended amount of time. I left my apartment that morning with a tiny kid’s IKEA chair jammed inside a zip-up IKEA bag that I transformed into a backpack. This “backpack” also contained snacks and water to last me the duration of my experience.
Everyone in line gave me funny looks until about three hours in when their hunger began taking over and their legs weakened. My snacks were eventually stolen. With the Pack Horse chair, I could have simply stored inferior snacks in the outside compartments as a trap—when people inevitably stole those snacks, the joke would be on them since within the secret compartment would be a stash of carefully curated, more superior snacks. If the Pack Horse chair were somehow easily transportable and included a cup holder, it would have been the ideal upgrade to my makeshift setup. Hindsight is 20/20.