Words and Photos by Clark Adomaitis
The NAC’s Cohen Library is the school’s epicenter for knowledge cultivation. The seat that you sit in defines your study experience. If you are uncomfortable or too comfortable, your knowledge intake and productivity level could diminish greatly. According to a Cornell University study, “an estimated 50% of people in the industrialized world suffer some form of back complaint and many of these are related to poor seat design.” If you are complaining about your back, you are wasting time not studying. Comfortable chairs are the answer to this problem. Here is a tour of the seats in the Cohen Library!
The couches are easy to get lost in. Your posterior sinks down and backwards to a position that, for some, is more cushiony than their home mattress. If this is true for you, you are more likely to fall asleep in it. Therefore, sitting in this couch is extremely relaxing and therapeutic. You feel rejuvenated and refreshed for an upcoming class. If you have a lot of work to do and are sitting in this couch, perhaps you would not get much done because of the amazing comfort.
The couches are arranged in rows on the third floor for ‘Group Study.’ Here, you are allowed to talk at any volume. You can socialize with your friends and enjoy yourself, partially because of the availability of these couches.
The semi-rough and scratchy texture of the cushion allows for a traditional atmosphere that makes you feel at home. The smell of the couches is musty, however. I do not know how often the couches are cleaned, but I imagine that it is not nightly. Beware of falling asleep face-first on one of these couches.
The ground floor of the Cohen Library is the school’s main computer lab. Students spend long hours here working and looking at eye-straining screens. The key to students spending many hours here is the comfortable chairs.
The lab is home to black plastic chairs with ribbed seats and backs. The seat is shaped to fit people comfortably. Sitting in this chair for many hours is not difficult. The plastic ribs have a flexibility to them, which gives you the feeling of sitting in a cushioned seat. You can put your head down on the computer desk in front of you and take a nap easily.
The chairs are very new. They swivel, roll, and rise/lower fluidly. I feel almost as if the chair is a part of me. I am being very productive in this chair. I am writing all of this. Additionally, this floor of the library is generally well maintained and clean, as are these chairs.
The stool is an unsung hero. its uses are twofold in the library. You may sit on it; however, its back support is nonexistent. Its best use satisfies those seated at a couch. You are able to extend your legs forward so that you are in a reclining position.
The left side of the fourth floor has a row of couches with these stools in front of them already set up so the students may plop down and recline for a relaxing midday nap. The sun shines through the windows and warms the napping bodies.
The unforgiving hardness of these chairs exacerbates the already stressed, anxious, and exhausted posteriors of CCNY students. The seat does shape to the buttocks, but this makes it no more enjoyable.
These uncomfortable wooden chairs litter the second, third, fourth, and fifth floors of the library. They infest every desk, cubicle, and table.
They do not seem to be cleaned or wiped off well. They always appear greasy or oily; filth builds up after days of not being cleaned. Hands, backpacks, jackets, pants, and shoes which have been exposed to subways, floors, railings, toilets, sinks, and pollution all come in contact with them.
Their proximity to the inviting and spacious couches makes one want to get out of the chair and sit on a couch. The attractive lure of the more comfortable seats makes this hard demon feel even more uncomfortable.
These chairs suck.