Polo is a conceptual office chair that provides just as much comfort and support as necessary. Instead of supporting every single move the chair encourages you to move yourself to prevent muscular atrophy from too much sitting. The base for instance is not equipped with wheels and thus forces you to walk, rather than roll, from one place to another.
Despite their ergonomic advantages, saddle chairs are today mainly found in the context of medical practices. A mesh fabric was deliberately chosen to encourage greater acceptance of saddle chairs in the office. The mesh fabric also ensures ventilation when sitting.
The Polo chair is adjustable in height from 60 to 80 cm. Thus, it can be adapted to different users and various table heights.
For easy movement, the chair has a prominent handle on its front. In addition, the base acts as a large wheel when transported around the office.
The design process was informed by questions like: How could the design of an office chair raise the awareness about the importance of sitting and encourage people to identify with their office chairs? Could an office chair evoke the same aspiration for performance like a bicycle? A product which is customizable, repairable, standardized, and last but not least, sustainable. Hence, the seat is constructed like a bicycle’s saddle and its breathable suspension mesh distributes your weight evenly to eliminate pressure points and heat buildup.
The design process was characterized by the construction of numerous 1:1 models. Proportions were checked with the help of cardboard models and wooden models were used for ergonomic testing.
As chairs that promote alternative sitting concepts often come across as rather “medical” and their acceptance in offices seems to be relatively low, we aimed to design a saddle chair that blends into the common formal language of offices. Yet, a completely new chair typology evolved.
In the end, a prototype made of aluminium and 3d-printed nylon parts was realized, which came very close to a series product in its appearance and performance.
© Dustin Jessen 2023