Designing the Laptop Lounge Chair: A Product for the Workplace of Tomorrow
Abstract: This master thesis maps and discusses the current and future needs, wishes and challenges of office workers. The resultant contextual knowledge is utilized to develop a concept of an office chair. The work followed an exploratory design process. Initially, literature and data on various topics were researched to form an understanding of the current and future working conditions of office workers. The studied topics include ergonomics of sitting, office types and their effects on office workers, trends in work culture, remote work and the consequences of the Covid-19 pandemic on the office. The comprehension of the topics was expanded by surveying remote workers, conducting observational studies of various types of office environments and interviewing remote workers, office hosts and representatives of companies in the furniture industry. New types of office environments and forms of work are emerging, which open up the possibility of introducing new types of products. The material was analyzed and translated into a design brief, defining direction, purpose and objective for the development of the next generation office chair. The essence of the design brief is that current and future office work is mobile and conducted with the laptop as the main tool. Following the design brief, development of the chair was initiated through exploratory sketching and subsequent construction of prototypes. Through iterative improvements of the prototypes, guided by user tests and anthropometric data from literature, a profile was defined, outlining the contact surfaces between the chair concept and the user. The profile was subsequently used as a basis for exploring aesthetics through sketching and construction of models to scale. Finally, the product concept, namely, the Laptop Lounge Chair, was modeled digitally and images of it were rendered.
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