Grazie Mille

The Grazie stacking chair from KI aims to relieve some of the aches and pains that come with our modern lifestyle

06.01.2013 by Elianne Halbersberg

Even if you don’t fly, odds are you spend a lot of your day in an upright and locked position. Commuting to and from work, sitting at a desk, staring at a television—it is our sedentary lifestyles that cause us so much trouble over the long run. Between poor posture, lower-body compression and inadequate furnishings, it’s no wonder that so many people suffer from back pain.

The new Grazie seating collection from KI is designed to assist with some of those aches and pains that come from being seated for long periods of time. Called “the world’s first true ergonomic stack chair” by KI, Grazie’s unique approach lies in its Perfect Pivot mechanism, which aims to align the chair’s contours and movements with our own.

The latest collaboration between KI and award-winning designer Giancarlo Piretti, Grazie is equal parts American ingenuity and Italian style. Piretti spent over a year researching and completing the chair’s concealed mechanisms and developing Grazie’s virtual pivot. Taking into consideration the shifting and stretching that take place while people are seated, his goal was to create a four-legged, stackable chair that would offer the most comfortable backrest movement possible.

“We know that our body needs to move, including when we are seated,” Piretti says. “Ergonomics tells us that when we wish to stretch on a chair, we lean backward, widening the angle between pelvis and thighbones. The vertex of this angle is the fulcrum of our hips. The more the rotation fulcrum of backrest flexibility gets from this ‘ideal’ rotation center, the more the backrest movement will not appear perfectly comfortable.”

Piretti admits that it would have been easy to create an elastic joint for Grazie, with central placement of the rotation center, as is common in some chairs. However, he notes, “an elastic joint positioned at the height of our hips is very bulky, precluding the possibility to design a four-legged stackable chair.”

Hence, the Perfect Pivot—an innovative and seamless design not found in other stacking chairs. “The user perceives a high degree of comfort but cannot understand the movement because there is no visible pivot,” he says. “This ‘surprise’ makes the movement of Grazie a mystery. It’s interesting to observe how people check the chair to understand where the movement comes from: at the playful discovery of the invisible pivot!”

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