Classroom and school chairs form a distinct product category, characterised by their practicality, durability and ergonomics.
A large portion of classroom chairs, such as Delphin Design’s ‘Program S 160’ for Thonet, Kees de Boer’s ‘Ahrend 370’ for Ahrend, and Juoko Järvisalo’s ‘Siro WT’ for Mobel are understated designs with tubular steel legs and a plywood seat shell. The last school chair can be also accessorised with a tray desk, making it suitable for larger classrooms or school auditoriums.
Egon Eiermann’s classic, 1950 ‘SE 68 multipurpose chair’, manufactured by Wilde + Spieth, has a tubular steel base too, but its moulded plywood seat is segmented in two distinct pieces. Embru-Werke AG’s ‘Schulstuhl 6300’ has a 5-star metal base and a its seat swivels, while also being height adjustable, which is practical, especially in science classrooms . Verner Panton’s height-adjustable ‘Panro Move-LuPo School’ classroom chair has a more sculptural, polypropylene seat with an aluminium footrest, and a castor-mounted 5-star base.
Plastic is another suitable, durable and ergonomic material, and designs as diverse as Pearson Lloyd’s ‘SixE’ school chair, Robby and Francesca Cantarutti’s ‘ELENA’ for Tramo, or FIGUERAS’s ‘1130 DS Plus’ classroom chair, both of which feature a plastic shell on a tubular steel base. The first two designs can be specified with an array of different bases, but all three are stackable.
Finally, some designers choose to be thoroughly dedicated to one material. Edward Barber and Hay Osbergy choose plastic in their Vitra-manufactured ‘Tip Ton’, which enables two distinct seating positions, as it can be tilted forward slightly. In addition, it is easily recyclable. Lorenz*Kaz use wood for their ‘Fizz chair’, manufactured by Bedont, a smooth-edged, elegant classroom chair, which can be also ordered with an upholstered seat. As is often the case in this product group, both designs are stackable.