TEDxDelft seats

Furniture that activates people


TEDxDelft is a local edition of TED, an event focused on “ideas worth spreading”. A talk lasts 18 minutes and there are a lot spread throughout the day. In between the talks it is possible to take a break and rest. But during the previous events the TEDx organizers discovered something: people were grabbing their phone and were absent in their personal bubble. They noticed that the break could be much more interactive and fun for the visitors, but they had to activate the people.



The idea

TEDx Seats is the final idea that activates people during the break so that they will communicate with each other, and experience more interaction and fun. Visitors need to puzzle with the chairs and place them onto the right pillar with a QR code scanner, so they can sit. You can see it as a seesaw, with one person you cannot use the seesaw. So one chair leans on another chair. This provokes communication between the visitors.

tedxdelft seats

Two chairs (missing two legs each chair) with a QR code pillar.

Concepting phase

Why take a break during a TEDx event? To ensure that visitors can regain their concentration arc and meet primary life needs, such as going to the toilet. People sit down to eat, drink and check their smartphone. So I couldn't think of anything that would disturb this, it had to be a supplement to the break. I went to look at the objects that people use during the break: food, toilets, smoking areas, fresh air, TED visitor cards, chairs, tables, trash cans… Finally I thought of puzzle seats with a digital layer on it.

tedxdelft visitor pass

Visitors pass that a visitor is wearing with a keycord during the event.

Digital layer

When the seats are in the right place, people can sit and hopefully a talking connection is stimulated. When there’s a good conversation, but the break is over, people can quickly scan their visitors passes and a digital connection is saved into you TED account. After the event you can always contact the people you met during the chair puzzles.

tedxdelft webapp

Quick and dirty visualisation of the TEDx Delft digital account environment.