Artist Jacob Tonski, inspired by how the sofa is a center of human interactions, rigged a 170-year-old Victorian sofa to stand up on a single leg–and to break apart into pieces when it falls over. It’s a metaphor for the precariousness of relationships and also, I assume, an example of why you shouldn’t use shoddy 170-year-old furniture.
The sofa is held together with magnets and balances through a reaction wheel, a robotic mechanism used on satellites to keep them pointed at a target, like a star. The rigging is not perfect; there’s still a good chance the sofa will fall over, and when it does, the magnets break apart, and the sofa collapses into pieces. That means it’s a lot more fun to look at than to sit on.