PearsonLloyd has designed two task-chair hybrids for Senator Group to meet the needs of dynamic workplace and learning environments.
The Ad-Lib Work Lounge chair, designed for the workplace, combines the comfort of a traditional lounge chair with a lightweight structure on castor wheels or glides for maneuverability.
Luke Pearson, co-founder of PearsonLloyd, told onoffice that while breakout areas were initially envisaged as somewhere employees could go to rest and relax it is now understood that these areas are more often used for collaborative work in groups of various sizes. As a result, cumbersome soft seating that cannot be easily moved or reconfigured fails to accommodate modern office requirements.
“[Nowadays] presentations and brainstorming might be carried out on a laptop, a whiteboard or projector,” said Pearson. “As soon as you have this format, fixed tables are irrelevant, it’s a far more dynamic set up that’s much more about collaboration.”
Pearson explained that the design duo’s interest in tensile structures underpinned the design of a single frame with “a upholstered sock pulled over it and attached to the seat”. The chair benefits from being technically simple and easy to produce, yet ergonomically sound and easy to recycle.
“In scale, it’s more like a high-back lounge chair that’s comfortable to sit in,” said Pearson. “[It’s] very lightweight, both in physical terms and material usage. This immediately offers increased mobility and makes moving it around a much more realistic and immediate option.
“We’re basically using a combination of new textiles and old upholstery techniques to create a new functional typology.”
The Work Lounge chair incorporates a pull-out tray table that instead of being fixed to one particular side is orbital, which allows people to sit and work together with a lap-top positioned on the table between them. The tray table can also be folded away behind the chair if the user is seating at a standard table.
The Ad-Lib Scholar chair is a development of the Work Lounge chair and Senator’s Ad-Lib seating range, which launched around three years ago. Comprising a plastic frame, and an upholstered or plastic seat and back, the chair is designed for educational or training environments.
Robert Mustoe, managing director of The Senator Group, said the modern learning environment is changing rapidly.
“People no longer sit transfixed by a teacher and board on one wall – they move around, engage with each other and collaborate together on projects,” he said. “This, coupled with students being encouraged to use electronic devices, has made the classroom a far more energetic place and reduces the emphasis on the traditional desk or table.”
The chair includes an “intelligent base” that can store a bag or other personal items, as well as a cup holder. A degree of mobility in the wheels and seat create micro-movements help to keep the sitter attentive.