38 appears to be a good number for Knoll. The residential and workplace furniture manufacturer has been in business since 1938, and its newest office chair, generation, weighs a slight 38 pounds. This executive chair represents Knoll’s new workplace philosophy—one that recognizes the multiplicity of contemporary careers and the spaces in which those jobs happen. Given Knoll’s emphasis on ergonomics and adaptability, their new chair makes great sense.
Generation Chair. Manufactured by Knoll.
Officially debuting at NeoCon09, Generation Chair belongs to a new line of office furniture, “a unique portfolio of products that respond and adapt to changing needs.” According to Knoll Director of Design Benjamin Pardo, “Our goal is to connect with a new generation seeking the next generation of workplaces.” While all the new pieces respond to the way we work, the Generation Chair takes this idea quite literally, since it “rearranges itself in response to its user”—taking “elastic design…to a new level.” Thanks to the high-performance elastometer in the Generation’s Flex Back, changing positions throughout the day is easy. Instead of insisting that the user sit in one way, the chair accommodates the way we naturally shift in our seats, allowing “a wide range of multi-dimensional movement.” The Flex Back gives continuous lumbar support; at the same time, the Flex Seat and Flex Top offer enough flexion to support almost any leaning and turning you can think of. And the Generation Chair accomplishes all of this without a hard frame or unattractive levers beneath the seat.
In fact, the modern, playful look of Generation Chair is already winning over former Aeron devotees. The breathable fabric has the added benefit of looking good: the open mesh makes this executive chair approachable—no worker or boss can hide behind it. It is this approachability that echoes the new office dynamic, where more work happens collaboratively and with less attention to formal hierarchies and protocol. Knoll’s banner ad campaign—“Join the Movement”—emphasizes how the Generation Chair encourages more democratic offices. Colors like Lemongrass and Firecracker acknowledge the atmosphere of modern day workspaces. The Generation also demonstrates Knoll’s commitment to sustainability: the chair can contribute to LEED points, and it has earned a Sustainable Platinum rating under the SMaRT Standard. Visit the Knoll exhibit at NeoCon ‘09 to try out a plethora of positions.