Text: Lucia Brandoli. Interview: Loredana Mascheroni
“The new ACX, the tenth office chair I have designed for Vitra, is based on an evolutionary and adaptive concept”, architect and designer Antonio Citterio tells Domus on the occasion of the presentation of his new collaboration with the famous Swiss company. There are two key principles that guide the design of the chair and make it contemporary. One is a reflection on how working has evolved after Covid-19. And then there is the topic of sustainability.
The chair has been designed so that every aspect related to its production – materials, construction, logistics, maintenance – has the smallest possible carbon footprint and allows it to have a long life. “Concern for the end of a product’s life and its recyclability are essential elements,” says Citterio.
The ACX is an eco-sustainable chair, with a design approach that reflects a different sustainability, that of ways of working, and how the boundaries of the office as a physical and mental space has been redefined. “The world of the office is increasingly focused on flexibility,” says Citterio. Looking back in time, the difference is clear. “The office chairs of the Nineties were made for workaholics”. Today, that’s no longer possible. “They have to be comfortable without being too structured and contribute to a relaxed environment”. He points to three key words for the office chair of the twenty-first century: “friendly, comfortable, home”.
The Acx aims to meet expectations in terms of price, sustainability, comfort and aesthetics. “The idea was to create a sober chair with a reduced backrest and a range of warm colors for the upholstery, suitable for both home offices and open-space work solutions,” says Citterio. In addition to environments, the chair also responds to the different needs of different users. The mechanism of this model instantly adapts to people of different weights, following a “sit & work” approach that reduces unnecessary time wasted adjusting the chair.
This is a chair that tries to disprove those who thought the office was dead: the workplace adapts, survives, transforms. A philosophy perfectly embodied by this Acx.