Connect with us

All Articles

All The Chairs Are Wrong

1878 called and it wants its goddamned wooden death trap back.

It was once said that all great designers, whether they design skyscrapers or artwork, challenge themselves to design the perfect chair: beautiful when seen, yet invisible when in use. I’m pretty sure I heard that on a podcast at some point. In any case, Columbia clearly didn’t recruit any “great designers” when considering which chairs they should use to populate the campus. Save a select few, all the chairs are wrong.

Take John Jay dining hall. The chairs are uncomfortable to sit in and take up so much room, from their thick handles to their round-seated design. This makes it tough to navigate around the dining hall; the spaces between chairs are so small you either have to squeeze between them, possibly spilling your food and invading the personal space of others, or take a lap around the entire dining hall, searching for an inch of space you can use to your advantage. Their thick design makes them durable, but bulky. It’s safe to say the chairs are wrong.

The study desks in Pupin have the opposite problem; they’re made out of a low-grade plastic, with a tiny piece of laminated wood to use as a desk. Besides blowing away in the wind, the biggest problem these chairs have is the unappealing tilt of the desks which, when combined with the smoothness of the “wood”, makes it unsafe to put anything on them lest it slide off seconds later. Their lightweight composition also causes the desk to swivel easily; more than once I’ve rested my elbow on the side of the desk, only to have it flap up and crash back down in the middle of someone saying something about Dante and capitalism or whatever. The poor quality makes these chair-desks unsubstantial and unusable. These chairs are definitely wrong.

The Butler chairs, as seen in the image above, combine the worst of both worlds: uncomfortable design and lightweight materials.  After a long day pretending to be productive, my back always aches from the un-ergonomic backrest composed of wooden rods. More than once I’ve been tempted to smash the chair over my knee, which would probably take as much strength as pulling a tissue out of a tissue box. While the chairs may be right given the context (all students in Butler give off the appearance of quality with no structure underneath), they are unequivocally wrong.

Unless you’re pulling off an Inception-style dream-dive, you don’t need to occasionally experience the stomach-churning feeling of freefall, sorry not sorry.

Don’t even get me started on these Library Tycoon wannabees. What possible justification could you have for wanting chairs that tilt back a little bit, other than wanting to scare students half to death? My current theory is that in order to increase membership rates into the Bloomingdale Insane Asylum, they stashed these chairs in cafés nearby to induce people into insanity. Then they gathered the chairs back up when they opened Columbia. No one has ever actually had the thought “Hm, you know what I’d love right now? If my stomach went from a solid to a plasma” while studying. Also, the softness of the cushions juxtaposes badly with the hardness of the wood. These chairs are wrong.

Do you have a least favorite chair? Yell at the person next to you about it or maybe put it in the comments.

Write a comment

Your email address will not be published.



  • Anonymous says:

    @Anonymous Yeah, all those old desks in Chandler and Schermerhorn had my grandaddy’s graffiti carved in

  • down w mudd says:

    @down w mudd MUDD CHAIRS! ARE! THE! WORST! somehow a bunch of engineers designed the most ineffective uncomfortable awkward chairs in existence and everyone except for me seems to be cool with it???

  • Facts to sit on says:

    @Facts to sit on I could live in the Law School Library giant red chairs, 10/10–would sleep in again.
    Carleton Commons chairs, so stylish, comfortable, and retain Swedish interior design continuity, 9/10–would plop down again.
    Lehman Lower Level Chairs, there was a giant hole in the fabric of the chair showcasing some sexy nails, 2/10–would not puncture rectum again.

  • Anonymous says:

    @Anonymous this is a great article thank you

  • Have Your Say

    What should Bwog's new tagline be?

    View Results

    Loading ... Loading ...

    Recent Comments

    Hi! That's totally fair. We don't condone excess socializing during the pandemic. However, we wrote this based on general freshman (read more)
    Things We Wish We Knew Our First-Year
    August 4, 2020
    It's laughable that there are already "scientific" papers on "long term covid 19 effects" where "long term" means a couple (read more)
    Everything We Know About Columbia’s Reopening Plan (As Of 7/28/2020)
    August 3, 2020
    >Mrs. Rand is that you? Says the individual who got to have a job and make a living during the (read more)
    Everything We Know About Columbia’s Reopening Plan (As Of 7/28/2020)
    August 3, 2020
    You mean Cuomo's nursing home patients. All well into their 80s or morbidly obese. Also hospitals in the suburbs and (read more)
    Everything We Know About Columbia’s Reopening Plan (As Of 7/28/2020)
    August 3, 2020

    Comment Policy

    The purpose of Bwog’s comment section is to facilitate honest and open discussion between members of the Columbia community. We encourage commenters to take advantage of—without abusing—the opportunity to engage in anonymous critical dialogue with other community members. A comment may be moderated if it contains:
    • A slur—defined as a pejorative derogatory phrase—based on ethnicity, race, gender, sexual orientation, ability, or spiritual belief
    • Hate speech
    • Unauthorized use of a person’s identity
    • Personal information about an individual
    • Baseless personal attacks on specific individuals
    • Spam or self-promotion
    • Copyright infringement
    • Libel
    • COVID-19 misinformation