James Dyson Award Logo

OTO the hugging chair – award winner

James Dyson award 2021 : National winner (France) and international finalist Top 20

website : The James Dyson Award

Accéder au site web en francais : www.audrainalexia.com

OTO the hugging chair

Designed for people with autism, usable by everyone.

This innovative chair has inflatable inner walls that apply deep pressure on the body. This pressure helps reduce anxiety in people with sensory disorders, so they can feel calmer, more available and able to participate in learning or social interaction.
OTO was designed in consultation with experts including people with autism and since 2021 it is in use in EXAC-T the Center of Excellence on Autism and Neurodevelopmental Disorders in Tours, France.

Visit the website for more information about the story of the design, the user guide, or to see more photos.

How to buy OTO

For the moment, there is only one model of OTO the hugging chair that is in use in the Tours’ hospital and is presented in many events. As a result, we did get many feedbacks and have made a lot of improvement (noise, user remote, fabric) on the first model. With all this knowledge, we have build partnerships with industrial producer which lead us to a new design of OTO the hugging chair ready for production.

OTO the hugging chair will be sold by the end of 2022 and will be made to order. If you are interested, contact us to get all the technical information, the quotation and do a reservation.

  • Design process
    During my studies as a cabinetmaker and designer. I built the prototype of this chair as part of a final project to design and build innovative wooden furniture that met the needs of specialist users.… Read more: Design process
  • The new design in detail
    OTO the hugging chair was designed to meet the needs of its users. The shell is in beech wood and different materials – wool felt, and soft resin – have been integrated in a graphical… Read more: The new design in detail
  • User guide
    The user guide for OTO the hugging chair Connect the seat to a power source. Use the switch to turn the seat on. Open the zip on both sides. Sit down and use the hand-held… Read more: User guide


I am Alexia Audrain, an award-winning designer and cabinet maker from Nantes in France. If you’d like to get more information about my work, or if you have question about OTO the hugging chair, don’t hesitate to contact me using this form.

Other contact options

You could also contact me, or follow this project on Instagram, Linkedin, Facebook using the links below.