Human-centered design is at the core of Dauphin. Its chairs are designed to be ergonomic and suitable for the diversity and neurodiversity of today's...
How Dauphin designed an award-winning chair
Dauphin develops its products based on "Human-centered" designs. Its chairs are made with ergonomics in mind and are ideal for the diversity and neurodiversity of today's offices, meeting everyone's needs in terms of comfort and aesthetics.
In this interview, Rüdiger Schaack talks about the design and construction process of Dauphin's award-winning Indeed Chair. Rüdiger is the designer in charge of Indeed's revolutionary design and functionality. He accomplished this challenge and overcame the obstacles to get the perfect chair that meets everyone's needs.
Q/: What was the inspiration for Indeed's development?
Rüdiger Schaack: Generally speaking, the inspiration for a new product comes from everywhere. You can get input from the fashion industry, the automotive industry, the consumer goods industry, and even from nature.
As a designer, you always have to keep your eyes open, collect impressions and store them. Ultimately, however, the structural specifications and the market requirements for a specific product lead to a design solution.
Q/: What was the creative process like? Can you walk us through the different steps?
RS: Step 1: The creative process began with a briefing from product management. Together with the development and design departments and product management, we drew up a specification sheet outlining all the details that Indeed must have.
Step 2: I created market research or competitive analysis with product management, and my work on the first design concepts began as sketches.
Step 3: This ideation phase resulted in 3 design proposals, and after the presentation to the executive board, we decided to work out one of the three concepts.
Step 4: The next step was CAD modeling and design visualization in renderings, 1:5 models, and 1:1 scale prototypes.
Step 5: After design optimization and re-prototyping, the design was signed off. We call this step – the design freeze.
Step 6: Now, the engineering started, and I was only involved in a supporting role until the start of production.
Q/: What were some of the challenges in designing Indeed?
RS: The biggest challenge was finding a design solution that fits the aspects of performance rather than polarization, reliability rather than playfulness, and aesthetic excellence that excites people—all these items combined in a product for the entry-level-segment.
Consequently, plastics make up a large portion of the parts and components. The chair design responds to this with various surface structures applied to the plastic, making the individual elements seem very soft and velvety and thus further enhancing the chair.
Basically, the main goal of the design was to transform functional elements into design details. As a designer, the chair needed to have a consistent design language.
One example is the transition from the backrest bar to the backrest frame, which is solved in a form-fitting way but also lends the chair a certain dynamism that could be more expressive. In addition, both the mesh backrest and the plastic one share features since the closed plastic shell bears a that matches the mesh fabric's texture.
I also designed pictograms printed on the chair to assist with the operation. Another challenge was the structure of the lumbar pad that gave the chair a modern look.
Q/: How was Dauphin's concept of human-centered design included in the chair?
RS: The principle of the Indeed swivel chair underlines as: "One chair for all. "
For me, that meant designing a chair that suits everyone – not solely from an ergonomic view but also in design terms.
It was also important to include the human perspective in all steps of the problem-solving and design-finding process to create a 100% usable and useful product.
Q/: What was the differentiating factor that made it possible to win the German design award 2022?
RS: In my opinion, Indeed meets the demands of a new generation with one thing above all else: "Ease!"
Its slim and reduced design is a real team player interacting with various interiors. Its ergonomic features make it easy to adapt to the individual needs of a dynamic everyday life in an agile manner.
Moreover, its resources–saving innovatively meets our current sustainability standards. That means it combines ergonomic comfort with lightness in an elegant and essential design. That is why it can easily cope with a dynamic and agile workday.
Q/: What other features does Indeed have that make it adaptable to many different interiors?
RS: I wanted to design a chair that shouldn't be too conspicuous and should slot easily into different kinds of interiors. Also, the topic of working from home played a significant role.
For example, these two different backrest options – with a mesh fabric cover or a closed plastic shell, which we call "operator.
In addition, there is a wide choice of cover materials ranging from pure wool to cavalry cloth and felt-like fabrics.
Indeed is also available in a broad selection of colors, and all in all, this certainly adds to an enormous design scope both in the office and at home.
Q/: We know Indeed was built using eco-friendly materials and manufacturing processes. Could you tell us a little more about it?
RS: The notion of sustainability was a key factor in the design concept. Therefore, all the components of the Indeed chair are pure plastic types and thus recyclable. Additionally, the majority of the components came from local suppliers. We ensured no glue was on any of them to make them easier to sort. Instead, everything slots together, making it simple to disassemble. It is also possible to ship the chair partially disassembled, with no tools required for assembly, since the pieces slot together using formfitting and plug-in connections.
In addition, the molded plastic parts use the least amount of material possible, which incidentally means that the chair is relatively light.
That was the challenge:
Designing a lightweight swivel chair that uses minimal resources but is stable and meets the functional requirements.
Additionally, Indeed is, on average, 20 percent lighter than comparable chairs. We managed that by experimenting, building prototypes, testing them in our test laboratory, and carrying out analyses in advance regarding the distribution of forces, which illustrate whether an assembly will function or not and highlight where things need to be improved.
This leads to ribbing in the backrest, which braces the chair and helps to save material. Furthermore, we are using fabric that is made 99% from recycled PET bottles.
Hersbruck, the 11/25/2022
Schaack, Rüdiger. Dauphin designer. Online answers 11 November 2022
"Dauphin | Indeed – Design by Rüdiger Schaack – English." YouTube, 20 July 2021, www.youtube.com/watch?v=oe1iZUFRMcg.
" 'Indeed' From Dauphin Works in the Office and in the Home Office | STYLEPARK." Stylepark, www.stylepark.com/en/news/indeed-office-chair-dauphin-stylepark.
"Dauphin's New Office Chair Indeed Encourages Correct Sitting in the Workplace." Architonic, www.architonic.com/en/story/tanja-pabelick-dauphin-s-new-office-chair-indeed-encourages-correct-sitting-in-the-workplace/20224620?epik=dj0yJnU9OVhBTHY0bUhoMXFGN0pPbXpXSFQ1c2dGaGVhQU50d1YmcD0wJm49d3EwWHVtU29hbTVQMnptcGZRVnV3USZ0PUFBQUFBR09CRExZ.
"Indeed." Indeed, www.dauphin.de/dauphin/de/englisch/office-chairs/indeed.