When it comes to chair design, designers have endless options. But in hospitality and commercial spaces, function often takes precedence over form. It's essential for seating in high-traffic areas to perform as well as it looks, though striking a balance between the two is no easy feat. Now one company is revolutionizing the nature of lounge seating with its latest addition, offering designers a timeless, handcrafted option built to last—the Hobsen chair.
Since 1980 National Office Furniture, a unit of Kimball International, has solidified its reputation in the contract office furniture market as a purveyor of design-driven, yet affordable furnishings. The brand's latest lounge chair and coordinating ottoman reflect this heritage, melding decadent comfort with a distinct aesthetic.
Hobsen, created by National Office Furniture's Industrial Designer Don Woods, features curved wooden, handcrafted arms that envelop the user. Its elegant and timeless aesthetic is reflection of mid-century Scandinavian design. "We wanted to reintroduce the elegance of solid wood joinery, craftmanship, and finger joints, as well as mortise and tenon construction, into a lounge chair designed for mass production," says Woods.
"I was inspired by furniture designed by Milo Baughman and Hans Wegner throughout the design process," he added. "The curvature of the upholstered back and the alluring organic curves of the wood arms were designed to elicit a mental response similar to what one would receive from a friend with their arms held out for an inviting embrace."
Unlike most lounge chairs in the market, Hobsen is a display of true artisanal craftsmanship with eye-catching finger joints visible on the sides and the back rival of its expertly tailored front. The linear slant of the chair's tapered legs add yet another element of visual interest in the piece, accentuating its sinuous frame.
Designers will take comfort in knowing Hobsen elevates elements traditionally seen in a lounge chair, while maintaining the upmost in comfort. For instance, the chair's cushion style is a unique combination of angular and organic shapes offered in a range of upholstery options, patterns, and colors. Given its versatility and exquisite craftmanship, Hobsen is a truly unique seating option and, as such, adds depth to National Office Furniture's existing product portfolio.
"l'd call it a reinterpretation of lounge seating because all the basic elements of a lounge are present," says Woods. "I simply defined them in a different visual manner."