An umbrella-shaped chair. The idea itself sounds absolutely outrageous until you realize how incredibly clever it is. Think about it… would you rather be carrying an umbrella with you wherever you go, or have those godawful wearable chair-legs strapped to your torso like Gabe from Silicon Valley? The answer is obviously the umbrella, given how ubiquitous it is. It’s compact, and more importantly, is socially acceptable. So when designer Yanagisawa Sera was looking for a way to reinvent the folding chair, hiding it inside an umbrella sounded like a perfect idea!

What’s brilliant about the Hide And Seek chair is its sheer absurdity… along with the fact that it actually works! Sera went straight from the drawing board to the metal workshop to test his idea out and from the looks of it, the umbrella-shaped chair works – at least on a prototype level! The frame of the umbrella was fabricated from stainless steel rods, and is designed to fold right into the umbrella shape when closed. A stretched fabric mounted on the frame helps distribute the weight when you sit, allowing the chair to actually take the weight of an adult human. It does look a tad fragile if I’m being candid, but that’s something that can easily be fixed by using materials like titanium or even carbon fiber. The best part about the entire product is that it folds right back into the shape of a standard umbrella, which means you can place it in backpacks, handbags, or even carry it to the grocery store or a concert… blending right into the crowd right before you open the Hide And Seek and take a seat on the world’s only umbrella-shaped chair! That should definitely grab a few eyeballs!

In fact, under certain circumstances, you could use the Hide And Seek as an umbrella too! Although considering its framework (which is designed to easily take somewhere around 160 lbs of weight) is much more robust than the kind found on most umbrellas, the Hide And Seek would be much heavier than your average umbrella, making it difficult to carry for longer periods of time. Nevertheless, the level of creativity and ingenuity the Hide And Seek demonstrates is truly marvelous… especially given the fact that the outrageously brilliant idea is even backed by a working prototype! Yanagisawa Sera, I hope you’ve filed your patents on this, because it may easily be the most brilliantly creative product design I’ve seen this year!

Designer: Yanagisawa Sera

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