i2i chair leaves me feeling uneasy
I’ve been considering writing an entry for awhile not about the Steelcase’s i2i chair. The i2i is a part of their new collaborative collection of workplace furniture which I believed they released in 2009. Yet my hesitation in writing about this piece comes from my own uncertainty about its design. On one hand I find the rather tall back with it’s mesh like fabric, the simple yet elegant shape of it’s legs, the small rolling barrel like casters on its base and the ribbed pattern of of the chair back brilliant and incredibly appealing. And then on the other hand there’s the seat cushion. The cushion appears to be in a constant state of peril as it appears to sit on the brink of falling to the floor at the slightest movement. Making this even more concerning is that this chair was designed with movement in mind. It’s unique swivel features allow for a user to comfortably change position while still remaining engaged and connected with those around them (thus the name i2i). The chair was the collaborative work of the Steelcase design team and design firm IDEO. From what I know of both of these groups they are highly user focused and incredibly talented creative problem solvers, so I must assume that the chairs cushion with it’s oversized and under supported design were either the result of a functional need or an engineering feat. I make this assumption because for me the cushion is so visually distracting that it detracts from what I think could have been one of the slickest looking work space chairs in years, and can’t imagine no one among these two highly revered design teams wouldn’t have felt the same.—am I wrong?