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The design of se:air – an interview with Konstantin Thomas

At this year’s Orgatec, Sedus presented a range of new products, among them, a swivel chair with a completely covered membrane – se:air. Designer Konstantin Thomas gives an insight behind the scenes and reveals what makes the se:air swivel chair so special.

Furniture design in general: what challenges does that bring?

In general, industrial design is a discipline and is always part of a development process that specifically takes the time to develop things step by step until they are ready for series production. This includes many optimisation loops, which, however, also allow you to make mistakes within this process. You can try out a lot and there is no clear path from the idea to implementation. But that is exactly where the potential lies. To literally let things come into being. Especially things that you couldn’t foresee at the beginning of the project. So you sometimes start projects without knowing exactly what the end result will be. That’s what makes it exciting, but challenging at the same time.

When designing se:air, what was your vision of a swivel chair?

Das Design von se:air Sedus DrehstuhlFrom the beginning, the goal was to design a swivel chair that reduces seating comfort to the essentials. We replaced the conventional swivel chair mechanism with ‘mono-material kinematics’, which allowed me to pursue a lively aesthetic in order to focus formally on the product’s mobility. This resolution is also reflected in the transparent knitted membranes, which meet the highest ergonomic demands, give the product a certain lightness and thus avoid the use of Polyurethane foams.

The concept also follows a sustainable approach, as se:air combines all functions in a few components, reduces complexity to a minimum and guarantees future separability of the materials.

What makes se:air so unique for you?

se:air is the first fully comprehensive office swivel chair that combines mono-material kinematics with a knitted membrane in the seat and back. This is an important step in the development of ergonomic seating furniture, which aims to achieve maximum comfort with minimum use of materials. se:air meets the requirements of our time in terms of materiality and composition and gives Sedus the opportunity to have a product on the market which, thanks to its lightness and reduction, allows a wide range of possible applications.

Agile working is on the rise, flexible use of office space is in demand and the home office has become established – how does se:air fit into this scenario?

The trend towards flexible workplace concepts and creative communicative work calls for furniture that adapts automatically to the user and is unambiguous in its handling. With se:air and its auto-adaptive movement concept, we offer a low-complexity solution that is easy to use, making it the ideal swivel chair for alternating workstations and agile work environments.

Designer Konstantin Thomas
(fotografiert von Andreina Francese-Thomas,

The design of se:air: “The uncomplicated way of using it is what makes it special – sit down, get started.”

Konstantin Thomas


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