GENUS

FOR EVERYONE IN EVERY CONTINENT

The Genus series of work chairs was designed to adapt and respond to the evolving workplace, whether in a collaborative open plan office or an executive environment. Genus instantaneously responds to a variety of working needs its intelligent, comfortable and highly ergonomic. The intuitive mechanism reacts to a variety of working functions. Back options include a unique moulded elastomeric membrane, which acts like a mesh yet feels upholstered. Perforated to aid flexibility and comfort with inbuilt ventilation, this is a robust and hard wearing back available in a wide range of colours. Other finishes of mesh and upholstery are also available for more traditional needs, however all the back options have been designed to hold the body in the correct posture position while working and are available with an additional fine tune lumbar adjustment. Seats slide for extra depth and arms adjust for addition support and comfort.

All the chairs within this series have been tested to BIFMA+20%. They are strong and robust, designed to survive in tough environments for a considerable amount of time. However, at end of life they are easily dismountable with materials separated for recycling rather than land fill.

AWARDS

CLIENT
Highmark INC

COMPLETED
2015

PROCESS

The original concept was for a simple moulded back frame that could be finished in three different materials, mesh, upholstered and elastomeric, providing a chair that could allow different functions in a variety of environments, This connection between a variety of components to make a harmonious whole was critical and early models in blue foam and jelutong explored the relationship between the seat, a variety of mechanism platforms and the lower back frame up to the lumbar region. These initial models were then converted into CAD data and modelled again as full size mock ups in machined ABS to check the ergonomic comfort, the form and shape of the back with the mesh applied. A series of prototypes refined the design and engineering, developing a reliable assembly method that connected the inner and outer parts of the back. Structural analysis confirmed the strength of the parts prior to the parts being tooled.

Once the tools were build a number of moulding trials were undertaken to establish the correct parameters so that the parts conformed to size, shape and critically strength. Initial tests to BIFMA+30% highlighted the need for some modifications to the back frame to increase strength prior to the start of production.

The elastomeric back is flexible polymer and was developed in the second phase of the project. The design referenced the structural imagery of the new London Kings Cross Booking Hall, suggesting strength and elasticity through a series of woven beams creating an organic structure. To prove and evaluate the design backs were made in silicone from a soft tool. Due to the difficulties in moulding the part it was decided to build a prototype steel tool that could be easily modified so that feed points, material flow, ejector pins, split lines and sliding cores could be analysed and adjusted. The tool was built essentially as test rig, but it did have the potential of producing the first 10,000 parts. A full production tool has now been completed incorporating all that was learnt from the prototype tool, providing a part of exceptional quality as well as extraordinary comfort.

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