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DESIGN
Claesson Koivisto Rune for Offecct Lab: The Modena Chair
The internationally acclaimed designer creates a progressive office chair for the modern workplace
by Richard Prime
on 28 January 2014
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Launched in 2013, Tibro, Sweden-based Offecct Lab released its inaugural piece, the Cape chair by Nendo, garnering many an admirer. This year, it steps up its intentions with a brace of new offerings, including the Modena office chair by the prolifically progressive Claesson Koivisto Rune, whose international acclaim is matched by a thirst for the new.

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Modena is, at first glance, fairly standard compared to some of the office-specific designs one is likely to see at a design show. Yet that's not to say it's not appealing to the eye; thanks to a welcoming curved backrest and ample armrests that drop down to embrace the flanks. Yet, being a product of Offecct Lab, Modena holds is own little secret, activated by a little lever tucked under the chair.

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"Everybody knows what to expect of an office chair; you adjust the height and backrest, but an ordinary chair is static," says Anders Englund, Offecct's Design Manager. Thanks to some simple geometry twists to adapt the form anatomically, when you adjust the backrest, the arms seem to adjust to the more mellow sitting angle. It's a response to the way we tend to work now, upright in front of the computer and more relaxed when away from it. Modena is focussed and engaged, yet passive, and adjusts with a simple trigger pull rather than the faff associated with many modern multi-levered task chairs.

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For their inspiration the trio took the caliper brakes found on sports cars as a way of visualizing the piston which gives Modena its action. Juxtaposed against the upholstered backrest and arms is a taut netted seat stretched across a delicate aluminum frame. It's through that sporty seat the user sees the piston, like the visible calipers peeking out behind an alloy rim on a car.

"It's like an extreme racing car—hence the name Modena, which is the name of the Italian city sometimes called 'the capital of engines' because of the famous car makers in the area," notes Rune. In a sector dominated by overbuilt and overweight chairs whose function never seems to tally with their form, Modena is a limber and progressive addition that looks well up to task. Keep an eye on Offect Lab for more information.

Images courtesy of Offecct Lab

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