The D1 swivel chair family designed by Stefan Diez for Wagner keeps users moving with its innovative joint mechanism, while fundamentally changing our conception of how office chairs look.
Office chairs aren’t cool, you would think. But you’d be wrong. At least since the Wagner company introduced the world to the D1 Office Chair and its especially laid-back brother, the D1 Low Chair. Their look is the result of a completely free approach to the office-chair genre by designer Stefan Diez, who created this iconic, multiple award-winning series for the office-furniture manufacturer.
The D1’s key mechanical element is the Dondola 4D joint, which allows a new kind of active sitting. Unlike other office chairs, the series doesn’t elaborately disguise its mechanics. Rather, it highlights the Dondola 4D joint as a central design element in terms of both function and appearance.
Thanks to the Dondola 4D technology, the upper part of the chair moves on four axes, following the natural motions of the user. This new technical principle affords an especially wide range of motion, leading to a new type of dynamic sitting – ‘sitting in the fourth dimension’, as Wagner Living puts it.
The mesh material of the D1’s seat and backrest, in combination with the graphic effect of the frame, lends the chair a great sense of lightness. Variously coloured fabric and leather coverings are also envisaged, promising to make the D1 highly eligible not just for the office, but also for homes and even restaurants.
A little-known fact: this maker of office furniture has the catering trade in its blood. Grandfather Wagner, the company founder, invented the Wagner Wirtshausstuhl, or pub chair, in 1949. This unadorned, very robust wooden model became a classic. Today, the brothers Peter and Rainer Wagner realise the forward-looking concepts of the Wagner brand in the office sphere, but frequently in close association with the food-service industry as well.
As active sitting experts, the Wagner company was quickly won over as a partner for the project’s interior design and furnished the restaurant with its dynamic seating. In the same spirit as the Wagner grandfather at the pub in his day, the firm additionally designed the tables to go with its chairs. Thus was born, true to the old company motto, a lively place of the highest standard where guests can feel at ease. And they can sit especially comfortably in their chairs, staying in relaxing motion even while eating.
After all, why should dynamic sitting be limited to the office? We spend much of the day seated – at breakfast, on the underground, in the car, at lunch and supper. In contrast to static sitting, dynamic sitting provides for micro-movements that relieve and strengthen the spinal column. It stimulates blood circulation, improving concentration and overall comfort – whether at one’s desk or at the dinner table.
It should be noted that Wagner has moved away from an entirely ergonomic approach to chair design. Total support of the musculature leads to a loss of muscle tone, and thus to tension. ‘Purely ergonomic design proved to be the wrong way to go,’ says designer Stefan Diez. ‘Now we try to sit dynamically – just the opposite of ergonomic sitting, where you’re always in the same position.’ For this reason, the D1 does away with upholstered armrests – and with a backrest curved in the shape of the spine and topped with a headrest – both greatly benefit its appearance.
The marketing department of the large German fashion brand Strenesse apparently came to the same conclusion. The reduced design and confident character of the D1 – which has already established itself as Wagner’s showpiece – perfectly fit the urban style of the premium fashion label. Both companies also place value on high quality and German production. A cooperative venture seemed a natural step.
At this spring’s Milan Furniture Fair, in their first joint appearance, the two major brands made a striking impression. Peter Wagner, responsible for design and marketing, says, ‘I’m thrilled about our collaboration with the premium fashion brand Strenesse and about the many opportunities it will give rise to.’
Again and again, connecting fashion with architecture and interior design proves decidedly fruitful. Because casual companions make good company.