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What Inspired Individual Invented The Beanbag

by Simonf (writer), , April 06, 2014

Bean bags are one of the few truly iconic pieces of furniture. Indeed, there style and design defines a culture. Have you every wondered who invented them?

At some point throughout your life you have most likely seen, or sat in a beanbag chair. If you've ever seen one of these amazing pieces of furniture you may wonder exactly how they may have come about and who would have thought to design such a piece of furniture. In this article we will learn exactly where the beanbag chair came from and how it evolved into the chairs that we know and love today.

Before the beanbag chair there was a chair called the sea urchin chair. This was designed by Roger Dean during his time at the Royal College of Art. Unlike the beanbag chair, the sea urchin chair from 1965 was entirely created using foam. The design of the sea urchin chair was basically just a spherical foam ball that someone could sit in and have the chair completely conform to their body for comfortable sitting position. The beanbag chair would change this idea but keep roughly the same spherical format as the sea urchin chair.

What came next was the Sacco or Socco which was one of the first modern beanbag chairs. The Sacco came into existence in 1969 under a team of Italian designers. Paolini, Gatti and Tedora were these Italian designers and they were working for a company in Italy called Zanotta Design. Their goal was to create the ideal piece of furniture for the 60s flower power generation. Little did they know that the Sacco, or Socco would soon be taking off with a massive amount of popularity overseas and in their local market.

These original beanbag chairs from 1969 were created using leather bags which were pear-shaped. The original chairs were filled with thermocol pellets but the more modern beanbag chairs were filled with polystyrene beads, Styrofoam, PVC pellets and polyurethane foam. The chair grew rapidly in popularity as it was comfortable and it adjusted to every user individually. The design would eventually make its way into department stores throughout the 1970s and beanbag chairs became very popular pieces of furniture.

In the 1970s professional decorators were using beanbag chairs to outfit rooms because they were portable and very fashionable. Doctors were using beanbag chairs to help treat children with autism and other sensory integration issues. Doctors have even gone as far as to recommend using beanbag chairs for people who experience back problems because they can conform the chair to whatever shape is most comfortable.

Beanbag chairs have undergone a variety of design tweaks to make them more child friendly and safe. Today beanbags are more popular than ever, both here in the US and across the world - there are literally hundreds of shops and websites dedicated to just selling beanbags, and nothing else. Modern beanbags chairs may vary in design but they still are made pretty much the same way as they were in the late 70's - with the inclusion of double liners, shredded foam and machine washable covers. With all of these modern touches beanbags have become reliable and stylish pieces of furniture that we can use every day.



About the Writer

Simonf is a writer for BrooWaha. For more information, visit the writer's website.
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1 comments on What Inspired Individual Invented The Beanbag

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By riginal on April 06, 2014 at 11:53 am

bean there done that Simone. Yep the 'furniture sit' they make these days although it looks great...is made for right-angle bods. Never any back support.Plus you can roll out of a bean bag straight into bed virtually if you've had one or two too many. Simple design...made someone simply wealthy no doubt. cheers...

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