If Ferrari Made Office Chairs What Would They Look Like?

Xten Chair

Xten Office Chair by Pininfarina

Although this might sound like an odd question it’s actually one there is a plausible answer for.

And the reason is Pininfarina, the esteemed Italian design firm responsible for some of those beautiful shapes you see in Ferrari and Maserati autos, has turned its hand to office chair design.

It has produced the Xten ergonomic office chair investing some $1.5 million in the process and the result is a truly beautiful looking chair.

However its beauty is definitely not just skin deep, and it’s clear a great deal of attention and design input has gone into creating the Xten.

The seat utilizes Dynatec fabric used by Olympic athletes, it is durable and comfortable and is particularly good at keeping users cool as it pulls moisture away from the body.

The seat pad incorporates Technogel® to even weight distribution and so relieving pressure points when sitting.

The chair’s Armtronic® system gives very precise arm level adjustment and this is controlled by a sophisticated gas piston simply operated by a push button control under the arm.

Xten also has all the other adjustments you would expect on a top end ergonomic chair including seat depth, height and tension control, and the advanced synchronized tilting that reclines the chair to match the way the human back works. It also has a built in height adjustable headrest and an 8 step locking recliner.

Clearly a chair built to this standard is never going to be cheap, although at a current net selling price of $1695 it’s not hugely more expensive than some other top end chairs.

You can find further details on the Xten at www.Xtenchair.com


Which Office Chairs Make Top 10 Interior Products Of Past 50 Years?

Howe 40/4 Chair

Howe 40/4 Chair

When Contract Magazine asked destinguished designer Carl Magnusson to produce a list of the top 10 interior products of the past 50 years, it wasn't surprising he included 3 chairs in his final list, after all office chairs are an integral part of any office interior.

It also didn't surprise me when he placed the 40/4 by David Rowland as his top choice.

This wonderfully versatile chair launched in 1964 is a masterpiece of design and although 40/4 may look like nothing more than a part number it actually defines the chair.

40/4 Chair Stacked

40/4 Chair Stacked

First 40 is the number of chairs which can be placed in a single stack, pretty amazing in its own right and yet equally incredible is when stacked 40 high it only takes up a stacking height of 4 feet and remains stable as a rock.

Can you imagine trying to stack the average office stacking meeting chair 40 high? You would need a scaffold to stop them falling over and a fork lift to place them in position.

I have supplied hundreds of these chairs over the years, they are so versatile and can be used in many different areas like waiting rooms, auditoriums, conference and training areas and out of the office they are very popular with churches too.

Sapper Chair

Sapper Chair

In position 7 was Knoll's Sapper chair first released in 1985, named after its designer Richard Sapper and still part of its current range.

The chair was the first to utilize auto industry construction techniques giving a slim line appearance and creating a far more attracive looking chair and quickly making traditionally heavily foamed chairs look bulky and dated.

Aeron Chair

Aeron Chair

Finally, position 8 went to Herman Miller's Aeron chair which is no surprise as it is probably the best known office seat of all time with well over a million sold around the world.

For many people it still represents the chair of their dreams and still maintains a huge following.

It's interesting to note all 3 of these products are still going strong many years after they first appeared, which is surely an indicator of the significance of good product design.

You can find full details of the top 10 products in March issue of Contract magazine.


Humanscale Picks Up A Prestigious Red Dot Award For The Diffrient World Chair

Humanscale has won a coveted Red Dot award for its Diffrient World Chair as the Best of the Best in the Office Furniture category, awarded to a single product in a broad product class this is a great achievement.

It is almost exclusively self adjusting and apart from setting the height users can leave it all up to the chair to work out the most comfortable and supportive position to place you in.

All this has been achieved by using just 8 major components with the chair actually functioning without a mechanism and incorporating form-sensing mesh upholstery for perfect back and lumbar support removing the need for manually adjustable components.

The only downside is the chair still isn't officially launched and doesn't look like appearing until early summer 2010.

However, Diffrient World is only one of Humanscale's award winning chairs and the good news it is running a promotion on all its products offering an additional 15% saving on current prices.

Follow these links for reviews and details on the savings on the Freedom chair and Saddle seat as well as the Liberty chair, which are all great products in their own rights.


