May 2007 - Form, Foam, and Fun: a Design-trenpreneur Brings New Life to an Everyday Product -

Contact: Ann Hudner 774-264-0852

Product designer and entrepreneur Joe Gebbia announces a fresh and playful new design for an ordinary object: the seat cushion. Inspired after hours critiquing artwork from the cold, hard metal stools and rock hard plastic chairs, Gebbia went searching for a well designed, portable seat cushion. Then a student at the Rhode Island School of Design (RISD), he was confronted with few choices: a square or a rectangle. Unsatisfied, Gebbia developed a vision for what portable seating comfort should look like: CritBuns.

As founder and designer of CritBuns, the curvaceous foam cushion began as a sketch, and progressed through renderings, prototypes, and final models with one goal in mind: to solve the need of keeping art and design students worldwide comfortable and clean during studio critiques. The concept and design expanded and evolved each year alongside his double major courses in Industrial Design and Graphic Design. His first big break came during senior year when CritBuns won a competition to be the gift for his 2005 graduating class. In less than 3 weeks, Gebbia worked closely with a manufacturing partner to overcome a tight deadline, and oversee the production of the first 800 CritBuns. The response was overwhelming for a design with a form that clearly spoke to it's function. Gebbia transformed tounge-in-cheek to a highly functional cheek-to-cheek.

Following graduation, the multi-disciplinary designer wasted little time in starting his own company and began to develop the product's identity, package design, marketing plan, and filed for the intellectual property. Armed with a small inventory of CritBuns, he began going from store to store making sales calls. Now, in less than a year, the patented seat cushion is distributed across the United Sates in design stores, art supply stores, and online retailers, and internationally in Scandinavia and Canada.

CritBuns is made of a closed-cell foam with a durable skin, making ideal for hard surfaces both indoors and outdoors. The material is lightweight, easy to clean, and incorporates a handle for portability, all of which explains why users have taken it beyond the art studio to stadiums, gardens, concerts, and yoga studios. The suggested retail price is $19.99 and available online at

CritBuns was selected for inclusion in the 2007 ICFF Design Boom Gift Mart at the Javits Center in New York City, and will be available for purchase at booth #105 from May 19-22, 2007.

For more information on CritBuns please go to, where you will also find downloadable images. For further press or retail information, please contact Joe Gebbia via email at