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Our edit of home office chairs ranges from the classics of ergonomic design to contemporary icons by celebrated masters and new designs by some of the best creative practices - all intended to boost productivity through comfort. For many of us, working patterns have changed for good. Whether you need an all-day home office chair or an occasional chair for your study, check out Wallpaper’s selection of the best chairs for the task, spanning a range of styles and materials.
Swivel, rocking, tilting or wheeled, these office chairs are flexible, adjustable and versatile seats that are made to last, and easy to fit into your domestic environment.
THE BEST HOME OFFICE CHAIRS BY CONTEMPORARY MAKERS
The office chair for all
Name: Vitra ACX
Designer: Antonio Citterio, for Vitra
Price: from £697
The latest Vitra office chair, the ‘ACX’, developed with Antonio Citterio, is the tenth in its line. It's the latest example of Citterio’s fluid design philosophy and Vitra’s answer to the modern office. Changing with the times, the chair aims to respond to hybrid and collaborative work methods, a variety of people and bodies looking to use it, and hopes to maximise sustainability.
The chair itself features a design that adjusts automatically to each individual, whilst including a number of hidden control elements to tailor their experience, placed under the seat. What remains is an uncluttered appearance, muted blocks of colour across the 100 per cent recycled knitted cushion covers, and a relaxed fit that blends into a variety of settings. Trimmed down to a refined aesthetic principle, the shape follows clean lines, with a minimal number of components to both simplify its servicing and recycling after use; many materials already having been reclaimed where possible. It’s a surprisingly simple product, made to adapt to a complex world. Writer: Jasper Spires
Ergonomics meet design excellence
Name: Newson Task Chair
Designer: Marc Newson, for Knoll
Price: from $1,195
Marc Newson's first foray into office furniture design, the Newson Task Chair for Knoll features ingenious design and an innovative approach. Defined by a cantilevered silhouette and concealed brand-new tilt mechanism, the Newson Task Chair merges a sophisticated aesthetic with a practical work tool. The task chair is seen as the holy grail for furniture design and one I had always wanted to have a go at,' says Newson. 'A primary focus for me was to demystify the task chair, which often seem to be purposefully complicated. I wanted to express a less visually theatrical concept. Part of this exercise was also to make it simple to use the chair: the controls- red in the black, graphite and umber colourway, and grey for the pink version- indicate clearly and light-heartedly that they’re to be used and touched. I didn’t want to hide how it works, rather, I wanted to make it obvious where and how the chair should be interacted with.'
The bentwood, mid-century inspired office chair
Name: Giroflex 150
Designer: Big-Game, for Giroflex with Karimoku New Standard
Swiss office furniture brand Giroflex celebrated 150th anniversary with the launch of an unusual wooden office chair, in collaboration with Karimoku New Standard. Lausanne-based studio Big-Game has delved into the brand’s archive in search of inspiration, finding a treasure trove of turn-of-the-century bentwood designs, shaped for optimal comfort and clearly built to last. ‘Whenever we find a vintage Giroflex wooden chair in a second-hand shop, we’re amazed by how comfortable it still is,' say the designers. Their contemporary version, which is perfectly balanced with tilt points under both the seat and the backrest that allow the chair to adapt to the weight and movements of its user, aims to reflect the best of Swiss design – sturdy, understated and of the highest quality.
The essential work chair
Name: Jiro Swivel Chair
Designer: John Tree, for Resident
The result of a collaboration between New Zealand furniture brand Resident and British designer John Tree, the Jiro Swivel Chair is a minimalist take on traditional office seating. Featuring a responsive, 4 star die-cast base and low back - inviting shifting of posture and active manoeuvrability in its users. ‘The brief from Resident was to design something simple, not overly technical, but subtly ergonomic,’ observes Tree, who focused on paring back the design, only leaving the essential elements. ‘It is clear that work isn’t really occurring in the archetypal office anymore. It is spreading out and taking place in people’s homes, in coffee shops, and also in very dynamic situations where people are sharing workspaces. So the point of this chair is to address this modern need for utility.’
The tilting office chair
Name: D1 Office Chair
Designer: Stefan Diez, for Wagner
Price: from €750.80
Designed by Stefan Diez, the D1 features Wagner’s distinctive Dondola seat joint (developed with Diez), offering a micro movement while sitting that helps relieve and strengthen the spine. This technology by the German company is the result of a scientific study testing people regularly using the chair, revealing that Dondola users had less or no back pain. The chair features a streamlined design that features a single curved shape forming the seat and back, and is available with or without armrests, and in a new lounge chair version, the D1 Low, expanding the range into every aspect of living.
Arne Jacobsen’s office chair for Oxford professors
Name: Oxford chair
Designer: Arne Jacobsen, produced by Fritz Hansen
Price: from £1,619
Arne Jacobsen designed this office chair in the 1960s for professors of St. Catherine’s College in Oxford, as part of a wider architectural commission for the campus. Originally used in the college’s banquet hall (while students sat on the Danish architect’s Series 7 chairs), the chair’s first iteration featured a sinuous wooden silhouette, and it is now faithfully recreated as an ergonomic office chair (with updated details and increased lumbar support). Available with a tall or low backrest and the option of armrests, the chair’s new reissue is available in a range of upholstery options featuring leather or fabric. The new version also includes an extended seat and upgraded tilt mechanism to better respond to different desk activities and body types.
