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December 29, 2009

In early November, Minnesota–based furniture and design company Blu Dot dropped 25 Real Good Chairs on the streets of Manhattan to see what would happen. Thus began the Real Good Experiment.

real good chair experiment blu dot blue

Camera crews were dispatched to catch the action and GPS devices, attached to and hidden on the bottom of the seat, tracked the chairs' travels. @bludotnews and @realgoodchairs tweeted updates and a map at realgood.bludot.com showed the chairs' movements in real time.

In mid-December, Blu Dot premiered the Real Good Experiment documentary film at their New York City showroom, which opened earlier this year. Just over eight minutes long, the film is a combination of footage of the chairs being abandoned (then rescued from the streets); scaled models representing the city and the chairs as they were carried, driven, and taken on the subway around town (and out to the boroughs); and interviews with some of those who took the chairs to their houses and gave them a home.

real good chair experiment blu dot

Despite clearly being a promotional experiment, the Real Good Experiment was fun to watch because who doesn't want to imagine finding a brand new Real Good Chair abandoned on the sidewalk on their way home? The live aspects--the Twittering, the GPS map updates--let you follow the action from anywhere in the world, and the documentary is a fun overview of and end to the project, plus its short duration makes it easy to digest. Was the project a ground-breaking, eye-opening experiment? No, but it certainly lived up to its name and was real good.

Watch the video at realgood.bludot.com/thefilm and check out photos of the experiment and the making of the film on the Read Good Experiment's Flickr page.

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