This is the ulo chair by Ian Walton. I liked it for its refined simplicity – striking a balance of clarity, elegance and modernity. Another good design execution – this isn’t that uncommon – or so I thought. Until I saw this video, which left me absolutely floored in awe:
Wow, the way it converts is just so organic, simple and elegant: if there was a user-interface award in furniture, this would definitely win my vote. And it’s not just a blind show-off of mechanical solutions either:
The chair has two configurations; an “Upright” configuration for more demanding applications such as working, studying or eating, and a “Lounge” configuration for leisure based activities and general relaxed postures.
The ulo chair was designed in response to the growing movement towards compact living spaces for sustainability. Prefabricated compact homes such as Alchemy Architects “WeeHouse”, Andy Thompsons “MiniHome” and Michelle Kaufmanns “Glidehouse” are all inherently sustainable due to both their size and the methods used in their construction.
Extremely thoughtful architecture and space design is being applied to such homes in order to make them feel less diminutive and consequently more sustainable. However I felt that this thoughtful approach was not reflected by the products within.
The changeover between each configuration involves one swift movement in which the rear legs “bend” and the seat shell pivots about its front connection point. This simplistic movement was designed in response to the plethora of poor multifunctional products which currently exist. These products are always difficult to reconfigure, and often perform poorly in one/more position.
The rear legs are locked straight internally via 8mm PTFE coated, hardened steel shafts. In order to unlock the flexible sections in these legs the user presses down on the horizontal bar at the rear of the chair with their foot.
Head on to Ian’s portfolio site (many other great works there too)!