Sheetseat eco-friendly and ultra-storable folding chair

With the theme of Thursday’s Blog Action Day being climate change, we’ve been thinking more about green organizing and uncluttering. Even just rethinking everyday items can make a small difference, like the Lunch Skins that Erin posted about on Tuesday.

I’m always a big fan of new solutions to old problems, so I was impressed with Ufuk Keskin’s unique take on portable seating with his Sheetseat folding chair:

Folding chairs are certainly not a new concept — the idea dates back around 4000 years to the Middle Kingdom of Egypt — but Keskin’s Sheetseat is the first I’ve seen that collapses down to a thickness of a mere thee quarters of an inch.

The simplicity of this design and the use of little more than a small sheet of plywood make the Sheetseet quite environmentally friendly. And the fact that you can easily store seating for six friends inconspicuously behind a curtain or couch, or under a bed, is about as uncluttered as you can get.

28 Comments for “Sheetseat eco-friendly and ultra-storable folding chair”

  1. posted by Patrick Hall on

    This is great. But no one can buy it. A minuscule percent of the population has the skill-set and equipment to make it. I like coming to this site for practical advice. Not pipedreams.

    When you all give product updates and announcements could you make it practical? Or is your goal to drive attention and publicity so that the design prototypes get made?

    At the least, you could say in the post that its not available so we don’t have to go digging through tiers of links to realize its a prototype.

  2. posted by Karen on

    It is a prototype, but it is a great idea. I have way too much experience setting up bulky folding chairs for meetings. Like decades of it. Design of these things hasn’t changed as long as I can remember. Many churches, schools have entire storage rooms devoted to racks of folding chairs. Cost savings in terms of buying the chairs and the space to store them would be large.

  3. posted by sue on

    I hope if this actually becomes available that it is capable of holding an adult without breaking.

  4. posted by Jeff on

    I like the chairs, but there are similar but better ideas out there.
    This weekend is the end of the DOE Solar Decathlon in DC in which universities around the world build super-efficient homes for competition. One of the drivers in efficiency is a small living space. To that end, the University of Kentucky team has dining room chairs that fold flat and hang against the wall.
    Not only are they interesting pieces, but they’re simple enough that anyone with access to a Home Depot could build them. And they’re pretty comfortable for dining room chairs.

  5. posted by Recyclican on

    I searched for “furniture maker” Google Maps, and found half a dozen of them in my small community. I am willing bet, after receiving consent from the original designer, that you could find a local carpenter that could fabricate some of these for you. Perhaps not as convenient as marching over to your local Wallyworld to pick up a stack of chairs, though perhaps a bit more gratifying in the end.

  6. posted by Paige on

    “Just a concept though, no word and no idea when this Sheetseat will be released for sale…”

    This is written at the bottom of the Sheetseet folding chair link. First and only page. Not sure where the ‘dozens’ of links are.

    I think it’s a really cool idea.

  7. posted by Karyn on

    I come to this site looking for ideas and inspiration. 😉 If I just wanted to go shopping for new stuff, I’d surf a catalog.

    My only concern upon viewing this chair was that the seat looks a bit short, like one would feel perpetually perched on the edge of the chair when seated upon it. But hey, it’s beta; I’m sure it can be tweaked in the next revision. It’s a cool idea, any way you slice it.

    Must go now, before I give in to the temptation to start whining about every Unclutterer post that doesn’t apply one hundred percent to me personally, exactly as I would want it to be…

  8. posted by Joseph on

    I like the concept…but I see this as a member of your UNITASKER Group…

    given the number of obese people nowadays, this can’t really funcion for more then one or two uses…the single sheet of plywood will start to warp..then it won’t fit nice and snug as a compact design.

    Personally…the one’s made of steel from the recreation centers would be more environmentally sound since they can be recycled easily, would last longer, and are stronger. These things made of plywood are often made from toxic glues that offgas, do not last a long time, and well suck at being strong when you submit them to forces at angles or twisting.

    This to me, seems like we are trying to reinvent the wheel. We have good chairs that work…what we need to do is get rid of all the other crap lying about.

  9. posted by Barbara on

    It’a nice looking prototype, but it doesn’t look to comfortable. It will probably be expensive as well.

    For those who want to make their own, Playatech has plans as cutting layouts. From chairs to complete shelters. $5 bucks a sheet donation to charity.

    If you make them from baltic birch plywood, and stain them they are much better looking than IKEA. They also survive many moves.

    From 1/2 plywood and turning the kids loose with nontoxic paints they are cheap, serviceable and can pass as wall art when disassembled and hung on pegs. There are googobs of them around the trailer camps and tent cities of NOLA.

  10. posted by Lori on

    I like the fact that they fold flat, but I would be scared to sit in them, and I certainly wouldn’t want my guests to have to worry about sitting in a chair that looks like it could easily collapse.

  11. posted by sue on

    “….There are googobs of them around the trailer camps and tent cities of NOLA…..”

    Now THAT’s not a decorating style I want to emulate.

  12. posted by Linda on

    These are very interesting. I wonder how comfortable they are. Definitely would be great if you have storage issues.

  13. posted by ari_1965 on

    Personally, I don’t worry about chairs as clutter. I think money spent on cheap plywood chairs is money thrown away. When I buy chairs, whether standard or folding, I try to buy something I think will last and do the job properly (i.e. hold people). I don’t choose chairs by their thinness.

