steelcase reveals ‘silq’, a chair that transforms seating design. the company’s designers and engineers created a new high-performance polymer material that emulates the qualities of carbon fiber at a mass market price. this material, combined with the sensuous curves of the design, allows ‘silq’ to respond to natural movements of the human body without the mechanisms typically required in high-performance seating designed for the workplace. 



james ludwig, vice president, global design and engineering at steelcase, and his team had a vision for an entirely new way to design a chair. they imagined replacing the hundreds of parts needed for a fully adjustable task chair with a simple system, where the material becomes the mechanism.



the team first created a premium version of silq in carbon fiber. they knew they needed to innovate further to reach every audience, continued prototyping and invented a new material and manufacturing process resulting in a high-performance polymer that behaves like carbon fiber.



‘the way silq is shaped, what it is made of and the way it performs are inseparable,’ says james ludwig. ‘we took inspiration from aerospace, the motion of a high-performance prosthetic leg and sculpture, among other things, to understand how the combination of advanced materials and shape could create a simple system that is incredibly thin, extremely strong and highly responsive.’


designboom has received this project from our ‘DIY submissions‘ feature, where we welcome our readers to submit their own work for publication. see more project submissions from our readers here.


edited by: maria erman | designboom

  • What kills this for me – the legs – this looks like furniture in a box at Walmart. You can have marketing come up with all sorts of jaw music but a big company with design and engineering resources can do better than cheap casters sourced on Alibaba. (that’s what they look like…) Maybe they should make a cozy to cover everything below the seat.


    JimCan says:

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