Steelcase Gesture: A New Way to Sit


Well, nine new ways to sit, to be more specific. The problem was really that you were already sitting in these positions, but most chairs didn’t support them. With nearly two thirds of workers using two or more devices (Tablet, Smartphone, Computer, etc.) every day*, the standard chair design’s expectation for users to be straight-backed with eyes forward and feet flat on the floor was increasingly cumbersome. Engineers at Steelcase decided to tackle the problem with Gesture, a chair that moves like you do.

The core of the system features a back and seat that move along with the user. shifting and tilting to keep the back cradled in as many positions as possible. In addition, the edges of the seat are designed to be flexible to allow for shifting between postures with minimal obstruction. The basic concept remains obvious, people are sitting in many very strange ways, and the chair is meant to augment that.

But the real innovation in the chair are its arms. While many other office chairs have a wide range of arm adjustments allowing for side to side, forward back, and rotation around a pivot, the Gesture put the arm rests atop four pivot points to allow for a much wider range of motion. The system essentially allows for an orbit that can, for example, move up and in for using a smartphone, or down and forward for lounging back. Moreover, all these adjustments can be made “as easily as adjusting your posture.”

The chair is expected to become available in November this year, and make quite an impact when it does.

*According to the June 2013 Popular Science


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