Image of Gallery in South Kensington
On display at Young V&A
Design Gallery, Designing for Change section 1, Case 2

Wobble Chair

Stool
2016 (designed), 2020 (manufactured)
Artist/Maker
Place of origin

The basic concept of active sitting is that seated tasks can be made easier to perform by furniture that enables flexibility and movement. The simple design of the Wobble Chair, a circular seat mounted by a stalk on a heavy, curved base, successfully demonstrates this concept.

With children, active seating may improve attention to tasks and reduce stress in the classroom by allowing them to burn off energy. Active seating has also been found to have concentration-improving benefits for children with conditions such as ADD and ADHD.


Object details

Categories
Object type
Parts
This object consists of 3 parts.

  • Seat
  • Leg
  • Base
TitleWobble Chair (manufacturer's title)
Materials and techniques
Rotationally-moulded high-density polyethylene
Brief description
Childrens chair, Wobble, Kore Design, designed and manufactured in the USA, 2020-21
Physical description
Rocking stool designed for a child of around 10-11 years old. The basic form resembles a double-ended mushroom assembled from three pieces - a seat, a support and a base. It is made from purple high-density polyethylene. The base is rounded to allow the stool to rock and move with the user. The seat and base are textured.
Dimensions
  • Height: 510mm
  • Base diameter: 345mm (Note: Widest diameter measured)
  • Weight: 1.6kg (Note: From manufacturer's specifications.)
  • Weight: 1.7kg
Production typeMass produced
Marks and inscriptions
  • Kore Design LLC (Logo moulded onto base)
  • Made in USA (Moulded into base)
Gallery label
On the move All chairs need to be strong and stable. But they aren’t all designed for sitting still. These ones have been made to keep people moving – they can be stacked, spun around and hauled around inside and outside. The Wobble chair even helps children to focus. Its continuous movement while sitting helps relax the right side of the brain. 1 Chica chairs Designers: Giorgio Decurso, Jonathan De Pas, Donato D’Urbino, and Paolo Lomazzi, 1972 Manufacturer: BBB Bonacina, 1970s Location: Italy Materials: Plastic Museum no. B.9 to 20-2014 2 Trotter chair Designer: Rogier Martens, the Netherlands Manufacturer: Magis, Italy Date: 2014 Materials: Metal and plastic Given by Magis Museum no. B.7-2023 3 Wobble chair Designer: Jon Elmaleh, 1970 Manufacturer: Kore Design, LLC., 2020 Location: USA Materials: Plastic Museum no. B.3-2022 [Young V&A, Design Gallery, Design changes materials we use, group object label] (01/07/2023)
Historical context
The Wobble Chair was originally developed for a project undertaken by Jon Elmaleh whilst he was a student at the Rhode Island School of Design in the 1970s. Elmaleh received a patent for the design in 1986, then founded his studio, Out There Technologies, in 1994. The first production version, the Unistool, was sold via the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) shop from 1999-2002.

At this point, Jon Elmaleh still personally hand-turned the wooden bases of each stool, a situation that could not be sustained in the face of demand for the product. The Flexistool, a version of the stool developed for mass-manufacture, was launched in 2005, aimed at office-workers. Its success led to more and cheaper versions of the stool, as well as an expanded range of Kore items, including desks, balance boards and school seating. All Kore products are manufactured in the USA and, at the time of writing, more than one million have been sold to over 1,000 schools, businesses and institutions across the country.

The concept for the Wobble Chair consists of two simple ideas. The first is that the stable rocking motion enabled by the base encourages a person to be active whilst seated, for exercise and posture, but also to improve blood flow and concentration. The second is to increase children’s attention to tasks by allowing them to move around whilst seated in a classroom, burning off energy and reducing stress. Linked to this, active seating has been found to have concentration-improving benefits for children with conditions such as ADD and ADHD. Kore chairs are also hygienic. As well as being wipe-clean, they are manufactured using an antimicrobial product added to the plastic, which claims to reduce up to 99.9% of common bacteria.

The Wobble Chair has received a number of awards and endorsements including the ErgoExpress Attendees Choice Award (2019), Global Educator Institute Seal of Endorsement, Family Choice Award (2014), and Academics’ Choice MindSpring Award.
Summary
The basic concept of active sitting is that seated tasks can be made easier to perform by furniture that enables flexibility and movement. The simple design of the Wobble Chair, a circular seat mounted by a stalk on a heavy, curved base, successfully demonstrates this concept.

With children, active seating may improve attention to tasks and reduce stress in the classroom by allowing them to burn off energy. Active seating has also been found to have concentration-improving benefits for children with conditions such as ADD and ADHD.
Collection
Accession number
B.3-2022

About this object record

Explore the Collections contains over a million catalogue records, and over half a million images. It is a working database that includes information compiled over the life of the museum. Some of our records may contain offensive and discriminatory language, or reflect outdated ideas, practice and analysis. We are committed to addressing these issues, and to review and update our records accordingly.

You can write to us to suggest improvements to the record.

Suggest feedback

Record createdSeptember 3, 2021
Record URL
Download as: JSONIIIF Manifest