Prooff’s Ear Chair

For those of us who like a feeling of communion no matter how large the space, Dutch company Prooff is listening. They are committed to designing "intimate dialogue for public space," advocating for the personal within the crowd. Their first endeavor in this largely philosophical plan is the #001 EarChair, a lounge whose ears "create a special room within the room." Originally designed by Jurgen Bey in 2006, Prooff adopted EarChair as the company's foundational product. Since then, Prooff has developed WorkSofa, PhoneBox, Niche, and SitTable-all products that encase you in privacy while you're interacting with the outside world. Prooff, in fact, may present a remedy for most forms of agoraphobia-perhaps they should market EarChair as a remedy for social ills.

Ear Chair. Designed by Prooff.

Acoustical Seating and Dutch Design

The upholstered lounge chair uses three different ears-small, medium, and large. Combine the ears of various sizes in order to create different configurations, effectively creating "a proper resting place in the middle of it all, a flexible & social meeting ground that can exist almost anywhere." The ears, combined with the height of the chairs, establish a well-resolved acoustic, so you can partake in conversation, make a phone call, listen to music, or (let's be frank) ignore your jabbering neighbors. Integrated arm-rest tables provide an additional degree of personal comfort-a place to rest a cup of coffee or pot of tea, or, heaven forbid, a laptop or textbook. All in all, Prooff gives you 10 EarChair models, depending on the size of the ears and the position of the tablet arms. These 10 multiply into a virtually inexhaustible array of seating arrangements that accommodate singles, doubles, trios, and so on. For example, three EarChair's build a private chamber wherein the small-eared center chair accepts sound from the larger-eared flank chairs.

Prooff's Ear Chair
Prooff's Ear Chair
Prooff's Ear Chair

Prooff uses Kvadrat fabrics to upholster EarChair, so you can choose from a wide array of materials, from wool to stretch fabric to cotton. And, Kvadrat likes color. If you want thirteen shades of blue from which to choose or seventeen varieties of red, you won't be disappointed. Prooff states that fabric choices "allow for every room to take on its own personal character." More than that, each individual EarChair can reflect the personality of its intended user: it's like a personal cocoon for metropolitan life.

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