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The Massage Chair Gets A Sleek Redesign

When you think “massage chair,” you probably imagine the cushy leather clunkers for sale at Brookstone, or perhaps the fleet of vibrating recliners lining the walls at the nail salon. German designer Verena Hennig, on the other hand, thinks of minimalist metal furniture. For her new ROLL collection, Hennig has designed a chair, bench and stool made of rotating aluminum rods that shift from left to right to relieve the sitter’s stress.

“The rotatable sticks activate the muscles and relieve tension,” Hennig says. “It’s a nice place to sit down after a long day at work.” A graphic designer who works primarily in print design, Hennig wanted to design something 3-D that people could interact with in a playful way. She got the idea for ROLL after taking bottles to the recycling plant in her hometown of Fuerth, Germany, and seeing the rolling rods of the factory’s conveyor belts. She tried to adapt the idea to furniture using wooden rods, but landed on aluminum for its durability in both indoor and outdoor climates.

When asked how her graphic design work informs her furniture design, Hennig says she doesn’t separate the two in her mind. “For me personally, design is all about the concept at first, and then at the end I decide the best medium–whether it will go in a 2-D or 3-D way,” she says. Designing more objects and furniture in her free time, she hopes, will start opening up opportunities for her to pursue that type of work professionally as well.

The ROLL chair ($530), stool ($460) and bench ($560) are available for pre-order on Hennig’s website. The furniture will be ready to ship by the first of the year.MM