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Life Chair

Formway Design wanted to create a chair that was intuitive and would sense and respond to a person's weight without the need for levers or knobs. They wanted to free people from chairs that were functional only in a single, stationary position.​ Their research into the dynamic nature of the sitting process led to the Life® Chair.

The graceful curves, slim silhouette and smooth, responsive movement of the Life® chair set the standard for sophisticated design and effortless comfort. Its advanced control automatically responds to shifts in body weight, providing personalized ergonomic support. Designed in collaboration with Formway Design, Life® represents a complete rethinking of how to approach sustainability through design.​

Life® Chair sets the standard for sophisticated design and effortless comfort

Life Chair

by Formway Design
Life Chair

Since 2002, the Formway Life® Chair has won 11 international awards and is featured in offices across the world, including Google's Shangai headquarters.

Formway Design

The Project

The project team works side-by-side with the client to ensure product functionality, marketability and usability are resolved through proof of concept prototypes. These are tested and refined to ensure all aspects of the solution are understood, key risks are identified and project goals are achieved.


With Finite Element Analysis tools and a significant level of plastics failure mode experience inFact set about reproducing the problem with its CAD-based stress analysis tools.

The problem become immediately apparent and the modes of failure were simulated on the actual product.

A change to the structural design of the seat pan and a change in the material meant the product would no longer demonstrate the problem.


Formway had embarked on an international programme with the USA giant office furniture manufacturer Knoll. Their innovative Life® chair product was hugely successful and production was ramping up.

The seat pan was however showing signs of failure due to repeated high-stress loads. InFact was brought in to analyse the problem and develop a solution.


Life® chair is manufactured in New Zealand and the USA and is believed to be the biggest selling office furniture item ever for Knoll.

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Capabilities used on this project

Industrial Design


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