Complicated path to a simple chair
ODGER may be the most simple and straightforward chair that we’ve ever made. You don’t even need to read the assembly instructions to put it together. But the path to the finished product was anything but simple. It involved a lengthy journey in somewhat unknown territory where we would both get to know a new material mix and find new technical solutions.
If you get up close to ODGER chair you’ll see tiny lines on the surface. The lines come from wood fibres and reflect what the chair, with its smooth surface, is actually made of. Product Developer Karin Engqvist explains what it’s about:
"ODGER is made of wood plastic composite, where 30% of the material is wood, a renewable source, and at least 55% of its remaining materials is recycled plastic.
This means it has less impact on the environment than virgin oil-based plastics”.
Of course the wood-plastic demanded more development work and tests compared to more well-known materials, but both Karin and John Löfgren, a designer at the design agency called Form Us With Love, felt that the material was a great choice.
”We’re proud of this material and wanted it to stand out. That’s why we also made a chair with no added pigment”, says John.
Tests determined the design
There was a lot of focus on the look of the chair during the product development. But not only with style in mind: ODGER should be easy to understand. With its curved look and bowl-shaped seat, it oozes softness and comfort. A chair meant for long dinners or work meetings, but which also looks good on its own. The design looks simple and straightforward, but the path to the finished product was long and complex.
”We performed initial studies about seating comfort and tested prototypes with different groups to find a design that would be really comfortable for as many people as possible”, says Karin. ”The bar was set high and we respected it by not rushing”.
Simple and intuitive assembly
Innovation continued to be in focus when the team looked for a simple way to assemble the legs and seat part. The goal was to not mix in more materials. Everyone on the team explored their area of expertise in search of the optimal solution. The enthusiasm still shines through when John continues:
”We looked at everything, from ski boots to those round pie dishes with removable bottoms, to see if it was actually possible to do away with metal screws and the classic allen key”.
It worked, the solution was two handles in the same material as the chair. Placed on the underside, with a simple ”click” they lock in the legs of the seat. John, Karin and the technicians all know that it’s also a viable solution after more than one million test cycles in the lab. Simple and intuitive, just like the entire chair. Because this is a chair without secrets – ODGER is exactly what it appears to be.