The Evolution of an Unruly Blob!
You would think that a warm, comfy cushion-chair is universally loved; But, throughout our many years selling beanbags, we've come to learn that this isn’t the case. Like Marmite, beanbags are a love or hate thing. So, why is the popular opinion on beanbags so divided, and what makes some people dislike the patron saint of laidback ease in the furniture universe? Here’s what we think.
Beanbags actually have a long history going as far back as ancient Egypt and China while Native Americans used them for games. The first known actual ‘beanbag chair’ was the ‘Sacco’ designed by three Italian modernists Paolini, Gatti, and Teodoro for a commission, in 1969. Their brief was to produce a chair that was aesthetically appealing, comfortable and unique; We think they nailed it—almost. During the 1970’s the beanbag chair became so popular in North America with the relaxed attitudes and non-conformity of the hippie culture, that it became almost impossible to find a household that didn’t have one. As highly commercialised furniture pieces, and with the beanbag makers becoming more and more competitive, by the end of the 1970’s these chairs had developed a significantly bad image connected to cheap materials, gaudy colours, and a shape that left people staring at the ceiling with no neck support. This was the beginning of the bad reputation that beanbags had throughout the eighties, nineties and even the early two-thousands; the unruly blob that hung around basements reminding you of the bad choices from your parents’ youth and That 70’s Show (not in a good way). This is why for many eighties’ and nineties’ folk, the beanbag remains synonymous with an outdated sense of tasteless non-functionality that only deepens their void left behind by Kurt Cobain.
Fast forward to the twenty-teens and 2020, things have changed a lot. Beanbags have started reemerging as counter culture heroes, making it back to the living room, entertainment spaces and interestingly, to workplaces as businesses started taking Google’s lead to make the office experience reminiscent of hanging out with friends.
At ApiHappi, we did a few things that made the beanbag even more interesting for the times, with better functionality and ergonomics. By creating a shape that allows neck support and encourages you to sit up, instead of slumping down like in traditional beanbags, we made it quite comfortable for working on a laptop or even eating a bowl of something. Some even prefer beanbags to the stiff posture of traditional chairs that lead to neck and back pain. We also think that the choice of fabric that we offer with rich, warm textured handwoven cotton made a major improvement from the sticky polyester versions. And then, there’s ApiHappi's signature aesthetic with our bold, fun colours that bring in some seriously good moods into spaces.
Right now, ApiHappi beanbags are being widely used in corporate offices, therapy rooms, cafes, co-working spaces, houses, hotel rooms, weddings (!) and most recently, especially curated zoom call corners. Our favourite thing in this era of new love for the unruly blob? Hearing someone say, “I’m saving up to buy an ApiHappi”. It reminds us that we’re probably doing something right.