Chairs that hurt when you sit on them. 

Chairs with a beautiful form and appearance. Comfortable chairs. Chairs with an ergonomic design. Chairs with a fascinating creation story. Such are indispensable aspects when talking about chairs. The Sella, with its readymade appearance, was apparently designed as a telephone stool but looks to be unreliable in many ways. It is simple — a bicycle seat attached on top of a pink steel column — and looks very cute. It looks easy to realize but really isn’t. 

This chair, despite its cuteness, won’t let you sit on it for more than five seconds. Not only is it unstable, an unbearable pain also pierces up your crotch when you sit on it. A kind of pain that makes you rather stand. Without fail, everyone who tries to sit on it asks, “Why did you buy this?!”

This chair was designed by the Italian designer Achille Castiglioni. Googling his name will make you say, “oh I know that” to his other works. He is one of the many masters who have created fun and much-criticized products, with a feel that’s Italian but different from that of Ettore Sottsass. He is one of Italy’s leading designers, with a keen eye for what the mass consumers sought. Struck by his stance, I had purchased this Sella chair. 

In Yousuke Taki’s Achille Castiglioni: Design as a Quest for Freedom, Achille is quoted, “It makes me happy that my works and name are displayed in museums, but it makes me happier if an ordinary household would use this appropriately like it’s always been around, without knowing that I had designed it or that there are people who design everyday objects for work.”

Someday, I want to grow up and say things like that. 

Written & Photographed by Akinobu Maeda