Sven von Boetticher with the "S1" for Wagner Living in the WLAB

Sitting more sensibly

With the “S1” swivel chair for Wagner Living, Sven von Boetticher has given the classic work chair a contemporary twist. An innovation: the movement of the seat area that is easy on the back arises from the chair’s geometry and material.
by Anna Moldenhauer | 2/18/2022

After a few hours of sitting on a work chair made of wood and steel like those customarily used by people in industry and workshops you get the distinct impression that this solution is far from perfect. The seat area and back element are too rigid and too hard, while the whole structure lacks a holistic concept. Now, with the "S1" for Wagner Living, Sven von Boetticher has created a brilliant contemporary version of the classic swivel chair. The reduced shape does not immediately reveal the sophisticated technology it relies on as it is so cleverly integrated: A completely new structure provides concealed mounting for the Dondola joint (patent pending) and no further support is needed for it. Instead, two synthetic extensions provide the suspension and pushback. “We use the elastic element of the mechanism for the lateral support of the Dondola device,” explains Peter Wagner, who together with his brother Rainer Maria are members of the third generation of the family to run the run business. Specially developed joints and suspension solutions create three-dimensional movement solely from the chair’s shape and material. “There has not been anything like this before,” says Sven von Boetticher. Although the frame is so pared down and reduced to the essentials it still offers the advantages of three-dimensional sitting, thus uncoupling the rigid connection to the chair base and inducing minimal movements which consequently relieves strain on the spinal cord. Another aspect that contributes to this balance between maximum comfort and sufficient surface is that the backrest has a slightly curved shape so as to provide ideal support for people with a range of different body shapes. “We reworked the backrest thousands of times until it was perfect and did not feel uncomfortable anywhere,” says Peter Wagner.

Circular concept

The greatest possible efficiency both as regards function and structure: Thanks to the modular approach, every part of the swivel chair can be easily replaced. “It is an open-ended system and the interfaces between the individual components are designed such that they can be adapted to suit the respective market requirements,” explains von Boetticher. “The “S1” is very light for an office chair and that is really the most sustainable approach. The less material the design needs, the less goes into all the production steps,” he says. In designing the chair, thought was already given to the chair’s lifecycle – no adhesives or unnecessary plastic components are used. Elements that have to be reinforced using fiberglass are largely made of recycled material. All the other components are made without fiberglass so that they can be 100-percent recycled. “Plastic can be very sustainable if you ensure different types are not mixed. We return everything we produce back into the production cycle,” says Peter Wagner. The recycled polymer that Wagner Living uses as a basis for making the “S1” comes from local firms in the region – “in the immediate neighborhood,” as Peter Wagner puts it. Environmentally friendly in terms of its material, sleek in its design, modular in structure, and fitted with the three-dimensional Dondola seat joint: The “S1” is sophisticated down to the very last detail and into the bargain is good for your back – a combination that makes it suitable for every work setting. For the first edition the “S1” is offered in a selection of colors ranging from black and white to red and blue.

Sven von Boetticher has on previous occasions already proven he can master the challenge of focusing on the essentials in design – not only with his re-design of the classic coffee-house chair for Wagner Living but also many other chairs for renowned manufacturers: In the “W-2020” the connecting elements and the Dondola joint are integrated into the plastic shell. “With the 'S1' he has now created a further style icon for Wagner Living that promotes healthy sitting,” says Peter Wagner.