“More organism than machine” – that was the goal set by James Ludwig, Vice President of Global Design & Engineering at Steelcase, when it came to developing the “SILQ” swivel chair. It required intensive research on materials to make achieving this objective possible. Ludwig was fascinated by artificial legs made from carbon that enable physically disabled sportspeople such as US athlete Aimee Mullins to score peak performances. Ludwig searched for a material combination that combines the advantages of carbon and polymer materials: The result had to be robust and light in weight, low cost and flexible.
Focusing on the essentials in the second step led to a simplification of the otherwise rather complex mechanics of the office chair. At the heart of the new system, made up of only 30 individual parts, is an organic spring that responds to the movements of the user. The only thing that needs to be manually adjusted is the seat height. Despite boasting a slim silhouette, the chair responds to different physiques and postures with just the right amount of pressure, which means that each user is optimally supported in their sitting posture. Customizable design allows users to make the office chair their own, with upholstery available in leather and printed fabrics, and a choice of 3D-printed or oak arm rests.