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Brighton University

A student has designed a chair that could change the way men spread when they sit – forever.

Laila Laurel, from the University of Brighton last year created a chair that stops “manspreading” and she’s even won an award for it.

The 23-year-old won the Belmond Award at New Designs in London after her design, called A Solution for Manspreading, won the top craft.

It’s a simple but ingenious design crafted in such a way that men have to sit with their legs closed, preventing that dreaded situation where they spread their legs wide and invade people’s personal space.

She made a second chair for women which encourages them to sit with their legs spread out.

Reacting to the prize, Laila said: “I am completely shocked but very happy and honoured to have won the Belmond Award - and I am looking forward to designing with them this year.”

Laila won a commissioned to create a product for the hotel and leisure company.

The 23-year-student was inspired by men “infringing” on her space in public.

She said:

It came both from my own experiences of men infringing on my space in public, and also from 'The Everyday Sexism Project', a website founded by Laura Bates in which women self-testify about sexism they experience.

Senior architecture and design lecturer of the University of Brighton, Dr Eddy Elton said: "Over the past month our students and staff have come together to work tirelessly on its design.

Winning the award at such a prestigious event, which is recognised by the professional design community, was an amazing achievement for our students and university.

Seeing our students being called to the stage to receive this award is something I will be forever proud of.

Laila Laurel (left) has done her bit to stop manspreading

“With my chair set I hoped to draw awareness to the act of sitting for men and women and inspire discussion around this.”

The judges called it a “bold, purpose-driven design that explores the important role of design in informing space, a person’s behaviour and society issues of today".

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