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If You’re Reading This Then You Probably Own A Chair

Photo by Peter van der Sluijs

Like most people I know, you probably own a chair – something quite fundamental to most homes or is it?

The internet is an elite organisation; most of the population of the world has never made a phone call. Noam Chomsky

This quote struck a chord with me.

Many of us in the western world operate in a bubble. We think that we can enhance our lives digitally. Accessing all we need on-line from working, ordering food and shopping for clothes. We even buy our next holiday, and keep in contact with friends and family digitally.

Doesn’t everyone do this with the occasional foray into the physical world?  But most of the world doesn’t live this way – the majority don’t even own computers.

You Probably Own a Chair

A discussion that I once had during my training as a furniture maker, raised an interesting observation. One that chimes with the quote above. That most people in the world do not even own a chair

For a westerner (and a budding furniture maker), this sounded ridiculous.  Even in 2013 when the world’s urban population has just pipped its rural population, it is most likely still true.

I believe that as you spend time developing an expertise in any field, the more tightly focused and myopic to other ideas and realities you become.   Something that a designer cannot afford to do, especially when trying to develop ideas.

Most people in the world do not even own a chair…. But for most people reading this, you probably do.


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