The Story Behind the Setu Chair's Design
The Herman Miller Setu Chair was designed by the German furniture design team Studio 7.5 exclusively for Herman Miller. The team has found great success with Herman Miller in the past, designing the exquisite Mirra Chair and making a name for themselves in the process. The Setu Chair is the culmination of years of research, as well as a challenge Studio 7.5 took very seriously - to outdo their own stunning work.
Always believers in doing more with less, creating environmentally responsible furniture, and the physical properties of design, Studio 7.5 was a natural fit for Herman Miller, and their work has been outstanding. The Setu Chair is only the most recent in a long line of beautiful furniture, beautifully made.
The Setu Chair for Herman Miller began as a design response to the modern world. Both the benefits and the stresses were included in the brainstorming, as well as the demands of the modern world. The Setu Chair is designed to be gentle on the body and respond automatically and efficiently to the demands of sitting over long periods of time. It is comfortable, curved and contoured to fit any frame, and designed with a groundbreaking Kinematic Spine that bends, twists and reclines with the user. The edges of the seat and top of the back are curved off in waterfall designs to cut down on stress and low circulation, improving comfort and productivity. The chair is open, the mesh allowing the passage of air and breaking up the build-up of heat that can form under the thighs. Responsive and creative, the Setu Chair uses technology to answer the problems of the increasingly sedentary and technological workplace. Furthermore, the Setu Chair was made to be recyclable and environmentally friendly, to help counter-act the more devastating consequences of the industrial age.
Burkhard Schmitz, Claudia Plikat, and Carola Zwick began their partnership in 1992. The idea was to be open-minded and collaborative, equal. There would be no bosses, no titles, no departments separate from the whole. And for nearly 20 years, that's how they've worked. "Everybody does everything," says Burkhard, speaking for the group that now includes Carola's brother Roland Zwick. "That's how we cultivate ideas and maintain our openness and curiosity."
Studio 7.5 is a hands-on design team, and the Setu Chair was no exception. "You really have to work in three dimensions when designing products," notes Claudia. "So we don't spend much time on fancy renderings. Computer drawings just don't give you the feel, the touch, the smell." While the Herman Miller Setu Chair remains the most technologically advanced and quintessentially 21st century office chair yet built, it also bears the fingerprints of hands on design.
The members of Studio 7.5 love to design chairs, and their experience with the Setu Chair has been the most rewarding of all. "We define not only how the chair looks but how it performs," says Carola. "We're very involved with its physical behavior, because beauty is not only what you see, it's also what you feel."