Chicago — Steelcase Inc. is looking to bring more choice to the office furniture space with a colorful new line of task chairs.
The Grand Rapids, Mich.-headquartered furniture company introduced the Series 1 office chair at an entry-level price point with a myriad of possible color combinations to suit the trend of bringing more vibrancy and personalization into workspaces.
The chair has a glass-filled nylon frame with upper back support provided by what Steelcase calls a "flexor": horizontal plastic ribs tucked behind the knit backrest. A separate plastic panel provides lumbar support. Along with a choice of two frame colors, Steelcase is offering 11 different colors of knit and flexor/lumbar plastics so buyers can mix and match to fit their personal style.
"Normally in chairs in this segment, you're given a choice of black, and maybe white, and that's it," said Mary Underwood, longtime seating product manager at Steelcase, at NeoCon 2017 in Chicago. "Designers really like the ability to express in an environment what kind of culture, what kind of brand, how do we want to express our brand. So the idea behind this was pretty radical, especially at this price point, to go wild in choice."
The flexor system, which can also be seen on Steelcase's Think line of chairs, is designed to flex with the user's back, providing more intuitive support than traditional upholstery, Underwood said.
"[With older chairs] you usually have a rigid outer shell and then foam, and it's actually forcing you to contour to it; this is actually contouring to your back," she said.