Img: People’s Industrial Design Office
When you picture an office chair, what springs to mind? My best guess is a sleek, ergonomic, adjustable chair on wheels, providing comfort throughout your working day. What you’d perhaps not picture, are the futuristic, colourful chairs pictured above, which at a glance, don’t look like something you’d choose to sit on for 7+ hours a day; I’ll take the comfy wheeled option any day, thanks.

But, this new chair design from People’s Industrial Design Office (PIDO) was designed as an “exercise in efficiency”, from the materials used and theory behind its design. The whole idea was to create a comfortable, stable and efficient chair with the least amount of material possible.

The construction of the chair was through method of trial-and-error, with the Beijing studio explaining: “If the chair started deforming, we knew we had to add more material. If we sat on it and found more support was required, we knew to add more material. If taking away material did not affect the chair’s function or structure, then we knew that material was not needed.”

Img: People’s Industrial Design Office
The chair has a frame which can be manufactured from a single metal rod, which is then twisted and bent to create the legs and seat structure. Thinner pieces of wire are placed diagonally to form the seat and backrest, but you’ll notice the hatch pattern isn’t consistent; this is because extra support was only added where needed, thereby lowering the amount of material used.

The PIDO team of architects and designers continue by explaining, "The Mesh Chair is an exercise in efficiency. The wire mesh is dense in areas that support the body and open where it doesn't. In this way we increase comfort without increasing weight."

The Mesh Chair is available in a number of fun colours, including red, black, green and blue, and is also available in a higher stool version.

Despite not appearing so comfortable, the chairs are available with a seat cushion which has a complimenting diagonal design, and could be interesting as a change to the regular office chair. With its sleek design and construction with little materials, it’s both contemporary and eco-friendly, which could affect an office’s carbon footprint massively if the Mesh Chair were to replace existing ones.

As a permanent office chair, I don’t think the comfort level would be high enough to sit on all day; however these chairs could be very effective in communal areas like lunch areas (especially the taller stool version), or co-working spaces as an option for a different setting for employees. The simpler frame could promote better posture, potentially preventing employees slumping into comfier chairs which could reduce productivity.

Where do you stand on this contemporary mesh chair having a place in the office?

Laura Sewell

An aspiring journalist, Laura is our content writer.  Pop-punk gig-goer and drag queen enthusiast, Laura is working her way into the industry with her love of writing about anything and everything in tow.
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