Sitting pretty

Unconventional chair designs support children’s physical and mental health.

‘People differ anatomically. A universal optimal fixed sitting posture therefore does not exist.’ This is among the reasons that Amsterdam-based design studio Lentala has produced a set of chairs for primary-school children that offers alternatives to traditional sitting positions. 

To counteract the harmful long-term effects of too much sitting, and too much sitting in the same position, Lentala has designed two innovative seats for children that invite a diverse range of sitting postures. Developed through a unique interdisciplinary collaboration between Boris Lancelot, the founder of Lentala, and human-movement scientists from the University of Groningen and the Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, the two designs invite children to choose their own postures and change them as they please. 

The innovative designs counteract ‘prolonged one-sided passive sitting behaviour’ by inviting more natural and active postures, alternating between different sitting positions. The simple flat angled design of the Rom seat allows children to reposition themselves any way they want, while the Lupa seat has three staggered tiers that also encourage squatting and kneeling. With each change in posture, different muscle groups are activated, which promotes active sitting and supports the child's physical and mental health. 

Made using natural and renewable materials, the seats are designed to be durable and sustainable. The wood veneer is made of sustainably sourced local birch and comes with a natural water-based finish, while 100% pure wool felt has been used to cover the seat for a comfortable sitting experience. 


Read more

The future of ageing

Dokter’s orders

Future compostable

Photographs: Lentala.


More on Design Thinking