Dezeen Magazine

Zenith designs customisable workplace chair upcycling plastic and ocean waste

Formway Design creates customisable task chair from recycled plastic and ocean waste

New Zealand design studio Formway Design has created Denn Chair, a "holistic" workplace chair made from recycled materials, in collaboration with Australian furniture brand Zenith.

The studio used a number of different materials and techniques during the design process to meet the brief for an environmentally conscious product.

"Denn is made from ocean, post-consumer and industrial waste and uses as little [material] as possible to exceed the most rigorous global safety and durability standards," Formway Design told Dezeen.

The Denn Chair by Zenith
Denn Chair's backrest is created from 3D-knitted yarn made from ocean waste

According to Formway Design, Denn Chair is made out of 58 per cent recycled content. This includes its 3D-knitted backrest surface, which was created from polyester yarn containing marine waste.

By utilising gas-assisted and overmolding techniques, the design team sought to reduce the amount of material required while increasing the chair's overall strength and resource efficiency.

"Every material decision was made with a focus on reducing our footprint while ensuring the chair's longevity and performance," explained Zenith brand director Matt Vescovo.

Zenith's Denn Chair research
The chair was designed following extensive research and material testing

Shortlisted in the workplace design category of Dezeen Awards 2023, Denn Chair was developed through a combination of interviews and observation to determine how its form could support flexible and fluid movement.

"This holistic approach ensures Denn isn't just a 'standard task and multipurpose chair', but a comprehensive solution that aligns with the user's physical and ergonomic needs," Vescovo said.

The brand is awaiting patent approval for the chair's 4D-armrests which aim to enhance movability by providing 45-degree inward rotation.

"Every element is thoughtfully crafted to promote optimal posture, reduce fatigue and encourage overall comfort," Zenith said.

Zenith Denn Chair
Denn Chair integrates patent-pending armrest technology

A concealed automatic seat mechanism adjusts to the occupant's weight and movement, eliminating the need for manual modifications.

"[Denn Chair's] motion enables people to go from activity to activity, from posture to posture, without thought or restriction," Formway Design said.

Zenith designs customisable workplace chair upcycling plastic and ocean waste
Denn Chair is designed to automatically adjust to user movements and postures

Denn Chair comes in a light or dark frame with seven colour options for the polycarbonate backrest. Users can also choose between no armrests, loop armrests or the patent-pending 4D-armrests to customise their selection.

Focusing on workspace solutions, Zenith has furniture design and manufacturing operations across the APAC region including 13 showrooms throughout Australia, New Zealand and Asia.

Other projects shortlisted for the workplace design category of Dezeen Awards 2023 include a table collection by Foster + Partners and a chair designed by Swedish studio Form Us With Love.