Steelcase Karman™ goes beyond other leading mesh chairs by naturally responding to a body’s movement, delivering industry-leading comfort and sustainability.
Grand Rapids, MI, April 25, 2023 – Today, Steelcase, a global leader in office furniture design and manufacturing, officially launched Steelcase Karman™, a first-of-its-kind ergonomic mesh chair designed to naturally respond to the body’s movements, provide comfort in an entirely new way and deliver on sustainability.
Inspired by the Kármán Line, where the earth’s atmosphere meets space, weightlessness becomes possible and going beyond becomes a reality, Steelcase pushed the boundaries of existing design and engineering to create Steelcase Karman, which goes beyond traditional mesh chairs using new technologies and materials. Steelcase Karman’s systematic approach to comfort relies on multiple elements working in harmony to deliver a comfort experience that keeps the user engaged with their work, helps distribute their weight and promote comfort throughout the day.
Steelcase Karman’s 21st century design utilizes new proprietary performance textile Intermix, which is developed through an exclusive weaving process that incorporates yarns and filaments into the weave. In unison with Steelcase Karman’s flexible frame, Intermix achieves perfect tension that distributes body weight evenly over the seat and back, flexing to its movement, fitting the contours of the body perfectly and creating ideal ergonomic support so it never sags. The combination also eliminates stiff edges, meaning users can comfortably sit any way they want. One can lean or sit sideways and feel less pressure on the seat and back, which isn’t possible with many other mesh chairs.
“In a world experiencing fundamental changes in the way people work, whether at home, in the office or both, we need and want a chair that works better,” said Mark Spoelhof, design director for Steelcase. “Comfort is built into every aspect of Steelcase Karman – it’s reactive to each body type and posture and adapts to all the different ways in which we might sit in a chair so you’re not aware of it, but it moves with you continually.”
Going beyond black, white and gray, Steelcase Karman is offered in an industry-leading range of proprietary Intermix colors and Lux finishes, making hundreds of aesthetic options possible — from monochromatic modern, residential luxury or anything in-between. Inspired by the dynamism of athletic performance wear, the filaments can be spaced close together to create an opaque version of Intermix, or further apart to create a transparent, more traditional mesh look. Using multiple colors in the weave creates the appearance of a color shift when looking at the chair from different angles.
Steelcase Karman’s innovative design approach started with the planet in mind. It not only uses sustainable materials but is comprised of the least number of components necessary. Its leading model weighing only 29 pounds, Steelcase Karman is designed for sustainability, yet is strong enough to support all body types.
“We’ve pushed materiality, shape and geometry as far as we can push them, using significantly less material than other performance chairs, while offering even better affordances,” said Spoelhof. “Many of Steelcase Karman’s parts are doing double or triple duty allowing it to function with about one-half less material than traditional task chairs so that it is as organically responsive to the human body as possible.”
“Steelcase Karman is the amalgam of all our learning and legacy – there’s DNA of every single one of our chairs built into it. It’s the evolution of everything we know about seating and the way people work.”
Established in 1912, Steelcase is a global design and thought leader in the world of work. We help people do their best work by creating places that work better. Along with more than 35 creative and technology partner brands, we design and manufacture innovative furnishings and solutions for the many places where work happens — including learning, health and work from home. Our solutions come to life through our community of expert Steelcase dealers in approximately 770 locations, as well as our online Steelcase Store and other retail partners. Founded in Grand Rapids, Michigan, Steelcase is a publicly traded company with fiscal year 2023 revenue of $3.2 billion. With our 12,000 global employees and dealer community, we come together for people and the planet — using our business to help the world work better.