The problem of “manspreading” is very common all over the world, and it has been described as an exhibition of male social dominance by many.
Laila Laurel is a 23-year-old 3D Design & Craft graduate from the University of Brighton, and for her final-year project called “A Solution for Manspreading”, Laurel created two wooden chairs.
The one designed for men is shaped in such a way that it makes him sit with his legs closer, and the one for women has a small piece of wood in the middle that encourages her to sit with her legs parted.
The designer told The Independent that her chairs are not to be taken too seriously, but they portray an issue women face in quite a fun and very literal way.
She said that her inspiration for the chairs was Laura Bates’ Everyday Sexism Project, a platform in which women testify about the sexism they have experienced.
She noted that she designed and created the chairs in order to identify and challenge problems surrounding the act of sitting that might be more gender-specific.
Laurel won a Belmond Award for emerging talent, and the award said that the chairs were “a bold, purpose-driven design that explores the important role of design in informing space, a person’s behavior and societal issues of today”.
However, many people didn’t get it, and this is what they had to say about the chairs and the designer: