Featured Stories


Brooklynite invents new chair; it's made in Southeast

RITA A. LEONARD - Venn Chair developer Tyler Benner, left, of the Brooklyn neighborhood, displays (and sits on) his spherical chairs - with the products designer and manufacturer, Fine Karunamit. Recently, Brooklyn neighborhood resident Tyler Benner developed a new business producing comfortable air-filled chairs for home and office.

The “Venn chair” – inspired, he says, by the Venn diagram – is described as “a spherical upholstered chair that improves the three overlapping foundations of life: Body, mind, and spirit”.

“I was originally inspired by stability balls,” says Benner, “But I wanted to make a piece of upholstered furniture.”

The chairs are made to last, he assures – using Pendleton wool, upholstery grade textiles, thick double-backed upholstery foam, and an anti-burst air cushion. Benner says his new chairs promote core strength by allowing the body to exercise equilibrium, appealing to natural urges to move and stretch: “The chairs help you stay alert, maintain balance, be happy, exercise patience, and embrace change.”

Venn chairs come in a variety of colors to match home or office, or can be custom designed for a customer. They are manufactured right in Inner Southeast at Fyn Apparel, 2132 S.E. Division Street, a design shop and display room. Owner Ms. Fine Karunamit remarks, “It was initially challenging to sew the spherical pieces together, but we created patterns for two sizes.”

Benner comments that his chairs are comfortable, and engineered for the future. “We made over fifty prototype designs before hitting on the right combination of materials, and were featured in Domino Magazine.

“The chairs are sold at Fyn Apparel, online at www.venndesign.co [not “com”], at Hunt & Gather in Portland’s Pearl District, and in some Pendleton stores.”