It’s been a long time since I’ve seen one of our reps bring us a task chair (or any product) that was truly innovative. The 8 and 10 series nylon flex back chairs from At the Office are very different from anything I’ve seen.
Before Herman Miller came out with the first mesh chair, the Aeron in 1994, all chairs were fabric covered and very boring. The Aeron was a game changer in our industry and is now part of The Museum of Modern Art’s permanent collection. Hundreds of copies of the Aeron followed and now mesh is about all anyone buys. Between 1994 and 2009 about the only thing we saw from the commercial seating industry were better and more affordable versions of the Aeron.
In 2009, Knoll introduced the “Generation”, the first office chair with a “flex nylon” back. The flex nylon is a very “rubbery” and flexible material. It’s the perfect material for an office chair back because it moves and flexes with the user. It’s also much more durable than the mesh back and comes in very bright colors. The first time I sat in a Generation chair back in 2009, I knew it was a winner. The only reason it hasn’t taken off is the price. A Generation chair typically lists for over $1,200. As I walked away from the Generation chair that day, I knew it wouldn’t be long before we’d see a more affordable version of it. That time is here.
The 8 and 10 series are not cheap knock offs of the Generation. They are good quality and well-made chairs. They are also less than half the price of the Generation and that makes them a great fit for Team Office.
The flex nylon back comes in bright colors and may do to office seating what Nike has done to the sneaker business. Nike’s bright colors and light-weight materials have made other shoes look old and out of touch.
Will flex nylon back chairs in bright colors do the same thing to office seating?
Only time will tell. But, I wouldn’t bet against it. In fact, I’m not betting against it. Just call or email Team Office and we’ll let you take a flex nylon back chair (that you can comfortably afford) for a test drive.