benjamin hubert of experience design agency LAYER presents ‘sequel seat’, a premium seat that seeks to elevate the cinema experience while enticing the public back to the movies in a post-COVID-19 world. the project offers the opportunity for theaters to transform the cinema experience for visitors and tackle these challenges in a meaningful way. 

LAYER sequel seat
sequel seat has a number of innovative features integrated into the structure of the chair to ensure the footprint is equal to existing premium cinema seating



‘sequel seat’ was in development by LAYER with a leading US-based cinema seating company for 14 months prior to the pandemic. with the onset of COVID-19, however, the company went into receivership as a result of the widespread closure of cinemas around the world. LAYER retained the IP and continued to work on the project, with a belief that a new approach to cinema seating would be essential for the recovery of the industry.

LAYER sequel seat
the softly cocooning seat has removable protective screens that safely separate audience members. in times when strict hygiene measures are no longer necessary, this screen can be easily removed



the resulting seat — which is available for licensing — not only redefines the cinema experience, as the original brief set out to do, but offers a safer way for cinemas to operate during times of enhanced social distancing now and in possible future scenarios. the design language of ‘sequel seat’ is contemporary, with a rolling rhythm created by the rise and fall of the armrests, and a subtle wing back on the seat that delivers comfort without confining a moviegoers shoulders.

LAYER sequel seat
this not only minimizes the risk of audience members accidentally breaching social distancing measures by sitting in the wrong seat, but also makes the movie-going experience a more personal one



the fresh and inviting color palette is inspired by the mid-century pastels used in wes anderson films, giving the seat a connection to the world of cinema and setting it apart from the outdated black and burgundy palette of conventional seating. the seats are modular and can be arranged into rows of any desired length, enabling them to be used in a variety of different cinema sizes and arrangements. the end of each row is marked by an LED that projects the row number onto the floor.

LAYER sequel seat
the armrest of each seat features a panel that allows users to control the recline, lumbar support, seat temperature and call for assistance. this allows moviegoers to craft their own experience



‘we believe that a product like ‘sequel seat’ will play a key role in encouraging people to come back to the cinema,’ explains benjamin hubert, founder, LAYER. ‘in today’s rapidly evolving entertainment landscape, it is essential for the cinema to offer an experience that is significantly differentiated from the growing streaming market. ‘sequel seat’ is a tool that delivers the enhanced comfort and essential safety features that will help cinemas define themselves as a safe place where moviegoers can be transported to another world.’ see other projects by LAYER on designboom here.

LAYER sequel seat
the 3D-knitted fabric upholstery incorporates antibacterial copper threads and is seamlessly woven to eliminate crevices that may act as dirt traps

layer presenting sequel seat 6
the durable, hydrophobic, stain-resistant textile has been tested for resistance to water, soft drinks, grease, and sweat, and can be easily wiped clean

layer presenting sequel seat 7
in the armrest between each seat is a storage unit for bags which keeps belongings out of the aisle to reduce trip hazards. a built-in UV light sterilizes these items when they are placed inside

layer presenting sequel seat 8
the swiveling table — featuring a cup-holder and space for food — is super smooth to ensure it is easy to clean

layer presenting sequel seat 9
each headrest has LEDs that display the seat number and the name used for the booking. in the fully reclined position, the front of the chair lifts up to comfortably support the viewer’s legs

layer presenting sequel seat 10
the rear of each seat features a coat hook to help keep circulation paths clear, it also features a UV light that is used to sterilize the seat behind it in between screenings

layer presenting sequel seat 11
all electrification is located in the seat, rather than the floor, for simplicity and cost-efficiency

layer presenting sequel seat 12
personal speakers are integrated into the headrest of each seat, creating an immersive audio experience for viewers and elevating the cinema experience above what can be achieved in the home



project info:


name: sequel seat
design: LAYER



designboom has received this project from our ‘DIY submissions‘ feature, where we welcome our readers to submit their own work for publication. see more project submissions from our readers here.


edited by: philip stevens | designboom