Thursday’s Salute to Originals: Folding Chairs Get a Facelift

We’ve all been there…You’re stuck in a seminar, class, or meeting, and all there is to sit on is a cold, hard, aluminum folding chair. Just the sight of one of these assembly seating staples is enough to conjure feelings of numb appendages and boredom. You know its going to be a long day.

Old Metal Folding Chair

While often only marginally better than sitting on the floor, these unassuming chairs were once a symbol of authority and status. In antiquity, rulers, commanding officers, and other respected figures were the only ones fortunate enough to use them. Because of this association, the folding chair was considered a prized possession and the most important furnishing in a space. However, in more recent times, there seems to have been a substantial shift in that hierarchy. Today, folding metal chairs are more often that not, regarded as a tacky seating solution at best, or an extreme wrestling weapon at worst. A far cry from the regal pieces of furniture they once were.

Flux Founders with New Folding Chair Design

A new company, however, is working to change this negative perception of the folding chair. Inspired by paper sculptures, designers Douwe Jacobs and Tom Schouten of Flux, used innovative folding and artful play of angles to create a chair with a clean, and visually appealing silhouette. The sleek and slightly geometric style gives a much needed update to the overall appearance, bringing this seat from antiquity into current times. Furthermore, the arches and angles create a sense of movement and fluidity, much different than its rigid and static predecessor. Standing alone, the chair could be confused for a piece of art, rather than a portable seating device.

The Flux chair is not only beautiful in form, but also beautiful in function. Made of weather-proof polypropylene that can be used indoors or out, the Flux chair assembles in 10 seconds with just a few flips and folds. Weighing only 10.6 lbs, the chair is easily portable and can support over 33 times its weight – a whopping 352 lbs. And while this revamped folding chair boasts a fresh silhouette and inherent strength, another of its best attributes is its slim storage profile. Folding to a just over half an inch in depth when dismantled, 21 chairs are able to fit in a 1 foot space making it quite easy to store in tight areas. And with today’s ever increasing need for space in a continually shrinking world, this is an attractive attribute for anyone wanting to conserve on wasted space.

Flux Chair Fold Mount

With already one award under their belt (UK’s Grand Design Product of the Year Award), Flux seems to have caught onto something important. And while the concept of a folding chair isn’t quite original, the way in which they approached and achieved the result, certainly is. Not only by reinventing the folding chair, but reinventing the negative stigma attached. Can’t wait to see what Flux will tackle next!

Image credits: brtpropshop via Flickr Creative Commons,