Designer Alexia Audrain’s Oto Chair Inflates to Comfort People with Autism

Conceived us as an article of warm, welcoming design rather than a medical device (thanks to feedback on a prototype model, that was presented at L’École de design Nantes Atlantique, from people with autism as well as from psychometricians studying sensory processing disorders), graduate designer Alexia Audrain’s Oto chair inflates to “hug” a person sitting within it. This cocooning effect can help people with autism self-soothe when presented with sensory overload. Deep pressure therapy from blow-up modules is controlled by the user, granting agency. Further, sound-absorbing foam lends the plush interior and beech wood shell additional function. Read more about the way the chair works—and what Audrain hopes it will provide—at Dezeen.

Image courtesy of Alexia Audrain