Jul 19 2019

Rethinking the office chair

More dynamic seating; meetings and conferences held more intelligently: studies show that around 40 per cent of employees would like a more modern working environment that adapts to the demands of today’s world of work. Furniture manufacturers are rising to the challenge and, together with internationally successful designers, are developing a new generation of office chairs. And one thing is clear – the focus is on greater comfort. 

Sitting comfortably – even in the workplace 

Today’s world of work is in a state of transition: although there’s increasing talk of flexible workplaces, there are still many activities in the office that are primarily done from a seated position at a fixed workstation. It is precisely this unbalanced strain on the body that leads to disorders affecting the musculoskeletal system.

This makes the chairs we sit on all the more important. In addition to the health consideration, however, aesthetics also play a key role, because we need a pleasant ambience in our workplaces – nobody simply wants to “sit out” their working hours in a sterile office.

The challenge for manufacturers is to combine creative design with practical health benefits. More and more furniture companies are taking on this task and cooperating with renowned German designers to turn the office chair from a cheerless workplace companion into a piece of furniture that makes us feel good. This process is resulting in new, state-of-the-art and user-friendly swivel chairs offering even greater comfort and ergonomic innovations. 

Improved ergonomics 

Internationally successful designer Stefan Diez has developed the “D1 by Diez” office chair in collaboration with Wagner Living. This involved fine-tuning the patented Dondola seat joint and integrating it into the “D1” swivel chair family.

The way that the mesh-covered tubular steel frame is constructed means that the seat shell adjusts to perfectly suit the position of the body and stimulates active and dynamic sitting. Whether in the “Office” version with a high backrest or in the “Lounge” version with a lower backrest, the beautiful design, innovative materials and dynamic seating properties of the “D1” make it an attractive piece of furniture. 

With “Occo”, design duo Jehs+Laub have created an entire range of office furniture for German company Wilkhahn. The chairs make an impact thanks to the high recognition value resulting from the striking recess in the backrest. They not only provide an airy appearance, but also a high level of seating comfort.

“Occo” is available with or without castors and can therefore be used at a desk, at conferences or at meetings. Four frames, three upholstery options and six shell colours make up a total of 72 model variants that respond to almost all functional and design requirements and give an office its very own style. 

“Rookie” from Vitra was conceived on the drawing board of Konstantin Grcic. This office chair has been reduced to the bare essentials and is a small, agile and – by office standards – unconventionally simple chair. With only minimal adjustments, it immediately offers a welcome degree of comfort.

“Rookie” provides the classic office chair functions with its height-adjustable seat and backrest, but the chair’s structural design also responds to ergonomic requirements. The backrest flexes slightly and the front edge offers an unusual degree of give. The seat and backrest upholstery are available in various fabrics and one leather option, opening up a range of colour variations to turn heads in the workplace. 

All three models certainly have the potential to become firm favourites in the office. After all, it’s not just a question of finding a chair that helps us to sit properly, but also one we enjoy sitting in. 

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