Stages in the life of an office chair, Part 2 Design

Market observation, trend research and inspiration: these are the first steps in the life of an office chair, as explained in more detail by my colleague Hagen Trischler, product manager at Klöber, in Part 1 of this series. I’m going to describe what happens next. You see, as a designer it’s up to me to pick up on these impulses and turn them into a product that’s true to Klöber.

Two of the most important trends in the office furniture industry are user-friendliness and functionality. It is key that the complexity of a task chair is not too much for users to cope with. Here at Klöber we’ve been committed to both these trends for a very long time – a sitter can only use the chair properly and therefore benefit from its full ergonomic potential as long as it’s extremely user-friendly. The best way to explain this is to use our latest addition, the Connex2, as an example.

Intelligent design ensures ease of use

The intelligent Connex2 office chair is designed with two integral functions to allow dynamic sitting in an ideal position: the automatic point-synchro mechanism and a seat that can move in three dimensions. This combination ensures that the chair resets itself for each new user, regardless of their height and weight.

The colour-coded user controls of the Connex2 are another highlight of its design.

Drei farblich akzentuierte Bedienhebel für die beste Sitzposition.

Colour-coded user controls.

I came up with the idea of highlighting the controls in a contrasting colour because integrated or concealed controls can easily be overlooked by users. You can’t miss these – they are clearly visible from a sitting position and positively invite you to adjust the seat height and depth, as well as the lumbar support, to suit individual needs.

Minimalist styling ensures sustainable design

As a general principle for every new office chair, I make sure that styling is reduced down to essentials. The thing is, I’m confident that a modern, uncluttered design will fit perfectly into any office environment. This aspect is particularly important to me to ensure design sustainability. By taking a deliberate decision not to pursue short-lived trends, the goal is to design chairs that are a source of pleasure for many years. Flowing lines, surfaces and transitions, as well as a symmetrical appearance are features of Klöber chairs that ensure a coherent overall image. The Connex2 serves as an example of this, too: the chair is primarily characterised by lines and curves from within the same design idiom, and the central aluminium element makes it timeless yet eye-catching.

Our design philosophy is straightforward

In a nutshell, the Klöber design philosophy means the close relationship between form and function. Since all the mechanisms, functions and components of a genuine Klöber product are made here on our own premises, we are in a position to design office chairs from the inside out.

In the next article in the series “Stages in the life of an office chair, Part 3 Technical implementation/development” I will be interviewing Christian Roth-Schuler, head of development. Together we will take an in-depth look at the close links between design and development at Klöber – as touched upon already.

Jörg Bernauer

Jörg Bernauer, in-house designer. I’ve been at Klöber since 2008, accompanying each new product right from the start. For this I work closely with my colleagues from different departments, which…

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