Meeting room chairs are a diverse product group, where modern classics co-exist in harmony with contemporary designs. Not as luxurious as executive chairs, meeting room chairs present a happy intersection between comfort, thoughtful design and careful constraint.
This of course does not rule out excellent products from renowned designers. Take Verner Panton's 1973 ‘System 1-2-3 Ding Chair’, manufactured by Verpan, whose gestural moulded seat snakes down to meet a metal, swivel base, and can be upholstered in fabric or with deep-buttoned, quilted leather upholstery. Another classic is architect Arne Jacobsen's 1955 ‘Tongue Chair’, produced by HOWE, an understated, upholstered shell on slanted, slender, steel legs. For a plywood, midcentury design, look to Niko Kralj's ‘Mostquito’ meeting room chair, made by Rex Kralj, which is relaxed, visually light and environmentally friendly.
In many cases, designers of meeting room chairs also refine and build upon earlier prototypes. For example, the padding and cast aluminium base, or alternatively a tubular steel cantilever, of Antonio Citterio's Vitra-produced ‘Unix Chair’ refer to successful designs from the past, but are enhanced with sleeker details and better understanding of ergonomics. Noe? Duchaufour Lawrance takes on the familiar shell seating and divides it into two segments, thus integrating armrests in ‘Ciel Chair’ for TABISSO. This design is also paired up with a range of different bases, such as the single, metal foot called ‘tulipe’, wooden legs in varying configurations, or a five star castor base.
Of course, today's designers are just as inventive as their predecessors. Architect Alejandro Zaera's stacking ‘Pad’ meeting room chair for Dynamobel upholsters body’s points of contact , increasing the sitter's comfort. ‘400 Oxymore’, designed by French architect Jean Nouvel for FIGUERAS, is a meeting room chair, whose strictly orthogonal appearance belies its comfortable, upholstered seat and its stacking ability. Lastly, Burkhard Vogtherr mounts either an upholstered, or varnished plywood seat between two rectangular, tubular steel frames, creating a serious, minimalist ‘Frame-Round’ meeting room chair for Arco.