Humber students change the office chair game

Mar 26, 2024 | Campus News, News

The idea of traditional office chairs has been changed. Humber’s Industrial design students were put to the test.

The annual Humber Industrial Design Chair Show at The Barrett Centre for Technology Innovation on March 12 was the first after a four-year break because of COVID-19.

This year’s design brief was created in collaboration with Nienkämper (the exclusive partner for the 2024 Chair Show), Borgo, Copernicus, and more.

The exhibit is for second-year industrial design students and their chair products and Professor Odin Cappello says a lot goes into creating a chair.

“Students spend four weeks designing the chairs as individuals, and then they spend seven weeks building the chairs as teams,” Cappello said.

This year’s show was an industry-sponsored project, sponsored by Nienkämper, a contract furniture company.

“Nienkämper helped create the design project brief, and the students designed and made their chairs to meet the criteria of the project brief,” Capello said.

The team of Jhay Simon, Shariq Mohamed and Zach Hatanaka took first place with their design called JRMY.

Finishing in second were Erika Zhu Zhong, Marcus Mayne and Ben Krautner for PICARD while Xander Adams,

Derek Lin and Arik Stuffles took third for AVONA. Winning the People’s Choice award were Thea Shekaran, Pakhi Kandwal and Alycia Gutierrez Arana for OBA.

Capello said many people from the college come to see the exhibit without knowing much about it but alumni who currently work in the industry crowd around to see the designs.

“We have students who are still here in school and other professionals who maybe aren’t alumni, but just learn about the event through social media,” Capello said.

Ariadna Villegas Guerrero, Evan Huang, and Louis Seguin were one of the groups debuting their chair Onsilla. Ariadna said their focus was human-centred on ergonomics.

“To bring people out of the home office and bring them back to the offices and give them this space to relax, but also where they can work for long periods of time,” Guerrero said.

The team describes Onsilla as being more than a piece of furniture, it’s a statement of mindful living. They described the chair as having an understated elegance and organic charm making it a versatile addition to offices, lounges, or a space where relaxation and style coverage.

Alycia, Thea and Pakhi with their chair Oba

Alycia, Thea and Pakhi with their chair Oba Photo credit: Liana Naccarato

Alycia Gutierrez Arana, Thea Shekaran, and Pakhi Kandwal were another group with their chair called Oba.

Kandwal said they began their process by coming up with designs and prototypes, and “based on the feedback, we again go back to designing and then prototyping.”

They said their chair Oba is an ergonomic privacy chair, and is a refreshing break from traditional workspaces.