earthquake bed

Umm ... yeah … no.

That’s been the overwhelming response to a conceptual bed design from China that, theoretically, is supposed to keep slumbering individuals out of harm’s way when seismic activity is detected. In reality, this earthquake-proof bed somehow manages to evoke two uniquely horrific films at the very same time: “San Andreas" and “Nightmare on Elm Street."

Not an easy feat.

As you can see in the animations above and the video below, patent-holding Chinese inventor Wang Wenxi has envisioned several different iterations of the bed, which by itself, is quite the piece of furniture. It resembles a surgical table topped with a mattress more than anything else. Equipped with sensors that trigger mechanical parts when the ground begins to rattle and shake, it’s a bed that essentially swallows you alive for your own safety. There’s no simpler way to put it.

Once your bed has converted into a giant steel vault with you secured snugly inside of it, you can, errr, continue sleeping. Or you can go ahead and dig into the emergency provisions — food, bottled water, medical supplies, oxygen, adult coloring books, etc. — conveniently stashed within your bed-cum-private earthquake tomb. It’s unclear exactly how one goes about liberating oneself from the human-sized safe box — or how one knows when it’s safe to do so without being clobbered by falling rubble.

Writes Katie Dowd of the San Francisco Chronicle:

Should you survive the ordeal of being eaten by your bed and buried by the rubble of your home, good luck getting help! You're now inside a claustrophobic hell, a safety deposit box of nightmares.

As mentioned, not all of Wenxi’s bonkers bed designs necessarily swallow those sleeping atop of them. In one instance, the mattress simply drops down before a massive lid slams shut, sealing sleepers inside of the steel box frame; another design, a not-so-elegant four-poster model, involves a frame that retracts downwards. Whatever the execution (an apt word here), the end results are all the same: within a matter of seconds, you’ve gone from peacefully sleeping to being trapped within an oversized ice chest as the world crumbles around you.

And what about beds with two people in it? It’s certainly not an unusual scenario by any means, but it would seem that Wenxi hasn’t gotten around to tackling it yet. Whatever the case, it has the makings of a fabulous existential horror film in which the protagonist is trapped inside a bed for hours — maybe even days — with his/her bickering spouse.

Shudder.

While Wexi’s concepts are certainly attention-grabbing, he’s not the first to conceive of a bed that offers earthquake protection. Back in 2012, a Japanese firm introduced so-called Wood Luck beds that are equipped with canopies able withstand up to 65 tons of falling debris. Retailing for nearly $6,000, it’s the perfect big-ticket holiday gift for your mother-in-law in Seattle.

Via [Quartz], [SFGate] via [Gizmodo]

Matt Hickman ( @mattyhick ) writes about design, architecture and the intersection between the natural world and the built environment.