A Portland-based design firm Ziba has introduced a spectacular revolution in theater viewing through its innovative seating style in the form of folding chairs. These seating system sans front-leg support and folds back when not in use. These folding chairs can also shrink to a mere four-inches thickness as opposed to the 12-inches of standard auditorium chairs. Named Jump-Seat after its resemblance to a flight attendant’s seat, the chair can support up to 600 pounds with ease.
Jump-Seats are made of plywood planks placed in vertebrae-like fashion. In addition, these folding chairs provide a comfortable seating arrangement because of a sheet-steel core stuffed between the two layers of Baltic bitch plywood and removable wool stuffing. Moreover, the Velco-attached seat covers can be cleaned and replaced easily.
The firm, Ziba, has reminded us of the famous saying that “Necessity is the mother of invention.” This innovation is a result of an incident that happened with Ziba a couple of years back. When the firm relocated to the LEED Gold headquarters from the erstwhile Pearl District office, the 200-seat auditorium at the new place posed a seating problem as its narrow concrete risers could not accommodate conventional style chairs. This incident forced Ziba to find an in-house solution which gradually became an innovation. However, the Ziba-styled seating may not be apt for grand opera or ballet viewing but it’s definitely ideal for all those events and functions where maximum people need to be accommodated in minimum space without compromising on comfort.
The firm also claims that the easy-to-make construction material makes mass production possible from just about anywhere at no shipping cost. When we consider the fact that a place for cup holders was the only tangible innovation in theater-style seating since the last century, we now realize that Ziba design is worth appreciating.