With a client list that includes academic powerhouses Harvard, Yale, Cornell, Emory, and DePaul, Chicago and High Point, NC-based contract furniture manufacturer Sedia Systems must be on to something. The firm—“a leading manufacturer of lecture hall and classroom furnishings offering the widest range of contemporary fixed seating in the industry,”—specializes in creating solutions to the constraints of the public forum model of education (i.e., the dreaded lecture hall). Last year’s NeoCon entrant, Turner, a fixed-module for auditorium and classroom seating, focused on saving-space with an ingenious and easily-accomplished forward tilt, thus creating room for passers-by to pass behind. Sedia chimes in this year with Best of NeoCon entrant On Time, a collapsible conference chair that folds in on itself like a cardboard box, thus providing a tempting alternative to the familiar paradigm of stackability.
On Time. Designed Sedia Systems.
On Time works via multiple “un-hingeings”—the seat folds up and the sides fold in, thus reducing the rather commodious chair to the diminutive dimension of some 10” deep. Multiple seats can then be accordioned together along a metal storage rack with wheels. The horizontal arrangement certainly has its advantages over the vertically-oriented and oft-times perilous towers of stackable chairs, which I believe invoke a juvenile tendency to push the envelope to dangerous heights, as it were.
Other features of On Time include a super-durable internal steel frame, non-deformable seat and back padding, variable side heights, swiveling tablet arm, and casters, glides, or suction-cup feet. These multiple aspects promise dynamic conformance to a variety of public-seating challenges, and the vibrant upholstery options banish the all-too-familiar public palette of beiges and creams. All of which make the case for On Time’s “best of” status as well as Sedia Systems contention that On Time is “ideal for meeting rooms and multi-use areas in businesses, schools, hotels and training centers.”