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[whitespace] Posture Perfect: The zig-zag chair by Reitveld will have you straightened out in no time.

Sit and Spend

Throw that comfy couch away... there's art to be sat on!

By Sarah Mueller

For San Francisco's tragically hip who already have enough pairs of expensive, impractical shoes, may we suggest an overpriced, heinously uncomfortable piece of furniture for the live/work loft?

Language, the uber-hip NYC lifestyles shop that caters to the likes of Lauryn Hill and Claire Danes, offers the Vermelha by Fernando and Humberto Campana. For a mere $2,800 (not including over-ground shipping costs) you can bring a bit of childhood nostalgia to the living room in the form of an armchair that looks like one of the McDonald's Fry Guys. The chair consists of piles of thick, red cotton cord draped over a steel armchair frame.

When I sit down, I usually move anything resembling cords or wires out of the way for fear of the imprints it will make on my pants (not to mention my hiney). But apparently the Vermelha's Medusa-esque appearance has the design cognoscenti in a frenzy; it is included in the Museum of Modern Art's contemporary furniture collection.

For those with considerably less disposable income, and more cushioning in the rear, the "zig-zag chair" by Gerrit Reitveld offers a stylishly excruciating alternative. The chair was invented in 1934 during the "deterioration" (hmm) period of the De Stijl, or "The Style"--an early 20th-century Dutch philosophical and art movement. The zig-zag chair was designed "not for comfort," but is heralded as one of the best examples of De Stijl utilized in home furnishings. It not only looks like a set piece from Sprockets, it will make you feel like Dieter when sitting on it.

For those who don't mind sitting on a 90-degree-angled wooden chair with no gluteal padding and have $925 to burn (not including shipping and handling), the zig-zag could be the ticket. For people with bony behinds, however, the chair makes for a stunning bedside or end table. Full Upright Position, a modern furniture company, carries the zig-zag along with several other chairs that may make you slouch, but only in the coolest of ways. Check out its website at www.f-u-p.com.

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From the February 21, 2000 issue of the Metropolitan.

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