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Design that lasts – open up, the office swivel chair

The day of the year that is dedicated to good, functional and form-fitting design: International Design Day on 27 April. It is about appearance and form as well as the wishes and needs of the user. After all, good design should be visually appealing as well as convincing in terms of function. Sedus also attaches great importance to the design aspect. From the initial idea to the finished product, Sedus has always designed solutions for the working world. The in-house designers and engineers are constantly working on new concepts and products “Made in Germany”. For International Design Day 2022, the focus will be on a very special product that has written a piece of design history for Sedus: the popular swivel chair open up.

Sedus Drehstuhl open up Tag des Designs

A novelty at the time, a classic today

The open up has been a permanent fixture in the Sedus product portfolio for over 20 years. It was designed by the former Sedus designer Mathias Seiler. His colleague, designer and ergonomics expert Michael Kläsener takes a look back for Design Day and remembers the beginnings of the swivel chair:

How long did it take to create the open up – from the first pencil stroke to the finished chair?

That’s not easy to answer, because a new mechanism was developed at the same time as the chair. It can be roughly said that the “Similar” mechanism took three years to develop and about one and a half years to develop the chair. The open up was finally presented at the Orgatec trade fair in 2000.

What were the design requirements for the chair more than 20 years ago?

The demand not only included form and function, but also the desire for “less is more”. That’s why any kind of flourish was dispensed with. To ensure that all requirements were met, both visually and ergonomically, the design was deliberately not kept completely ruler-straight and strict. The lateral profile of the chair shows soft curves that create an association with the contour of the human body.

What design elements does an office chair have to have so that it will still be bought for years to come? And why is open up still convincing today?

From my point of view, good legibility of the design language, no visual irritations and material-appropriate design are the essential elements. Everything should have its place and, in the best case, the product offers even more than it perhaps promises at first glance. All this can also be seen in the design of open up. And the fact that it is still in demand today speaks absolutely for its design quality. Its ergonomic attributes make for a very convincing product.

The Sedus classic open up – the highlights

Dynamic sitting and working are no problem with open up. With numerous features, it supports different sitting and movement positions – and looks enduringly good at the same time.

Highlights of open up:

  • The “Similar” mechanism: the seat and backrest move synchronously with the body for optimum sitting comfort.
  • Dorsokinetics: the flexibly suspended backrest follows the user in twisting and sideways movements and thus offers the best possible support.
  • The opening angle: with up to 45 degrees, relaxed reclining is possible without any problems.
  • The gas spring with mechanical depth springing: ensures full cushioning even in the lowest sitting position – spinal column compression is avoided
  • The backrest with upholstery or membrane: standard today, a real advance in terms of individualisation over 20 years ago
  • The armrests: height-adjustable and aligned so that arms and shoulders are optimally supported

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