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Furniture Design


Limbic Chair

Concept & Design Method, Design of Shells, Functional Design of Mechanics:

Dr. med. Patrik Künzler

Design of Electronics, Sensors, VR-Applications:

Mark van Raai

Surface design metal parts of Limbic Chair:

Ben Fluri

(Independent student project)


The starting point for the development of the Limbic Chair, which was driven centrally by research by the physician Dr. Patrik Künzler, was not, as is so often the case, ergonomic considerations, but desirable mental or physical conditions – such as weightlessness, concentration, enjoyment, relaxation etc. The interplay between posture and exercise on the one hand and our mental and emotional health on the other hand was investigated. Derived from this, it was a matter of how a sitting instrument would have to be created for it to generate positive impulses for our mental or emotional well-being. Basic technology for furniture emanated from many experiments and technical studies, which were intended to enable healthy, enjoyable and even useful sitting. The Limbic Chair is the initial implementation on the basis of this technology. Its name hints at the “Limbic system”. The medical term describes a functional unit in the brain, which includes several anatomical structures and plays a central role in processing emotional and intellectual impulses.

Comments of the nominators

Noteworthy basic research on the subject of sitting, moving and emotion, for which the physiological and neurological functionality of the human body took centre stage. The findings gained from this led to a completely new approach to the design of seating.

Comments of the jury

It’s not a completely new revelation that physicians are involved in the development of seating. So far they have primarily been orthopaedics, who investigated where the human body should be supported or held or relieved when sitting, and where it needs movement. The Limbic Chair project is fascinating because of its completely new approach: for the first time neuronal and – the associated – emotional aspects of sitting are included in the investigation. The results are just as astounding as promising. The versions fitted with electronic sensors open up completely new areas of application such as in the field of the gaming industry where functional seating could be used as a device to control software. The Limbic Chair project appears exciting as an approach to research and the design thinking process. The findings acquired here could form the basis for new types of design solutions.