Designed and engineered from start to finish. 


TOUCH - Thinking Works

Designed to complement the Focused table, Touch is a one-piece moulded plastic work chair with sufficient flex in the structure to make it comfortable enough for a longer sit. Taking the product from initial concept through to final design of the cast aluminium base, the paddle, the chair shell and upholstery, the studio met the challenge head on.

The Problem

To design a chair that is comfortable enough to sit on for up to 4 hours, doesn’t look like a machine and is capable being produced in volumes at a competitive price.

Excited by our developments on Focused for Thinking Works we pitched a chair to work with the table. The chair needed to be designed in such a way that it could be sold without upholstery as well as with.

The Opportunity

Our relationship to the offices we inhabit has changed and the demands from clients for newer furniture types has revitalised what was once a very bland space. The idea that someone would sit in the same seat for eight hours a day has been challenged and the variety of work settings has fuelled the growth of a new category of seating called ‘work chairs’. Work chairs eschew the bells and whistles of their forerunners and rely on simple mechanisms, balanced ergonomics and less machine like aesthetics.    

The Process

Consulting with ergonomics boffins at FIRA at various stages of the design process we refined a form which is subtly different. Slightly wider than market norms and exceptionally comfortable, the shape was tested and measured in our workshop refined over a number of design iterations. The process was a balance of 1:1 drawings and model making, complex CAD modelling and CNC prototyping.

The Challenges

The chair shell and mechanism cover are both complex injection mouldings. The parts were carefully developed through much iteration, starting from card and paper models, followed by CNC foam and fibreglass prototypes prior to investment in tooling. No less challenging was the cast aluminium base which was designed to fit perfectly with rest of the chair. Recycled and recyclable materials are used throughout, and weight is minimised by using FE analysis without compromising the structure.

The Outcome

This was a first for Thinking Works and gives us with an immense feeling of pride to know that we have satisfied client with a good product. The Touch chair has already had some successes in its local market and was formally launched to the European market in Koln at Orgatec 2016.