Ergonomic? No. Easy to scan for books? No. Comfortable to sit in? Doesn't look it. Yet there's something about the Sunflower Chair, where I know I should write it off but I can't help feel there's something to it, maybe in a 2.0 or 3.0 version down the line.
The chair was part of the "Design for Sitting" Grand Prix competition and exhibition held in Guangzhou, China earlier this year.
Designed by designer He Mu and Zhang Qian from Shanghai University of Engineering Science, Sunflower Chair has won "Redtory Design Award" for the 5th "Design for Sitting" Grand Prix. Experts in the jury all agreed that the chair satisfied the very thing intention of sitting—reading, which meets the theme "sitting and other behaviors" quite well.
Many of us outside of China may never have heard of Redtory nor their award, so here's a little background: Based in both Guangzhou and Beijing, Redtory is an organization promoting homegrown art and design that backs galleries, shops and exhibitions. They also hold seminars with titles like "The Future of China Design", aiming "to recollect the achievements of [Chinese] design, encourage creativity and more possibilities of design, explore the development of a new decade, as well as give an impetus to a long-term development of [original Chinese] design."
We like the idea that organizations like this are popping up in China, and you can keep abreast of what Redtory's up to here (though the English translations on their site are occasionally challenging to decipher). And you can see several dozen other chairs from the Grand Prix here. I gotta say the Sunflower is the standout.