Grazie Mille

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

by Elianne Halbersberg

This collaboration between KI and Piretti is just the latest in a relationship that spans more than 30 years. During that time, they have reached what Shawn Green, KI’s vice president of design and product marketing, calls “a rhythmic working relationship that allows for an openly creative dialog.”

“We treat Giancarlo as an extension of our in-house design and engineering team,” he adds. “Grazie is a direct continuation of his desire to design the most comfortable stacking chair possible. Giancarlo approached KI with the idea of enhancing the user experience by providing a pivot point that naturally aligned with the way that people move, thereby increasing comfort.”

Piretti’s previous flexible backrest chairs for KI, the Dorsal and Torsion, provided mid-back and hip-level comfort points. Grazie, with its curved backrest and twin springs moving in tandem with the human body, marks the company’s next evolution in stack seating.

“Like other Piretti designs, the product is not only highly functional, it is entirely pragmatic, as it is not over-stylized,” Green says. “In short, it is a simple, elegant seating solution.”

WATCH: See the Grazie stacker from KI in action in the I&S Media Center.

And while not a one-size-fits-all ergonomic chair, Grazie sure comes close. Piretti and Green agree that the size and structure can accommodate most users within an average percentile. Outside of the average, says Piretti, Grazie still offers a high level of comfort. The design was developed for a wide range of body types and sizes through the preload of the spring, “or the amount of force that it takes to begin the rotation of the back shell into the recline position,” says Green, “and the rate, which is the amount of energy that a spring will require to push smoothly through the range of motion while offering resistance.”

The fact that hours spent in chairs have a cumulative effect on waistlines did not go unnoticed during the design process. “The biggest challenge is designing for the 95th percentile, knowing that your audience is getting bigger and heavier over time,” says Green. “The spring-and-tube approach allows us the ability to evolve the product to respond to a wider range of users without jeopardizing the design.” 

The Grazie Collection offers what Green calls “a platform approach to design,” meaning a number of options, including four-leg, sled and pedestal bases. KI also plans to place Grazie in its lineup of fixed seating products. Designed to accommodate a variety of seating needs, from cafeterias to meeting rooms, computer labs to convention centers, Grazie promises to bring ergonomic ease to facilities everywhere.

“It is my hope that Grazie will help the market better understand how different KI is in our approach to design and products,” says Green. “We want to offer the best value, features and relevance in the market. Grazie does that.”

To learn more about Grazie, visit www.ki.com.

Elianne Halbersberg is a frequent contributor to Interiors & Sources. She has previously covered sustainability, architecture and interior design. 


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