    Gosh, can you imagine one of your guests sitting on this chair, it cracks as thin plywood is wont to do, and your guest ends up on his/her kiester? Ewww.

  14. posted by Karyn on

    @ari_1965 – “Personally, I don’t worry about chairs as clutter.”

    You might if you lived in a small one-room studio apartment. 😉 Extra space is next to nil, certainly no room to have several “permanent” chairs adorning the room, but I still like to have family and friends over occasionally. A sturdier version of these thin-folding chairs would be something I’d seriously consider.

  15. posted by Sky on

    I like the concept but wonder how sturdy they are. Nice idea.

  16. posted by Hilde on

    If only it weren`t so ugly!

  17. posted by Sarah Bauerle on

    An even better green solution: contact your local party rental place. Periodically, they retire old rental equipment and buy new ones. I was able to buy 10 black wooden folding chairs for $10/each. Plus, you’re buying used furniture, which is better for the environment. And, you’re keeping these items out of the landfill.

  18. posted by Karen G on

    The proportions look unnatural for a chair. The seat is too short for the height of the chair, or something.

    There are already fairly skinny folding chairs out there that stack snugly. Is getting something an inch thick really that critical?

    And when it does go to sale, will it cost several hundred dollars? This is not design within my reach.

  19. posted by Sheetseat Minimalist Flat Folding Chairs - PSFK on

    […] [via Unclutterer] […]

  20. posted by Sheryl on

    I agree with Barbara and Linda…that chair looks very uncomfortable.

  21. posted by . on

    “the one’s made of steel from the recreation centers would be more environmentally sound since they can be recycled easily, would last longer, and are stronger.”

    Something like this or this?

    Have you tried to stack them for transport? Since they are not flat, stacking any more than five to ten high onto a cart becomes problematic.

    And the amount of space to store them, especially if it’s several hundred, starts to add up.

    While there are several problems with the folding chair in this post that needs to be addressed, storage and transportation appear to be a vast improvement over the current folding chairs.

  22. posted by Rue on

    I’d have to wonder about the sturdiness of these, of course. But I think the idea is fantastic!

  23. posted by Ruth Hansell on

    Went and read the product description. Steel fibers woven into the plywood, perhaps? Not all that eco friendly.

    And plywood comes apart when wet, unless specially treated. So, for outdoor use, the chair would have to be specially coated. Again, not all that eco friendly.

    And, maybe it’s just the former manager in charge of workplace safety side of me, but the thing does not look all that stable. A person with balance problems or a squirmy toddler could tip that chair over.

    The design is a starting point, but issues of useability/durability/safety would need to be worked out. I doubt if we’ll see this exact chair in mass production anytime soon.


  24. posted by Anita on

    Apart from the not very eco friendly nature of this chair, in my experience folding chairs get more and more uncomfortable as they get flatter, and this looks like the epitome of flatness and lack of comfort.

    I tend to put comfort and style before foldability in my seating because, be it dining chairs, sofas or desk chairs, I want to enjoy doing what I’m doing, and if I’m sitting, then the comfort of my back is a huge part of that. My chairs: (in white and chrome).

    Also: I live in a one-room studio apartment, and I have a dining table and 4 of the aforementioned chairs without sacrificing any other furniture need. All about balance, I suppose…

  25. posted by Karyn on

    @Anita – “Also: I live in a one-room studio apartment, and I have a dining table and 4 of the aforementioned chairs without sacrificing any other furniture need. All about balance, I suppose…”

    Maybe your one room is bigger than my one room. 😉 Balance, for me, means having plenty of space around the furniture, too; no matter how I try to “balance” it, there’s only so much room for so much furniture. It would be nice to have extra seating available for occasional company, but I see no reason to take up precious space with non-folding dining chairs and a table when most of the time it’s just me in the apartment. Hence I have in mind to get a card table and padded steel folding chairs, which are comfortable enough for a few hours’ visit, but even those require space for storage. Even if the design isn’t perfect, I still like the basic idea of a flat-storage, minimal-footprint folding chair. It just needs to be designed for people who weight more than 110 pounds. 😉

    For everyday living, by the way, I do have a “real” chair at my desk, and for extended comfortable sitting my futon folds up into a chair/chaise. I’m not looking at folding chairs as everyday chairs, but as occasional “extra” seating.

  26. posted by Kyle on

    @Karyn: My wife and I just moved into an apartment with a tiny, narrow kitchen. At Wal-Mart we found a skinny (important for us) but pretty sturdy folding table and matching chairs made by Cosco. I think the table was $29 and the chairs were $9 each. They’re traditional folding chair design, only not so curvy on the back so they fold very flat. They also have plastic seats and backs, and are a little skimpier on the tube size, so they are really lightweight.

  27. posted by Karyn on

    @Kyle – What, you want me to shop at the Evil Empire??? 😀 (Like every other discount store is the Epitome of Enlightenment… heh.) Thanks for the tip. I don’t live near a Wal-Mart, but there are plenty of them in the Twin Cities metro as a whole, so when I have a chance, I’ll have a look and see if the chairs will support the butts of my kith and kin. 😉 Thanks again!

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