This Saddle-Shaped School Chair Encourages Kids to Sit Up Straight and Pay Attention

Masahiko Ito
Masahiko Ito

Getting kids to face forward and sit up straight is a challenge most schoolteachers face. The new Saddle Seat from designer Mashiko Ito is designed to make their jobs easier. As dezeen reports, students who use the chair are encouraged to improve their posture and focus on what's in front of them.

As the name suggests, the Saddle Seat curves like a saddle rather than lying flat like a conventional chair seat. Sitters need to straddle it if they want to stay balanced. This forces them to sit still and upright, the position the designer noticed most kids take when they're paying attention in class, rather than slouching back in their chairs and fidgeting, which often means there isn't much learning going on.

Kid sitting on chair.
Masahiko Ito

Ito studied product and furniture design at Kingston School of Art in the UK before reinventing the school chair. He writes on his website that he not only wanted to create something that would improve student behavior in the classroom, but that would also teach kids to sit in a way that sets them up for a healthier life.

The Saddle Seat isn't ready for consumers yet, but Ito is already showing it off. It was on display at the New Designers showcase in London from July 4 and July 7.

Kids sitting on chairs in classroom.
Masahiko Ito

[h/t dezeen]

World’s Tiniest McDonald’s Opens in Sweden, Welcomes Bees as Customers

iStock/William Jones-Warner
iStock/William Jones-Warner

McDonald's has opened stores in an old train car, an airplane, and an oversized Happy Meal box. This new project from the corporation has many of the features of a regular restaurant—down to the posters advertising special menu items—but it's different in a major way. Instead of catering to human clientele, this miniature McDonald's is designed to attract bees.

McDonald's Sweden collaborated with the creative agency NORD DDB to build the branded beehive for World Bee Day on May 20, AdWeek reports. From the outside, the model is a replica of a McDonald's restaurant, with drive-thru windows, outdoor seating, and the golden arches presiding above it all. But instead of a counter and a tables, the interior is filled with frames where bees can build their wax. It's being billed as "the world's smallest McDonald's," but according to NORD DDB, it's still big enough to house thousands of bees.

The fast-food beehive is a nod to an initiative gaining traction at McDonald's in Sweden. Some McDonald's restaurants have installed beehives on their roofs and started replacing the grass on their properties with flowers to attract the pollinators. Global bee populations have declined at alarming rates in recent years due to pesticides, disease, and climate change, and the beehive project from McDonald's Sweden is just one creative way people are trying to give bees a boost.

This particular beehive won't be housed above a burger joint. On May 21, it was auctioned off to raise money for the Ronald McDonald House.

[h/t AdWeek]

This Tiny DIY Kiosk From Amazon Would Make a Great Backyard Bar—or Chicken Coop

Allwood, Amazon
Allwood, Amazon

This summer, upgrade your backyard cocktail parties with an actual backyard bar. The Allwood Retail Kiosk, first spotted by House Beautiful and available on Amazon, is designed to be a tiny store, but it can function as so much more. And most importantly, it can be assembled in a matter of hours.

Built from durable Nordic spruce, the compact building is inspired by retail kiosks in Scandinavia. The interior measures 94 square feet, and the window covers fold out into counter-like platforms for serving food and drinks. The versatile structure works as more than just a space for your small business. The seller notes on Amazon that past buyers have used the shack as a chicken coop, and it could even house cats: "I believe this could well work as a feline suite. I don't think they would complain."

The kiosk costs $3990 on Amazon, and shipping is included. Once it's been assembled, the exterior needs to be stained or painted to protect it from the elements. If you're looking for even larger structures that can be delivered, Amazon also sells tiny houses.

[h/t House Beautiful]

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