Alum Charlie Hall Brings Back the Waterbed, Which He Invented as SF State Student in 1968

Monday, January 29, 2018

SEATTLE TIMES -- For Charlie Hall, it’s a long way from his days as a 24-year-old Industrial Design student at San Francisco State University doing his graduate school thesis.

“I always liked furniture and I wanted to address human comfort. I talked to doctors, physical therapists, even some psychiatrists, trying to put together elements of comfort that work,” he says.

For example, there are whirlpool baths taken by athletes — “letting your muscles relax, that soothing sensation associated with floating,” says Charlie.

From that came his first effort, a chair filled with a kind of viscous starch.

“It was not practical. It weighed 300 pounds, and you couldn’t move it unless you had a forklift. And you kept sinking deeper and deeper into it until it was hard to get out of,” remembers Charlie. “I also decided that a bed was more important. It’s the piece of furniture used most in the house.”