Steelcase revealed SILQ chair, a highly functional, innovative but simple chair that they believe will transform seating design.
The chair responds to natural movements of the human body and behaves more like an organism than a machine. In the beginning the used material was carbon fiber. Later, the team continued prototyping and invented a new material and manufacturing process resulting in a high-performance polymer that behaves like carbon fiber but was more useful.
The idea behind SILQ came from a sketch Ludwig drew in 2008. The idea was ahead of its time - a simple design that required virtually no adjustments as people shifted more frequently between spaces. However, the materials were not so advanced to help solve the problem, so the project was put on hold.
But the idea refused to die. During an annual trek to TED, Ludwig heard a talk by Paralympic sprinter Aimee Mullins and was intrigued by the durability, flexibility and responsiveness of the sprinter’s prosthetic legs. The responsiveness of carbon fiber to an athletes’ movements inspired him. Therefore, the first version of SILQ was carbon fiber, but even back then the designers knew they needed to innovate further to reach every audience. Among others, the designers found inspiration in sculpture or airplane.
SILQ is designed for the way people work today. People at work are moving from one space to another and are less likely to sit at an assigned desk all day. They have less time to adjust mechanisms and need a chair that is intuitive to use. The way SILQ responds to a person’s posture and stature is unique to each user. Height is the only adjustment necessary for a tailored and unique experience. SILQ offers an expansive variety of material combinations, including digital printing options of company logo. The chair will be available in the new high-performance polymer as well as carbon fiber.