‘Management is, above all, a practice where art, science and craft meet,’ said Henry Mintzberg, an esteemed Canadian academic and McKinsey Award-winning business writer. It’s a theory that comes from a considered and informed place: Mintzberg – a mechanical engineering graduate with a master’s degree in management – is the author of 15 books on business strategy, and he knows a thing or two about finessing the complex machinations of the workplace.

The intellectual notion of an office running like a cross between an atelier, a laboratory and a workshop is distilled in the minimalist form and immaculate function of Walter Knoll’s ‘Leadchair Management’ swivel chair. A meticulous fusing of craft, aesthetics and engineered precision, every curve, upholstered pad and synchronised mechanism has been fine-tuned to reflect good management strategy and encourage dynamic leadership. According to the brand, the ‘Leadchair Management’ chair ‘is the swivel chair for the modern workplace and conference room; a strong character, appropriate and enduring. For the company’s image, a statement about how it sees itself and how it appreciates its users’.

Designed for Walter Knoll by Austrian studio EOOS, the cover for the seat and back of the elegant ‘Leadchair Management’ is applied directly to the foam-moulded upholstery. Gaps enable body heat to circulate better, the spine is gifted optimum support, shoulder blades can move freely. All components and lines are precisely defined to create a harmonious whole and offer sustained performance, even over hours in intensive business meetings.

The result of a five-year development process, the ‘Leadchair’ perfectly embodies Walter Knoll’s design DNA; a swivel chair that combines minimalism, innovative upholstering techniques, transparency of function and masterly craftsmanship, that can be operated intuitively and yet at the same time fulfils all the required functions. ‘We wanted to create a synthesis of material, structure, expression, ergonomics and function, and thus a formal and structural entity,’ says the team at EOOS.

‘We focused on disclosure and transparency – nothing is concealed. The design of the entire chair was all-embracing: each individual component is a logical follow-on from the last, lines and surface were precisely defined to create a harmonious whole.’  Art, science and craft managed to perfection. §