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Are you sitting comfortably?

04 January 2013

Knoll's 'Generation' work chair embraces the idea of elastic design – where a product rearranges itself in response to its user. Key to the chair’s flexing and supportive features is the use of high performance thermoplastics supplied by DuPont.

"By getting DuPont involved early in the design process, we were able to evaluate a huge variety of material ideas to achieve our comfort and performance targets,” says Knoll’s Nicole Mirchandani “The use of renewably sourced materials also enables us to deliver a pace setting design that reinforces our commitment to sustainability."

According to Rick Tobar, Development Programs Manager at DuPont: "As well as introducing lots of different samples, we demonstrated how the different materials could be used and how the designers could extract the maximum value out of them in terms of balancing functional attributes against design needs... such as increased support while maintaining the necessary flex."

Designed by Formway Design of New Zealand, Generation uses high performance DuPont materials in a way that is quite new to the furniture industry. The ‘Flex Back Net’ and ‘Dynamic Suspension’ control work together to give the chair its flexibility and structure – allowing it to move to suit the extended range of motion required in a contemporary working environment – and yet still retain the memory of its original position.

The Flex Back Net, which deploys renewably sourced Hytrel, supports many different postures and facilitates a wide range of multi-dimensional movement – not just from front to back, but also from side to side. Users can also push against the Flex Top of the backrest and it will bend over to support their arm as they turn in the chair.

The chair’s innovative Dynamic Suspension control, which uses Hytrel thermoplastic polyester elastomer and Crastin PBT polyester, is a simple, non-mechanical control concept that provides a smooth, weight-compensated ride. Without the complexity of metal links or springs, it uses one-third the number of parts of a traditional ergonomic chair mechanism – helping to ensure that it is also 20 percent lighter than most other high performance chairs.

Generation was the first product in the furniture industry to be rated Sustainable Platinum by the SMaRT Sustainable Product Standard, which measures a product’s environmental, economic and social benefits over its life cycle and throughout its global supply chain, from raw materials extraction through reclamation or re-use.

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