The smartphone’s omnipresent connection to text messages, Twitter, and email can make our time off lounging around the living room feel a lot like our time on working at the office. And so designer Agata Nowak has crafted a provocative intervention. It’s called the Offline Chair. And in addition to its tall upholstered sides and hoodie-style roof, which are designed to block out the noises around you, there’s a special pocket for your smartphone, lined in material that will extinguish radio signals and forcibly cut your connection to the digital world.
Is it really so hard to turn off our phones or put them in Do Not Disturb mode? No, and yes. No, because the gesture takes only a moment. But how many of us actually have the self-control and mindfulness to cut off our own lifelines to the internet?
What’s ultimately so appealing about the Offline Chair is that it could be an automatic and invisible intervention for our own bad habits–an internet limiter, built right into our furniture. Imagine if it needed no pocket slot. You could just sit in your lounge chair and know that you could read, watch TV, or have an old-fashioned, face-to-face chat without being interrupted. There’d be no need to decide to silence your phone; your decision to relax in your favorite chair would ripple through the UX of your life.
Now we just need ’em for movie theaters.