In Review

Nadine Abedzadeh and Zoe Victoria Allen on Interstuhl’s VINTAGEis5 Chair Range


16 Oct , 2018  

We spent a morning at Interstuhl’s Middle East offices with Nadine Abedzadeh, Senior Designer at dwp, and Zoe Victoria Allen, Design Manager at Swiss Bureau Interior Design, getting up close and personal with the VINTAGEis5. This chair range is marked as Interstuhl’s most flexible, wide-ranging and customisable one, and Sales Manager, Oliver Nathmann, showed us that this, in fact, was true.


During Oliver’s enlightening presentation, we were impressed to learn the large variety of tastes, requirements and budgets that the VINTAGEis5 can cater to. In fact, the design of the top end, executive chair has been adopted from the classic Mercedes 300 SL Gulf Wing, with the fabric clearly representing a certain high end, luxurious status quo.

“This range is very similar to the car industry,” explains Oliver Nathmann, Sales Manager at Interstuhl Middle East. “Where each car can be customised to your specifications and budget,. Likewise, with Vintage, you can choose anywhere from a high class task chair all the way up to a CEO option.”

We have to give them props for creating an entire family of chairs – quite an investment considering the current market. The VINTAGEis5  includes 14 different models that can easily furnish all major departments in a work environment, from finance to the C-Suite.

 

First Impressions

Zoe: The chairs in the whole collection are aesthetically beautiful – the form is really lovely. And they look really comfortable.

Nadine: I agree, I also like that there is a range of them, so that you can have a cohesive look throughout the office. I particularly like that the CEO chair is not bulky, but still offers the required gravitas. I would definitely recommend this for a CEO.

 

 

Moving Arms

The innovative Auto Flow armrest naturally animates users into moving, which has a relaxing effect on the shoulder and neck region. This significantly reduces headaches, which were previously attributed to glare from the screen. Plus, it gives us something to play with, which is a good way to destress.

Usability and Comfort

Zoe: Super comfortable. The arms are a winner for me. As a designer, you’re constantly moving, getting up and down, and reaching out for things, so that support on the arms is really helpful.

Nadine: Normally with mesh back chairs, I find that you do not get enough lumbar support. But with these bionic strips, I am extremely comfortable and my back feels fully supported. With the arms, it feels a bit strange at first, particularly if you’re not used to it. But as a designer, you’re sketching quite a lot, so to sit back and have this arm workout is great.

Accessibility

Zoe: I keep my chair level quite high, and given that the adjustment levers are placed within easy reach, I like that you don’t have to grope around underneath to adjust the chair.

Nadine: I completely agree with that. No more walking into meetings and bending at awkward angles and positions to adjust the chair.

Smart Motion Technology

The set up of this chair is completely automated, so no matter how many people sat before you, it will still immediately adjust to your dimensions and posture when you sit. This is possibly one of the simplest ways of providing ergonomical solutions in a workplace.

Its Smart Motion Technology uses kinematic processes for frequent position changes, and the dynamic seat tilt can be adjusted to suit individual body weight and size, all of which can relieve stress and tension caused by long periods of sitting. This is a particularly impressive feature, and very much unique to the Vintage.

The Bionic Effect

The Bionic Effect technology was inspired initially by the stem and veins in a leaf, as well as the supporting tape used in the sporting industry to provide precision support to the muscles. This latex print is a brand new development that creates a Bionic Effect in the lumbar region. The firmer nature of the lumbar region gives the user additional support exactly where it is needed, and fits the bill design wise. In our opinion, the latex in the lumbar area is also clever from a manufacturing perspective as mesh alone tends to stretch over time.

From left: Oliver Nathmann, Zoe Victoria Allen and Nadine Abedzadeh

Additional Design Elements

The Vintage emulates classic design from the seventies and eighties, with thin lines and angles. Moreover, the mechanism of the chair is hidden within the frame to remove any outward, bulky gadgets, levers, etc, and give it a light, easy look.

Fabric Options

The fabric options in the range leaves the mind reeling – around 10 different compositions of material, each available in a minimum of 10 colourways, if not more. “And if this is not enough, we can go to the manufacturer of each fabric range and request a custom colour,” says Oliver proudly.

Clearly, the possibilities are endless.

“This is what makes us different,” says Oliver. “Because we offer our clients the freedom to create a chair that is very much their own. We do not put them in a box by making them choose from three options.”

This freedom to create your own look, and your own chair, is definitely a winner in our books.

“You can’t give the same chair to the finance department as well as the design department,” says Oliver. “They have different requirements and functionalities, and the Vintage range addresses them all.”

So basically a designer’s dream, and our designers tend to agree.

 

 

Where else would you use it…

Nadine: I would use it in hospitality, in some of the meeting rooms and business centres, for example, because these chairs are aesthetically very pleasing.

Zoe: Pretty much the same, as they are definitely corporate chairs and as such, have to be used in a similar environment.

 

One Outstanding Feature…

Nadine: The stitching on the CEO’s chair, I absolutely love it, and you can really sell that to a CEO, giving reference to the vintage ‘Mercedes inspired’ seating.

Zoe: If you can get them to make an emotional connection from the car angle, then they would absolutely fall in love with their office chair. But my favourite part is that the CEO chair is an ergonomically very well designed, as compared to other options in the market that are a lot bulkier, and the entire focus of their bulk goes into creating a sense of stature. In the regular chairs, my favourite element is the arms and the workout that they provide.

Nadine: Me too on the arms, and the bionic lumbar support. I love this chair, I would take it with me right now!

Pricing

Nadine: The pricing seems quite competitive for an ergonomically designed chair, add to that the fact that you can almost ‘de-spec’ it to meet budgets. That flexibility is good. So when a client comes in and falls in love with a chair, we don’t have to tell them, “Oh no, it’s too expensive.” This way, we can work with Interstuhl to make the price fit.

Zoe: This is the biggest challenge we are facing – to get clients to invest that little bit more in ergonomics, as normally, when there are cost cuts, that’s the first thing to be slashed. We always push for healthy workspaces, and alternative ways of working that are ergonomically sound. Unfortunately seating is one of the first things affected by budget cuts.

Nadine: So often we hear clients complain about the price of a chair, saying they can get knockoffs for a quarter of the price. And you can, but you also feel the difference in quality and ergonomics. The incorrect form and the shape of the base creates unhealthy posture. So it may look like an Interstuhl, but it is nowhere near it.

 

In conclusion, we wholeheartedly admit that a considerable level of sophisticated thought has gone into the design of the VINTAGEis5, both in form and functionality. In fact, if we were to change just one thing, it would be to label the adjustment levers as they may not be as easily decipherable to the average user. But all in all, in our books, this chair range is a winner.

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