Indoor chair, outdoor chair

I was in the campus of the Academic College of Tel Aviv and l noticed a little courtyard with a nice deck and some garden furniture. What caught my eye was that the chairs were tilted against the tables.


The reason became obvious when I saw one chair that had remained upright: it had a puddle of rainwater in its elegantly concave seat.


At first I was annoyed by what seemed an obvious design flaw: surely a small hole drilled in the middle of the seat would have solved this issue – what a stupid way to design an outdoors chair! Then I realized that these were no outdoors products. They were regular chairs that someone had probably repurposed for garden use in sunnier times, proving that one should be more careful with ignoring a product’s spec.

And then I noted a little round mark on the bottom of each seat, in just the location I would’ve drilled that missing hole in. Evidently, the manufacturer had foreseen the dual use of this plastic chair, and had prepared to provide for both uses. Still, the end user had used the wrong version – and had neglected to correct the problem, which a minute with a drill would have easily done.

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