Teeter and Tot: Playful Office Furniture

Teeter and Tot are chairs designed for an office lounge space to revitalize risky play in everyday adult lives.

Teeter & Tot in Office

Teeter and Tot look unsuspecting as chairs. When sat on, they unexpectedly collapse. George Duan and Megan Lee designed Teeter and Tot chairs for office lounge spaces to revitalize risky play in everyday adult lives. The person who sits on Teeter or Tot will experience a sudden, unexpected drop. This falling sensation will inevitably send a strong adrenaline rush through his or her body. Sitting on Teeter and Tot is a chance for adults to experience something unexpected, exciting, and fun in their mundane office lives.

We carefully designed the structure of these chairs to ensure the safety of users, while creating risky, fun experiences for them. Through several prototype iterations, we adjusted the mechanism of the chairs to drop in height just enough to surprise users, but not fall off the chair. Teeter and Tot are upholstered from head to toe with soft materials to absorb the shock from the drop while providing another layer of safety protection for users.

George fall from Teeter Tot

Tot from Teeter&Tot

Megan Lee fall from Teeter Tot

Prompt

Choose one play value that (in your observations) is inaccessible to adults. Design and prototype something to serve this need.

Process

We began by listing different play values we found to be inaccessible to adults. We decided to focus primarily on the risky play. We were interested in designing for this play value as many examples of risky play in adult life are not necessarily safe (i.e. skydiving, bungee jumping, drag racing). In addition, we wanted to design for an exploratory play. We noted that as time passes, risky play evolves into exploratory play.

We decided to design a furniture collection for an office lounge space centered around risky play, intended to provide a safe yet unexpected way for adults to experience and explore risk. Our main concept involved furniture with collapsing legs that would give the user a surprised feeling when sat on. After this surprise, they would be able to use the chair functionally and be invited to explore further uses.

 We modified a few chairs that we got from Saver and built our low-resolution prototype chairs to test out our idea. We placed spring in different place of the chairs to understand the functionality of the spring placement.

After testing out first two initial low-resolution prototypes, we built scale models to experiment more with the spring placement and proportion. With the information that we gathered from testing the first prototypes and scale models, we built our higher resolution chair for further testing the sitting experience.
At the same time, we created mini leg prototypes to test our upholstered spring mechanism.

George Duan making scale models

George Duan's sketch

Testing