Abdul Aziz-Zalayl

The Bersila Workstation: stage one in a new work-furniture concept


The typical Malaysian sitting position called bersila[1] or the cross-legged position is common to most Asian cultures. This position offers the most stability, with three points touching the ground, creating a tripod effect. There is mounting evidence to the effect that the bersila position puts less strain on the spine than the “western” seated position.

This project investigates the design of workstation furniture suitable for the Malaysia education system and aims to facilitate the adoption of bersila seating position, commencing with the kindergarten classroom.

This paper focuses exclusively on the design and production of a versatile and stackable bersila workstation at kindergarten level and will outline the steps in prototype development showing sketches, models and prototypes, manufacturing considerations and the visual and video evidence derived from early testing and culminating in classroom trials in Malaysia.

[1] Bersila means a form of a sitting position: on a cushion, a mat, carpet or rug, where the sitter bends the left leg and places that foot in front of abdomen, and then bends the right leg and place the right foot on top of the left foot so that the feet cross each other and keep the spine straight.

Download The Bersila Workstation: stage one in a new work-furniture concept (363.38 KB)

Abdul Aziz-Zalayl:

I am a Lecturer at Universiti pendidian Sultan Idris in Tanjong Malim Perak, Malaysia and have been given a scholarship to undertake my PhD at The School of Art, University of Tasmania.