Bad Münder/Cologne. At the core of the partnership with designer Stefan Diez on multi-purpose chair Chassis lay a bicycle saddle: a stylish, technical load-bearing structure made of steel and covered with a thin, elastic membrane. It quickly became clear that interpreting the distinctive design required adopting new routes in manufacturing technology because of the stability and low weight required. After time-consuming research and feasibility studies at automotive suppliers, a solution was finally found to transfer space-frame technology from vehicle-body manufacture to the Chassis chair frame.
This process involves deep-drawing steel metal to make complex, three-dimensional shapes with small radii in order to create the very strong seat and backrest frame, as well as the four connecting elements – the chair legs. The elements are then joined with a welding robot to form a complete chair frame. The frame material and the manufacturing technology combine comfort, strength and durability with a minimum of materials. The savings in materials and weight make for a better carbon footprint and steel is easy to recycle.
Using an innovative technique, not visible from the outside, an ergonomically shaped, four-millimetre thick, finely grained polypropylene seat and backrest membrane covers the frame. The detachable shell is through-dyed to match the black, grey or white frame. It low weight of under five and a half kilos and shape make handling easy and convenient. Up to four chairs can be stacked on top of one another.
The manufacturing technology used in Chassis is innovative and its design exudes clarity: form and function produce an archetypal, seamless whole. The soft, elegant and subtly organic shapes are immediately appealing. The special form, materials and haptics promise to make Chassis favourite, long-lasting chairs to accompany their owners throughout their lives. Chassis is a chair for meetings, canteens, dining tables, studios, at work and at home.
Material Tendencies: Stefan Diez
As both the industrial designer and trained cabinet-maker, Stefan Diez’s concern with objects is based more than anything on how they are made. His approach to design is guided by a desire to process material as constructively and intelligently as