Varier Furniture: Designed by Children’s Brain Waves

By Bob Marshall 

From Olso, Norway-based DIST Creative and production company B-Reel comes the above, cerebral project for Varier Furniture.

Varier is the proud manufacturer of the Varier Balans chair, an odd-looking seat “designed to promote movement and variation in the body to promote circulation and extended activity leading to better concentration and overall well-being.” Yes, Varier is making some pretty substantial claims, basically implying its weird chair will save the deteriorating minds of people subjected to years watching horrible television and staring at stupid things on the internet. So, with the above experiment, B-Reel decided to put these claims to the test.

Varier, B-Reel and DIST Creative attached an Emotiv EPOC Neuroheadset to three (willing?) participants, measured their brainwaves patterns as the children were put to work solving various puzzles, and expressed these brainwaves as pattern designs. Each of these patterns is now available as a limited edition textile design from Varier’s website.

B-Reel CD Lars Bjurman said of the experiment’s results in a statement, “We had some doubts about what would be the result but it actually worked extremely well from the first prototype to the final design. But it wasn’t until we saw the children using the headset and we could see these beautiful designs come to life that we knew that we built the right solution…It is inspiring to work with a project that is digital in its core but to end up in a very analogue result, something as real as the printed fabric for chairs.” Of course, you have to ask, would these patterns have looked any different had the experiment participants been sitting in “regular” chairs?