Strangers will no longer look at you with puzzlement when you ask them for a hug. Your parents will no longer think you’re needy when you keep asking them what they’re doing tonight. Your friends will always be there for you, until someone has kids and then all socializing will cease. So what to do when you’re having an awful day and just need a hug? Why, you go home to your favorite chair and it will make you feel all better.
Lee Eun Kyoung is the designer behind the Free Hug Sofa. Based in South Korea, he recognized that there are many lonely people in his nation. For instance, thousands of people pay to watch video feeds of other people eating, just so they don’t feel like they’re eating a meal alone. This is the perfect society for a hugging chair. With an overstuffed design and two massive fuzzy arms, the Free Hug Sofa envelopes its occupant completely. It looks like the Wookie from Star Wars, Chewbacca, has decided to make you his new best friend. Take that, Han Solo.
Lee designed the chair over the course of two years. The sofa and cushion (as the arms are called) are fully customizable and can be moved into whatever shape the user desires. This makes the Free Hug Sofa useful to those looking for companionship, but also for the sick and infirm. It is available in red, gray, and white. While the idea seems a bit comical, the design has received rave reviews from the international community. In particular, the Free Hug Sofa received the bronze medal in the 2015 A’Design Award competition. During his acceptance speech, Kyoung, a 28-year-old graduate of Hongik University in Seoul, reiterated that his chair ‘will hold you warm and soft like your mother, friend, and a lover.’ Hopefully not all at the same time or in the same way.