Studio 7.5 is the design force behind the Cosm chair. This chair was created in collaboration with Herman Miller and marks the fourth time the studio has teamed up with the iconic furniture company. The talk provided insight into their design and fabrication process during the development of the Cosm for Herman Miller.
How to Grow a Chair | Studio 7.5's Design Process
"We learned so much by assembling everything wrong"
"A lot of things went wrong." Carola Zwick confessed lightheartedly, during the initial development stages of the Cosm chair.
She said that a team of eight basically had 120 seconds to act fast before the polyurethane dried as they were working through prototypes, making it impossible to modify after that blink-of-an-eye timeframe.
Ms Zwick said another challenge surrounding the "Cosm" came from the intricate design of the teeth- a major component of the chair's unparalleled suspension. "We had to count line by line. One line resulted in entirely different sitting experience. "
The designers worked to create a piece of furniture that would seamlessly translate funtion and comfort into a single chair.
"It’s not an armrest- it’s an elbow cradle."
"Our first iteration scared our client," joked Burkhard Schmitz, noting that the "elephant ears" were an unconventional, yet important aspect of the design.
He went on to mention the "leaf arms" that are integral to the overall design and functionality of this chair-- the potentially overlooked elbow support.
But don't call them arm rests! Mr. Schmitz refers to them as "elbow cradles," highlighting the importance of getting this particular part right.
"A chair should be designed like a bicycle- not a car."
An interesting declaration from Burkhard Schmitz was that approach to designing a chair should be akin to designing a bike-- not a vehicle.
The designers made a concerted effort to follow in the footsteps of Charles & Ray Eames: with the intent to design with great attention to every detail.
"We were able to think about entire family of chairs. All provide diff sitting experience but able to use same design."
The studio was able to illustrate the manufacturing process first-hand to the fabricators at Herman Miller. The designers travelled to the Zeeland, Michigan facility and taught their design methods for the chair at the Herman Miller Design Yard. And although it was a challenge to replicate exactly, they were able to find a solution and produce a high-quality, specialized chair, uniformly.
A Day at Herman Miller Design Yard
Herman Miller | Threads
Detroit Designs the World
Art in Detroit | A Sculptural Adventure