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nFrontier's 'inflatable' unfolds from a center console to an ergonomic middle car seat

the compact ‘inflatable’ car seat enhances comfort

 

Deviating from traditional norms with its transformative functionality, nFrontier’s INFLATABLE is a highly integrated folding car seat. Shaped to be as compact as possible, INFLATABLE starts as a small center console and smoothly transitions into a full, ergonomically-shaped, 20% middle seat when unfolded. This relies on fusing advanced technologies like additive manufacturing, generative design, and CFD simulation, to devise a holistic shape that sets a new standard in car seating design.

 

Designed for convenient use, when folded into a center console, INFLATABLE reveals a hidden display, phone charging slots, cupholders, and a transparent storage compartment. Within the headrest, integrated speakers enhance the audio experience, cupholders discreetly slide out, and a ‘shytech’ surface enables for notifications and calls. Silicone pockets provide storage options, while wireless phone charger slots are accessible from both the back row and center console positions.

nFrontier's 'inflatable' unfolds from a center console to an ergonomic middle car seat
air flow is visualized by adding white fog | all images courtesy of nFrontier

 

 

nfrontier utilizes advanced technologies

 

Unlike conventional seats with inbuilt functionalities like cooling fans and massage systems bulkily layered on top of one another, INFLATABLE leverages the vehicle’s infrastructure, utilizing air conditioning and pneumatic systems for comfort and climate control. Its internal design topology enables cooling air circulation within designated areas of the seat, and pneumatic pressure for seating pad inflation for a comfortable ride. Unfolded, the backrest and seat are divided into different zones. Berlin-based studio nFrontier enhances comfort by integrating segmented backrest and cushion zones that inflate for customized padding, while ventilation and heating come from perforated chambers in the seat’s center axis, connected to the in-car air conditioning system.

 

As INFLATABLE continues to undergo iterative testing for a client project, nFrontier CEO Daniel Büning notes: ‘Our vision was to develop a lightweight hybrid between a floor console and a folding seat, that will advance the user experience driven by embedded technology. We wanted to create a previously unseen experience — converging different technologies, features and materials into one folding seat.’

nFrontier's 'inflatable' unfolds from a center console to an ergonomic middle car seat
INFLATABLE starts as a small center console and smoothly unfolds into an ergonomic 20% middle seat

nFrontier's 'inflatable' unfolds from a center console to an ergonomic middle car seat
additive manufacturing, generative design, and CFD simulation devise a holistic shape

nFrontier's 'inflatable' unfolds from a center console to an ergonomic middle car seat

Inflatable-nfrotnier-folding-seat-designboom-6

silicone pockets offer the possibility of storing small things in the front and back

nFrontier's 'inflatable' unfolds from a center console to an ergonomic middle car seat
ventilation and heating are integrated in the backrest

 

Inflatable-nfrotnier-folding-seat-designboom-5

 

 

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the pads of INFLATABLE are actuated using a pneumatic system.
the pads of INFLATABLE are actuated using a pneumatic system.
the perforated areas in the centre axis of the seat provide ventilation and heating
the perforated areas in the centre axis of the seat provide ventilation and heating
the headrest accommodates integrated speakers
the headrest accommodates integrated speakers
folding into a compact, center console
folding into a compact, center console

project info:

 

name: INFLATABLE 

designer: nFrontier

lead designer: Beatriz Lobao

lead engineer, prototyping, film: Yomi Ajani

prototyping and film: Tobias Winnen

concept: Daniel Büning 

 

 

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: ravail khan | designboom

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