John Metcalfe was CityLab’s Bay Area bureau chief, covering climate change and the science of cities.
Because pets love to be swung back and forth, that's why.
Pet owners who love to do simply everything with their fur babies will get a kick out of this "Rocking-2-gether Chair" designed by Houston architect Paul Kweton. Come here, Tigger, get in the seat. Just... get... in there... OUCH! No, bad kitty! Stop scratching Mommy!!!
OK, so that's my immediate take on how a cat might react to being stuffed into a pitching enclosure beneath a human butt. However, Kweton swears that his own feline is fantastic with the kinetic pet house, e-mailing, "We both enjoy the Rocking-2-gether Chair very much :-)."
This is Kweton's second full-scale prototype for the patent-pending furniture, a fanciful concept that's been evolving in his head ever since he first spun 3-D models of it in 2011. (For neat examples of Kweton's creative work with Morris Architects, check out this "Extreme Birding" luxury resort and this replicable, green city block.) The latest iteration of the rocking chair is made out of computer-milled birch plywood, the "ribs" of which can be added or subtracted to give the chair different appearances. He has not mentioned adding more ribs to the side of the chair to make a cage, so a howling animal can't get out and claw and bite its owner to shreds. But hey, the cat or dog probably deserves to make up its own mind about any such retaliation – and maybe it will like its wobbling home, taking to it like a tired baby in a crib.
So what's changed since the 2011 model? Here's Kweton again over e-mail:
The goal was to keep the overall design the same but optimize the rocking behaviour and decrease the production cost of the prototype. Digital fabrication methods like 3D printing and CNC milling were essential during that process. Design changes happened in the details, bottom radius of the 'ribs', thickness, spacing of the 'ribs', etc.... The goal is to get the rocking-2-gether chair on the market as soon as possible. I am currently looking for interested manufacturers.
If you want to mass-produce this chair, or would like to see more of Kweton's work, please head on over to his website.
All images used with permission from the designer.