High End Office Chairs Pick Up Recent Mentions In The Media

The February 2010 edition of Men's Journal takes a look at 9 different office chair models:

  • Herman Miller's Embody
  • Knoll's Generation Chair
  • Humanscale's Freedom Chair
  • Zody from Haworth
  • HÅG Futu
  • Steelcase Think Chair
  • Evolution Ball Chair
  • Kore Stool


Pick of the bunch not surprisingly was Miller's Embody chair scoring a near maximum whereas the least favored was the Kore Stool mainly because it requires the user to balance on it which can be tiring after a time when muscles aren't toned, mind you at little more than 10% of the cost of the winner maybe the result wasn't so surprising.

Also the UK's Financial Times weekend edition for 13 February 2010 carried an article on 4 top end models:

  • Herman Miller's Embody Chair
  • Herman Miller's Setu
  • Steelcase Think Chair
  • Humanscale's Diffrient World Chair (not yet officially released)


With more and more senior managers spending part of their week working in their home office demand for better quality office seating appears to be on the rise.


HÅG Quietly Ends Manufacture of Its Balans Kneeling Chair

HÅG of Norway is no longer producing its Peter Opsvik designed Balans kneeling chair which has been a part of its seating range for over 26 years.

Although it has never been a major product for them, it sold steadily over the years and was popular with people who find conventional chairs didn't suit them. It was certainly amongst the best kneeling chairs particularly from a quality and design viewpoint.

If you had thought you might like to own one, fortunately it may still possible to get hold of one from ErgoDepot.com who still has a few available.

If you would like to understand more about this specialist seat, here's where you can find a review of the HÅG Balans chair.


Generation by Knoll™ Review Added

Just uploaded is a review of the Generation by Knoll™ chair which won a NeoCon Gold award for best task chair in Chicago in June last year.

It offers amazing flexibility as you sit in it thanks to advanced plastics more usually found in domestic appliances and cleverly re-used here giving users great support and comfort however you choose to sit.

The seat and back give a far greater range of movement compared to most office chairs and no matter how you sit the memory encoded plastic returns the chair to the upright position once you leave the chair.

Here's where to will find the full review of the Generation.


What Really Goes Into A New Office Chair Design

I bet you've probably never thought about what goes into the design of a new office chair nonetheless you will find this SolidSmack article fascinating.

It isn't about producing a new model by going out and sourcing some ready made components and sticking them all together hoping that they will work, it's about designing a new chair from scratch.

It talks about Herman Miller's Setu chair, who selected Berlin's Studio 7.5 to come up with what they wanted, a go anywhere chair needing no adjustment which just fits the user from the get go.

A tall order. Here's how it became a reality.


Humanscale Picks Up 6 Awards At IIDEX/NeoCon Canada

Office ergonomics product specialist Humanscale has scooped no less than 6 awards at last week's IIDEX.

It gained 3 Gold innovation awards including its Diffrient World chair due for imminent release, Element LED task light and V7 Wall Station intended for use in the healthcare market. A Silver award was also gained for its ultra flexible 6G keyboard support mechanism.

Bronze awards were achieved with its L6 Notebook manager which lets laptop users view the screen at a safe height and its new sleek M2 monitor arm for perfect positioning of flat panel monitors.


Kneelsit Revises Prices For North American Market

Kneelsit the Australian kneeling seat specialist has revised prices for its highly versatile kneeling chair and there is some good news as well as bad news.

The good news is it has reduced the cost of its top of the range leather model by $150 to $649, the not so good news is it has had to increase the fabric model price by $50 to $549 due to increased production and shipping costs.

These chairs are extremely well made carrying a 15 year warranty and it's fair to say one of these kneeling chairs whilst by no means cheap will probably last you a lifetime.


Variable Balans Kneeling Chair Now Comes In A Backrest Version

Varier has decided to upgrade its Variable Balans Kneeling Chair backrest option into a standard model instead of an add on component as before.

The main good news of this change is the cost of the backrest component has been reduced by 40% and so will make this version more affordable and attractive for those who like the idea of including a backrest on their kneeling chair.

Here's where you will find a full review of the Variable Balans range detailing the available options.

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