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Feminist Designs “Anti-Manspreading” Chair, Wins an Award for It

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  • The chair for males forces a man to sit with his legs together.
  • Feminism and sexism are inspirations for her project.
  • The design was part of her final project for her university.

If you’re a woman, you surely must hate the way men take up so much space in public seats when they spread their legs as wide as they could, for their own comfort. Manspreading, as it’s came to be known, seems like a complete disregard for other people’s space.

There are ways that women can deal with manspreading. The easiest is to tell a man outright to close his legs if he’s occupying more space than he is entitled to in a public space.

Laila Laurel decided to do so by making a statement – she designed a chair that will force a man to sit with his legs together.

Laurel, a 23-year-old 3D Design & Craft graduate from the University of Brighton, created the chair as her final year project. The project is called “A Solution for Manspreading” and actually includes a second chair, which allows a woman to seat with her legs parted.

The man’s chair has a seat that narrows towards the legs, which forces the occupants to sit with legs closed.

Meanwhile, the woman’s chair has the opposite design; it opens up and in the middle. There’s a wedge of wood which makes the occupant to sit with parted legs.

In her talk with The Independent, Laurel said that the chairs were not meant to be taken seriously, but rather the project gives “physicality to an issue women face in quite a fun yet literal way.”
She designed the chairs to be able to identify and question the problems involved in the art of sitting that might be considered gender-specific. Manspreading falls into such category.

“My design practice is contextualized within fourth-wave feminism and another huge inspiration for these pieces was Laura Bates’ Everyday Sexism Project, a platform in which women can testify about the sexism they have experienced,” Laurel added.

Her work garnered her a Belmond Award for emerging talent. It also became a big hit at her Graduate show.

Laurel was thrilled at the positive reaction her work has since received. She said that the reaction of the people at the show was exciting and encouraging and that it sparked interesting exchanges and made people laugh, which is something she really value in her work.

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