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'Mamoris' chair doubles as a helmet

Meet a multitasking chair from earthquake-prone Japan. You can sit in it and, if needed, use it to protect your head from falling debris.

Keiko Inagaki of Japanese design studio Znug Design displays a prototype of the Mamoris chair.
Yoshizaku Tsuno/AFP/Getty Images

You're sitting watching TV when you start to feel the ground shake beneath you. You could dive under the nearest desk or run to a threshold. Or you could take your chair and plop it on your head. If you're sitting in a Mamoris, that is.

The chair can convert into a helmet.

Japanese industrial designer Kota Nezu of Znug Design, together with design firm Poplife, developed the prototype chair/hat for use in earthquakes. Mamoris ("mamoru" is Japanese for "to protect," while "isu" means "chair") just made a showing during Tokyo Designers Week, which continues through November 4. Japan, of course, is highly prone to temblors.

When you're just sitting there looking pretty and not needing head protection, the hard hat hides discreetly under the chair. A 90-degree twist of a dial located in the seat detaches the chair's back, which connects to the helmet. Turn the impromptu emergency gear upside down for head, neck, and back protection.

The chair weighs about 3 pounds in its current iteration.

No one is likely to call the Mamoris-atop-head stylish, but if it shields your noggin from pieces of falling ceiling, it definitely beats a more fashionable chapeau. That said, don't ditch your disaster-proof headgear just yet. The patent-pending furniture isn't quite (commercially) ready for tushes.

Knug Design, Poplife
Znug Design, Poplife