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Graph from Wilkhahn: classic conference chair for a modern era

How do you design a conference chair to suggest comfort but also symbolise distinctiveness and clarity? For Wilkhahn, a completely new approach was required to reconceptualise the classic values of a conference chair for the modern era. In response to this brief, German designers Markus Jehs and Jürgen Laub have devised Graph, an innovative family of conference chairs that meets the most demanding of requirements.

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Jürgen Laub appraises an early model of the backrest. Over the past few months the Graph range has been honed, perfected and prepared to go into production

The design’s key concept was to cut through a seat shell horizontally and vertically and then reassemble it, so that the shell section in the crossover point between the seat and back was unnecessary. This stroke of genius generated an innovative modern form. A seating body in several parts was produced that appears lightweight, yet its contours still suggest a homogeneous, unitary seat shell. The form also changed the structure. The armrests become the central connecting nodes between the seat and backrest shell. As a result, they could be fabricated as an open frame, therefore creating an attractive contrast in materials and structure within the chair’s homogeneous shape.

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Graph’s key concept involves separating and re-jointing. It also embraces visual lightness,  comfort appeal and modular variety. Armrests form the connecting points between the seat and backrest shells

Equally ingenious is the idea of flexibly resting the seating body on three points. This generates three-dimensional elasticity for the sitter − a unique innovation in a swivel chair of this kind.

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Designers Markus Jehs and Jürgen Laub testing prototypes

Designers Jehs and Laub are delighted by the results of the design process. ‘In Graph’s case, we were always able to find solutions that provide a perfect balance between aesthetics and engineering. And in the end, the result is exactly what we had dreamt of at the beginning.’

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