Some Asian countries like South Korea use a floor chair that does not have legs to be used directly on the floor. To expand the company’s product category for B2C market, I designed an ergonomic floor chair. The concept includes EVA(Ethylene vinyl acetate) as a key material to show a possibility to produce a chair without an upholstery process.
This is one of the proposals that I designed for the company.
Its frame is made of PP and PA6 for firm structure, and the seat and back cushion is made of EVA for a comfort sitting posture.
Its dimension is carefully designed to provide an enough leg room for various users.
The main feature of this chair is a tilting mechanism. Unlike other floor chairs, the pivot point is located at the same height and depth with a user’s joint. Since the backrest moves with user’s back, it moves naturally with users, and it doesn’ make any void space between the back and backrest. Its resiliency comes from metal’s natural elasticity.
Another main feature is its compact folding mechanism. The mechanism allows the backrest to fold in one direction. The back bar structure also can be used as a handle.
The last feature is a seat disassembly. According to the research, a floor chair is easily contaminated by feet and the floor. So it is necessary to wash its seat upholstery, but a regular chair ‘s hard to do because of its assembly. If EVA forms the whole seat, it will be easily washable by water and quickly dried. Users can separate and reassemble the seat by themselves. Moreover, it does not require extra gliders for protecting the floor from a scratch.
To understand the user environment, I experienced a present floor chair at home with various postures. Unlike standard chairs, a floor chair needs a smooth surface at the bottom for its movement. However, also I had to consider the material for the lower surface due to its contamination and a scratch on the floor.
Another big challenge was its market price. Mostly users who live in a small apartment use a floor chair for easy storage and efficient space utilization. Therefore, the design had to maintain the product at a low cost.
Multiple times of meeting with EVA manufacturers, we were able to attempt a new material for production. If EVA can substitute upholstery process, it will reduce cost and time.
One of the pain points of a floor chair was a sitting posture. Mostly legs need to be folded to use a desk, but user’s feet are under pressure from the weight of thighs. So I made several prototypes to test a different size and height of the seat cushion. Intentionally shorten and heightened seat allowed feet to have an enough space under thighs.