John Metcalfe was CityLab’s Bay Area bureau chief, covering climate change and the science of cities.
The "Ostrich Pillow" fits snugly over the cranium like a fabric womb.
Every commuter could use more pillow.
Whether it be the restraint-chair ergonomics of airplane seats, or the hair-grease-smeared windows on city buses, sleeping accommodations on mass transit are anything but ideal. But after a year of plotting, two designers from the firm Kawamura-Ganjavian think they've found the ultimate consumer product to relieve commuting insomnia. They call it the "Ostrich Pillow," and it wraps around the noggin like a happy facehugger made of felt.
Have one of those neck pillows shaped like a plump horseshoe? Burn it now, because the Ostrich is like five dimensions of amazingness above it. Made of stretchy fabric stuffed with "microballs," the plush accoutrement is built to block out noise and light while making the wearer look slightly like a bollard. Ali Ganjavian and Key Portilla-Kawamura, principals at the Madrid and Lausanne-based studio, describe their fab creation thus:
OSTRICH PILLOW is a revolutionary new product to enable easy power naps anytime, everywhere, OSTRICH PILLOW ‘s unique design offers a micro environment in which to take a cozy and comfortable power nap at ease. OSTRICH PILLOW has been designed to allow you to create a little private space within a public one, to relax and unwind. Its soothing soft interior shelters and isolates your head and hands (mind and body) for a short break, without needing to leave your desk, chair, bench or wherever you may be.
Given the thick layers of material, one would presume that the "micro environment" would have its own microclimate – perhaps the humid, sultry atmosphere of a volcanic cave. But that actually sounds even more relaxing, come to think of it. The big drawback I see from donning this bulbous hood is the diminished awareness of one's surroundings. A robber could snatch your wallet and be off the train while you're still struggling to extricate yourself from this head-womb.
Images courtesy of Ostrich Pillow on Kickstarter.