stefan diez: chassis for wilkhahn
‘chassis’ by stefan diez for wilkhahn
all images courtesy of wilkhahn

‘chassis’ is a multi-purpose chair that has been created by karlsruhe-based designer stefan diez
in collaboration with the german furniture manufacturer wilkhahn. ‘chassis’ refers to the method
in which the chair’s seat frame is manufactured, being the first seating object produced using
industrial space-frame technology.

similar to that of vehicle manufacturing, the seat and backrest frame is a unitary structure,
formed from a deep-drawn, thin, ultra-strong sheet metal. the same technique is applied to the
connecting points of the four chair legs which are welded to the frame.
this technology combines elastic comfort, durability and strength.

stefan diez: chassis for wilkhahn
the metal pressed frame

in its first prototypes, the blueprint for the design suggested the automotive industry
was worth looking at in terms of manufacturing. however, this new process utilizes a press that exerts
300 tonnes of pressure to distort and pull the pre-cut fine sheet steel in one piece to make the seat
and backrest shell. geometry, cut-outs, contact pressure, speed and damping are all selected
so that no tears occur during the deep drawing stage.

stefan diez: chassis for wilkhahn

‘chassis’ is produced from two, easy-to-recycle materials. the frame is made from a high-efficiency
sheet steel in black, white or grey, while the unitary detachable seat and backrest is captured within the frame,
and is constructed from a finely grained, through-dyed polypropylene that is color matched using
powder coating machinery at a firing temperature of 190°C.

stefan diez: chassis for wilkhahn
front view

a robotic welder joins ‘chassis’ together. particularly sustainable, previously disposed croppings
of metal are used to produce the chair’s four connecting pieces so there is practically no wastage.
the detachable seat and backrest shell, have been developed using a concealed connecting method,
so that it fits snugly into the frame. plastic glides on the chairs leg make it suitable for hard and soft flooring.
because of its minimal use of materials, ‘chassis’ weighs only 5.4 kg.

stefan diez: chassis for wilkhahn

‘chassis’ will be presented at the wilkhahn booth during the 2011 stockholm furniture fair.

stefan diez: chassis for wilkhahn

stefan diez: chassis for wilkhahn
process images

you can see designboom’s previous article on the ‘chassis’ chair when it was still in its prototype phase here.