A chair that is more
than just a chair.
The goal of the project was to develop and build a working model with original materials.
Working Model Course
4 Months Execution Time
DesignPF, University Pforzheim
Interviews, Ideation, Concept Development, Mockups, User Testing, Product Sketching, Color Material Finish, Working Model, Graphics
Interviews, Mockups, User Testing, Carpentry Workshop, Rhino, Adobe CC
Working with veneer wood, Value of well planned preparation, Time Management, Value of constructive feedback, Importance of documentation
“ Dude, my back hurts. It would be nice to have a standing desk or so.”
Most current furniture is very limited in its use.
At my university, especially in my faculty I saw fellow students and professors working in all different kind of positions. Sitting on a table, standing in front of a podium and such or crouching on the floor. Most of them improvising to cater their needs in terms of comfort.
The current furniture in our buildings does not cater for those individual preferences when it comes to working positions so much. It is mostly made for one purpose and limits the possibilities of the person using it.
The ChairPF is best described as a piece of furniture that allows for multiple applications. Repositioning the furniture permits individual usage according to the requirements of the respective person. Whether as an individual work-station or in a communicative arrangement. A frequent change of position additionally relieves the organism and lets people focus on their tasks. The design of the furniture is strongly reduced, based on its different functions and creates an individual appearance due the unique grain of the wood. Hence, the ChairPF creates variety through its simplicity.
Turn it around as you want. Literally.
Can a chair be more than just a chair? This question fostered the creation of an object that allows multiple applications put forth by the user while meeting the requirements of each position. Whether you want to just sit down for lunch, finish an assignment on a standing desk or crouch on the floor to browse the web for research. Next to adapting to daily tasks in a university, the ChairPF can also make everyday life more dynamic and individual in areas such as co-working spaces, offices, public institutions, tiny houses and your home.
In the position shown here, the ChairPF offers its user a classic seating option. The sitting comfort is further enhanced by the shape of a cantilever chair.
Turned around, the ChairPF with its removable seat cushion results among other things in a working station that can be used for various applications.
Placing the seat cushion on the ChairPF gives it further function in the same position. A stool with a storage compartment for e.g. magazines emerges.
A combination with other pieces of furniture also results in new functions. The ChairPF can serve as a standing desk and offers the user an upright working position.
Turning the ChairPF on its back and repositioning the seat cushion creates another seating option with a small work table for a wide variety of applications.
Attributes that make finding the right position
as easy as possible. In any living area.
The ChairPF is designed for long lasting use and allows for a comfortable handling through various features. Be it the repositioning of the whole chair through a simple handle, the dynamic seating comfort enabled by a removable seat cushion or the resilient but light structure for daily use. With all its characteristics, the chairPF becomes an empowering piece of furniture for various applications in different set ups.
In order to meet the various requirements and stress, the chair consists of several veneer layers that are laminated in a traditional process. This way the furniture forms a stable and comfortable unit.
A piece of furniture that blends in well & lets you focus on
your endeavor. Sitting, standing or crouching on the floor.
The unobtrusive design and the versatility of the chairPF allow the piece of furniture to find its place in any living area. Whether that is in schools, universities, offices, co-working spaces or at home. Its ability to be easily transported and repositioned helps the user to adopt one of the various positions without effort. And maybe you find even more applications that support your everyday life hidden in the ChairPF.
Behind the scenes of ChairPF.
Gaining insights from fellow students and people working at the university by observing and talking to them characterised the beginning of the process. Later it was the close exchange with professionals in the field of wood furniture production that was crucial to deliver a working model of the ChairPF.
The Ulmer Hocker was designed in 1954 by Max Bill, who was best known as the first dean of the School of Design in Ulm, Germany. In collaboration with Hans Gugelot, he designed a stool from donated wood which was processed in the school's own carpentry workshop.
Thanks to the clear lines and straightforward shape the Ulmer Hocker adapts to any living area and serves times as a stool, side table, shelf or coffee table. This versatility through simplicity fascinates me and therefore served as an inspiration for the project.
Understanding the user's behavior & desire.
Before, during & after lectures.
The concept is based on the various requirements of the design faculty at the University Pforzheim and the associated fields of application. In order to learn more about the students and lecturers desires, ambitions and daily requirements, I conducted a five-question survey involving 50 respondents. Furthermore, observing their behavior regarding the working position and how much improvisation is involved, provided important insights and pain points for the development of the project.
Having my university as a field of research helped to gather insights by talking to and observing peers and professors on a daily base.
Freedom. A big word, but one that makes a lot of sense
in connection with individual ways of working.
During my research, terms like freedom and individual support cropped up frequently. The importance of both those terms were endorsed by observing peers and lectures going about their business. In terms of furniture this means that people want versatile and portable objects that supports different applications with the same quality. Simple and user-friendly.
A large number of the current furniture at the university only allows for one specific application. A multifunctional solution would offer more freedom in the use of the object and support the user individually.
Having a portable piece of furniture would allow people to arrange it the way they prefer. Whether as an individual working station or in a communicative disposal work workshops and such.
People seems to have a desire for objects that are individual in its appearance. This creates a more inspiring surrounding and
lets each space appear less homogenous. Just like as we are individuals our selfs.
How can we combine multiple applications in one piece
of furniture to support different working positions?
Flipping it around might help.
The key findings mentioned above were included in the further design process as requirements. After exploring different was of combining multiple application in a piece of furniture I decided to move on with a simple pre-model to test and validate concepts. A major decision during the process was to drop the idea of including a surface functioning as a common table. Eventually the ChairPF, a usable object for the individual everyday life emerged.
Ideating around a form that includes various applications like a chair, a standing desk and a stool.
This is going to be a one-shot.
Let's hope for the best.
The final phase of the process involved the implementation of the developed concept in original materials. In order to implement the concept in the best possible quality, a lively exchange with professionals from the field of furniture production, especially with veneer wood, was extremely helpful. After identifying potential sources of problems during production, the ChairPF was form-glued with a negative and positive form in the university's own carpentry workshop and finalized.
CAD model of the ChairPF for further production purpose.