i2i for Steelcase
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A unique chair design for a newfound opportunity area
For more than 15 years, Steelcase and IDEO have collaborated on the strategy and design of workspace furniture and user experiences for evolving business environments. In researching the needs of a growing number of collaborative settings, Steelcase identified an opportunity at the intersection of task and lounge seating. IDEO was engaged to physically exemplify this opportunity space with a chair that promotes movement, provides long-term comfort through automatic and intuitive adjustments, and supports multiple postures.
Working closely with the Steelcase Design Studio, the team pursued an idea for a chair free of mechanical adjustments that would automatically support body movements, allowing users to focus on the people around them and the tasks at hand.
Named for the collaboration it enables, the i2i chair supports a variety of postures, including sideways, reclining, perching, and leaning. i2i has a dual swivel mechanism that allows users to swivel the seat and back independently. In doing so, users are able to maintain eye contact while changing postures and, thus, stay engaged. The teacup-shaped flexing shell back is composed of a multitude of vertical “fingers” that provide a level of dynamic support that advances Steelcase’s unique Live Seating philosophy. The thick foam walls of a traditional club chair have been replaced by this “living structure,” offering the user more room to move in a compact footprint. Visually, every angle of the chair offers new impressions of the form, and makes a bold design statement in the passive spaces between working areas and conference rooms. i2i is available with the option of a tablet arm, a coffee table, and in several material choices.
The i2i chair was introduced at NeoCon 2008 and will be available in March 2009 through Steelcase dealers.
Project date: 2008