It’s comfortable, it moves with you like a second skin, and it sports a cool look and friendly vibe. Wilkhahn’s IN chair is like a pair of designer sneakers. And it’s not just a visual effect.
April 18th, 2017
Wilkhahn’s IN chair raised the bar for flexible office task chairs when it was launched in 2015. It features Wilkhahn’s patented Trimension technology that allows forward and backward tilts as well as rotational movement, enabling it to move with you like second skin as you change your posture throughout the day.
Don’t take it from us; the Centre of Health at the German Sports University Cologne says the IN chair reaches a dynamic state in a neutral way. The chair uses the principles of how the body is made: hip joint, knee joint and swinging arms. And Wilkhahn took things up a notch at Orgatec last year by debuting IN with a white through-dyed seat and a back element.
“The white one offers a more fresh, sports-like look – like sneakers. It’s more colourful and friendly,” comments Michael Englisch, designer of IN and Head of Design & Development at wiege design studio. He adds, “Rather than signalling ‘be careful’, ‘pay attention’, as though it belongs in a medical treatment space, it signals wellbeing, activity and dynamics. It says, ‘No, I’m not a machine’.”
The chair looks distinctly athletic with visual cues like broad ‘shoulders’ and a small ‘waist’ that merges fluidly with the shape of the seat shell. This cool sporty look is not just a visual effect – it came from technologies that really are applied in sportswear and sports cars.
The surface of IN’s backrest is made of a form-fit knit called 3D Formstrick – a technology used in developing trainers in order to integrate different strengths and thicknesses into the material directly. Its seat shell and back are connected with the rest of the chair via joints to help the body maintain its centre of gravity. This shell is made as one single piece using two-component technology from the automotive industry.
“The core idea was to integrate different functionalities into the one element,” says Englisch. He elaborates on the chair’s innovative shell: “In the cockpit of a car, you need a more soft material but the surface has to be high quality. In the past, you covered it. Now you can do it in one step and with this technology, you can implement the fibreglass reinforcement where you need it, and flexibility where you need it.”
This innovative technology has streamlined the production process and reduced parts and costs for the chair’s production, and therefore enables Wilkhahn to offer the chair at a reasonable price point. Says Englisch, “We profit from the same technology as the automobile industry. It’s a high-end technology, and this is the first time it’s been used in the office furniture industry.”
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