How to Sit in a Chair: A Guide to Knowing Your Place and Owning it

Sarah Rostad

This project served the purpose of examining the ideas of the feminine and curiosity of sitting. How do we sit? And why? Seemingly simple questions pose a lot of discussion. I remember growing up and my mother always telling me to “close my legs” and to “sit like a lady”. However, my khaki pants and unruly hair may or may not have contradicted this idea of what a “lady” was, even if my legs were closed.

I hope that these chairs can start conversations based on ideas of of femininity and sitting. I urge viewers to think and let these conversations spark ideas and create joy.


Each chair is inspired by one of Artemesia Gentileschi’s paintings of powerful women. Though portrayed as weak, afraid, sleeping, or even near death, each painting portrays women who were indeed strong. Goddesses, Pharaohs, queens or simply strong women. Colour and symbols will be shown on the chairs as a representation of the paintings.

The paintings show below are: Suzanna and the Elders (1610), The Death of Cleopatra (1640), Lucretia, and Venus and Cupid (1626).

I’m sure that next to none of the next poses would be deemed as “ladylike” to a lot of people. But I think I would like to just sit. Sit and think. Or sit and read without being judged on the way that I do it.

Thank you to my lovely models, Morgan Martino, Candice Chang and Madison Bachman-Conrad.

Sarah Rostad

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Hello! I am a passionate designer with a love for emotionally durable products that are designed to grow old.
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