There are good ideas (screwdrivers) and there are great ideas (Phillips-head screwdrivers). There are ingenious ideas (global satellite positioning) and then there are ideas that change the world forever (fire, vaccines and zippers). Sometimes, all of these things combine. I can think of two. The first was magnetism, the binding force behind every element of the universe. Its inventor is unknown. And the second is the SEESAWseat/seesawSEAT by Dirk Ploos van Amstel.
“I am a young father myself,” van Amstel tells Co.Design. “From that perspective I am interested in ‘child stuff.’ At the same time, I am a man with needs like ‘drinking a glass of wine in the evening, without child stuff around.’”
With these driving impulses–alcohol and man time–van Amstel crafted a new kind of posterior holding device. In one life, it’s a perfectly sophisticated bench. But reposition three pegs, and it becomes a frollicking good-time seesaw. Imagine if every park bench served a dual purpose, or better still, imagine if bus stops were playgrounds. Strangers would become playmates, and playmates would become friends. How wonderful would the world be if van Amstel got the partners he’s looking for to actually put this bench into production?
Indeed, it’s hard to present a critical word about van Amstel’s creation (much like I can’t really fault gravity for binding the atoms in the molecules in the cells in my flesh together), but I do, just for a moment, need to call into question his primary motivation. Because why, even for a moment, would anyone consider drinking wine on a bench when consumption on a seesaw was just a few pegs away? It makes me wonder, maybe this seesaw seat doesn’t really need the seat after all.