As data continues to indicate that spending all day on your ass isn't good for your health, there are exciting opportunities for workstation and seating designers. Standing desks, treadmill desks and funky chairs may fade in and out of popularity, but we like seeing the weird permutations and risks that designers are willing to take in their quest to find the "correct" solution.
One such new seating product comes from Turnstone (the Steelcase brand dedicated to furniture solutions for small companies and startups) with their Buoy, designed by Michigan-based ID'er Ricky Biddle. "Research shows that even people who typically work out after work don't receive the same benefit if they are sitting all day," writes Turnstone. "Overall, we recognize that movement is good so any way we can bring movement to the office is something we look for."
To that end, the Buoy is designed to be off-balance, like its namesake bobbing device, though not as extremely as a Pilates ball; the idea is that the microadjustments you're continually making with your body are not annoying enough to be a hassle, but adequate to burn some calories. Also unlike a Pilates ball, the Buoy is height-adjustable.
We wanted to find a simple seating solution that would allow for movement and work in multiple environments and applications. Turnstone had explored some initial ideas around active seating with a rocking stool concept called Humma shared at Neocon a few years ago, but for Buoy we wanted to allow a greater freedom of movement and a create a highly functioning product that could complement multiple settings and work with different height tables and related items around the home and office from both a functional and aesthetic point of view.