NEW YORK -- Steelcase has introduced SILQ, a new seating design that uses high-tech materials. Through an innovation in materials science and a patent-pending process, Steelcase designers and engineers created a new high-performance polymer material that emulates the qualities of carbon fiber.

This material, combined with the curves of the design, allows SILQ to respond to natural movements of the human body without the mechanisms typically required in high-performance seating designed for the workplace. The result is a chair that behaves more like an organism than a machine.

“The idea behind SILQ comes from our deep belief about design,” said James Ludwig, vice president, global design and engineering. “The visual language, performance language and material composition should come together to create something that’s truly unique.

“We took inspiration from aerospace, the motion of a high-performance prosthetic leg and sculpture, among other things, to understand how the combination of advanced materials and shape could create a simple system that is incredibly thin, extremely strong and highly responsive.”

Ludwig and his team had a vision for an entirely new way to design a chair. They imagined replacing the hundreds of parts needed for a fully adjustable task chair with a simple system, where the material becomes the mechanism.

The team first created a premium version of SILQ in carbon fiber. But they knew they needed to innovate further to reach every audience. They continued prototyping and invented a new material and manufacturing process resulting in a high-performance polymer that behaves like carbon fiber.

“According to Steelcase, the way SILQ responds to a person’s posture and stature is unique to each user because of the way the materiality, design and motion of the human body come together. Height is the only adjustment necessary for a tailored experience.

SILQ offers an expansive variety of material combinations, including digital printing options, to allow interior designers to create a custom version for their clients.

The chair will be available in the new high-performance polymer as well as carbon fiber. The starting list price for SILQ is $970 and will be available in North America and Asia in Spring of 2018. See www.steelcase.com.


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