A compact, customizable ergonomic chair
Name: Hȧg Tion
Designers: Anderssen & Vol, Big-Game and Hunting & Narud
Price: from £380+VAT
Three design studios came together for the design of this chair by Flokk. Anderssen & Vol, Big-Game and Hunting & Narud collaborated with Flokk’s design team to create a lightweight, customisable, and flexible office chair that responds to the ever changing needs of home and office working. ‘There is such a huge demand for a chair that fits in with your life, does not take up too much space and works just as well in your home office as in an actual office,’ says Oscar Narud. The chair is conceived to be compact to work well in small spaces, and can be customised with available combinations of wood, plastic, aluminium and upholstered elements, with or without armrests and in a wide range of colours and finishes.
The classic office chair re-engineered
Name: ‘Aeron’ chair
Designers: Bill Stumpf and Don Chadwick for Herman Miller
Price: From £1,030
Herman Miller's ‘Aeron’ chair is possibly the most iconic contemporary home office chair, featuring what its creators called a ‘health-positive design’. Designed in 1994, the chair's aesthetics have remained largely unchanged through the years, while its materials and structure has been tweaked and developed over time to offer best support for any posture. Features such as a refined tilt mechanism, adjustable PostureFit lumbar support and 8Z Pellicle mesh on the seat and back ensure increased comfort and ergonomic support. and while the ‘Aeron’ chair is nearly universally recognised as one of the best and the most versatile office chairs, the Herman Miller catalogue offers variations on the theme that include an Yves Behar-designed chair as well as a chair specifically created for gaming.
A Danish aluminium office chair
Name: ‘Vipp’ chair
Price: from £779
Danish furniture company Vipp unveiled a new model of its classic chair. Featuring a new polished aluminium frame, sand-coloured leather upholstery and a swivel option, the ‘Vipp’ chair returns with a new look ready for the home office. ‘The combination of polished aluminium and leather in a nude colour offers a raw aesthetic expression with a nod to our long history of using pure and genuine materials in our product designs,’ comments Morten Bo Jensen, Vipp’s chief cesigner.
A work from home office chair
Name: ‘KN07’ desk chair
Designer: Piero Lissoni, for Knoll
Price: from £650
Part of Knoll’s new ‘Work from Home’ collection, this is the latest in a series of modernist-inspired chairs designed by Piero Lissoni for the American company. Its elegant, fluid form is created by fusing the inner frame and outer surfaces of the seat’s moulded shell, with the super-smooth exterior, available in either fabric or leather. Meanwhile, the chair’s cast aluminium base comes in either a simple four-leg version in glossy white or black, or an adjustable swivel in chrome or black finish with a four- or five-star base on gliders or castors.
The original ergonomic kneeling chair
Name: ‘Variable’ chair
Designer: Peter Opsvik, produced by Varier
Price: from £309
‘Sit down, move on’ is the motto behind Peter Opsvik's ‘Variable’ chair, whose original ergonomic design was first conceived in 1979 as an avant garde home office chair based on human-centred design. The simple backless rocking chair (with the optional addition of a slim back) promotes correct posture and movement, and its padded seat and knee rests are available in a series of bold hues (recently curated by Snøhetta for a limited edition collection). ‘Varier’s approach to sitting is humanistic and holistic,’ says the company. ‘By challenging the notion that sitting equates to stillness, the chairs listen to our bodies, support us while giving us freedom, and aim to elongate our lives and that of the environment.’
A cushioned home office chair in a variety of colour and material options
Name: ‘Alvo’ chair
Designer: Jehs + Laub, for Cor
Price: from £920
Fit for a study corner anywhere in the home, the ‘Alvo’ chair by Stuttgart-based designers Markus Jehs and Jürgen Laub features a matt plastic shell with soft cushioned interior. The chair is available in four frame variants, with a 360 swivel function and cosy removable cushions in fabric or leather with multiple colour combinations. The ‘Alvo’ chair is so soft and comfortable that it allows you to sit at a table or desk for long periods and swings comfortably between home and home office, and back again.
A timeless chair for every office
Name: ‘Eames Aluminium Group’
Designers: Ray and Charles Eames, produced by Vitra
Price: from £2,160
The fact that this super-sleek home office chair was originally designed by Ray and Charles Eames in 1958 might come as a bit of a surprise. Initially conceived for the home of a private collector, the ‘Aluminium Group’ features a simple metal structure over which fabric is stretched to create ‘a taut but elastic seat’ that adapts to a person's body. A design so well-considered and made that each chair comes with a 30-year warranty.
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Rosa Bertoli was born in Udine, Italy, and now lives in London. Since 2014, she has been the Design Editor of Wallpaper*, where she oversees design content for the print and online editions, as well as special editorial projects. Through her role at Wallpaper*, she has written extensively about all areas of design. Rosa has been speaker and moderator for various design talks and conferences including London Craft Week, Maison & Objet, The Italian Cultural Institute (London), Clippings, Zaha Hadid Design, Kartell and Frieze Art Fair. Rosa has been on judging panels for the Chart Architecture Award, the Dutch Design Awards and the DesignGuild Marks. She has written for numerous English and Italian language publications, and worked as a content and communication consultant for fashion and design brands.
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