Axona Aichi Introduces Its Futuristic X50 Stacking Chair
First of all, it must be a comfortable chair.
Secondly, it must have a high level of stacking capacity.
Thirdly, it must be lightweight.
And finally, it must contain sustainable elements for environmental responsibility.
His goal was to design X50 to embody all four of these factors in an extremely simple yet innovative way.
First, he initiated the development of a flexible material for the seat and back because he wanted to create a comfortable cushion with a single material in a simple design without utilizing a mechanism and additional components. The material development was a very critical assignment for designing the X50 and the resulting material is a new combination of elastomeric polymers.
Some of the biggest obstacles the design team faced centred on how to achieve the perfect balance among the many factors involved in capitalizing on the special attributes of the material – to deliver the perfect blend of manufacturability and user comfort, considering moulding temperature and plastic flow speed when the new material is injected into the mould in a double moulding process. Getting it right consumed three to four years of struggling through seesaw battles in which hitting one solution ruined another. One of the most intractable problems was how to keep surface durability while providing just the right flexibility for comfort. But through multifaced research, the development team eventually succeeded in creating this beautiful, innovative high-quality stacking chair.
The design achievement of the X50 stacking chair is hidden comfort and functionality in simple linework. This chair, appearing at first glance to be just a simple plastic seat, is actually an elastic seat that accepts the user’s body distribution automatically and responds to body movements while providing pleasant flexibility. Amazingly, the user notices an unparalleled comfortable cushioning. The back is also made of newly developed elastomeric materials, providing the same comfort as the seat. It does not make people tired even when sitting for a long time.
This is a design chair centred on a human’s body – moving as the user moves and inherently providing a customized comfort for each user, rather than requiring adjustment of the chair.
Furthermore, the stacking capacity of the X50 was pursued by the designers and developed successfully to stack up to 50 chairs high which are significantly more than typical stacking chairs.
In order to achieve our stacking goal, we needed to make the seat thinner, while maintaining comfort. The chair had to be lightweight but also needed to have sufficient strength. Resolving these conflicting relationships was the greatest challenge of the X50 design. The seat frame pipe (in Φ13mm) has been compressed down to half the original size and the thickness of the seat has been reduced. This slim construction provides not only incomparable stacking capacity but also an attractive appearance. This aesthetic contrast at the side frame line incorporating two different materials, the steel and elastomeric material, enhances the straight overall design and allows you to create contemporary spaces. An additional benefit of stacking these chairs up to 50 high is a superb geometric design when stacked.
Even more amazing is that even though it weighs only 9.9lbs (4.5kg) X50 meets the international durability standards of BIFMA and ISO. The lightness of the material used gives a universal and sustainable design.
Having an ecological concept is also central to the design. The theme of “sustainability” has recently become more familiar to more people through the media and many corporations in a variety of industries have started incorporating this subject. We have been incorporating sustainability in our products for more than a decade by utilizing 100% recycled and 100% recyclable materials. In 2011, axona AICHI launched Tipo high-density stacking chair (Opt4 by KI) which is not only beautiful but also extremely eco-friendly furniture. We have supplied stacking chairs to the USA, Europe, Asia, and Oceania; each area of the world. The Tipo was also designed to contain the basic four essential factors for a stacking chair. The Tipo (Opt4 by KI) is made of 100% recycled plastic and mesh fabric made of 100% recycled yarn from reclaimed PET bottles. All components of the chair can be easily disassembled for maintenance and recycling each material.
These spirits of product development by the same designer were also carried over to the X50. While it is a composite material, we were amazingly successful in reaching all the goals utilizing 50% recycled materials of all elastomer components. The X50 is also simple construction enabling disassembly for recycling all materials and easy maintenance.
Right now, Taku Kumazawa is researching a new version of the X50 chair utilizing 100% of the marine plastic waste. This new variation will be launched this coming autumn season. The X50’s functional beauty coexists with sustainability which creates a better future for our planet.