Our new tub chair is like a tulip opening in spring. Lead designer Aaron Clarkson explains how nature inspired Remi’s look and feel, as well as how it’s made

As with so many projects, Remi began with a business need. On paper, at least, our aim was to add a comfortable tub chair to the Boss Design portfolio – perhaps as an extension to the Paloma collection. As designers, however, we’re always driven to improve on what has gone before and here we set out to create a piece of furniture to exemplify natural beauty, comfort and sustainability.

A natural, holistic philosophy informed our design process from the beginning. It’s said that there are no straight lines in nature and Remi reflects this with its curvaceous, organic form and smoothly rounded surfaces. Like its cousins in our catalogue such as Amelia, Paloma and

Manta, Remi’s sweeping curves offer an escape from the hard edges and corners of the built environment. We wanted it to look soft, comfortable and welcoming across hospitality, workplace and residential spaces

 

Focused on sustainability

The same respect for nature went into our selection of materials, leading to a ground-breaking level of sustainability. Remi’s sculpted form is rendered in injection moulded polyurethane foam. The PU foam typically used in furniture manufacturing is fossil fuel-hungry, which isn’t good for the environment. At Boss Design we’ve been exploring alternatives for a long time and Remi will be made with Bio-Pur® foam, which has a carbon impact 75% lower than conventional PU foam.

Instead of fossil fuels, the Bio-Pur manufacturing process relies on organic matter – mainly agricultural waste – a renewable resource which produces biomethane and bio-naphtha. Replacing crude oil and natural gas lowers the carbon footprint of the foam and Bio-Pur can be injection moulded using the same tooling. With no compromise in terms of quality, durability or comfort, it’s like for like but emits less carbon.

All Remi’s other materials are renewable, recycled and/or recyclable. The box frame in the seat is FSCcertified plywood, which can be recycled. Likewise, its steel frame and base. Remi’s fabric coverings can be specified in recycled fibre, and even its screw-in feet are made from recycled waste plastic. Nearly every component used has been sourced from a British supplier, shortening supply chains and further limiting its carbon footprint.

Refining and perfecting

Remi will be a game changer for customers who want to lower their emissions, and we hope it will be the catalyst that leads to more Bio- Pur products – at Boss Design and throughout the industry. Our desire for it to succeed doubled our drive to create the most appealing chair in the category.

Every line, surface and stitch has been carefully considered. We began with two prototypes – one a version of Paloma with a seat section that continues down to the ground, and a second which was a fresh design I drew which shares some of its DNA with Paloma but had a unique visual within itself.

Preferring the second option, we progressed it through several further prototype phases. Its back and arms were inspired by flowers opening and curved seashells, while inside that form the seat rises like proving dough, soft and rounded, filling the space. Following an open and welcoming visual impression, we wanted to surprise the sitter with an unexpected level of comfort.

Working together, development upholsterer Steve Bloomer and I painstakingly adjusted the lines, curves, surfaces and foam softness, testing each iteration with a variety of sitters and appraising its form from every angle. Then we made further adjustments, aiming to create a chair that looks enticing from anywhere in the room, delivers next-level comfort, and can be manufactured at scale.

Meticulous tailoring

Steve dedicated himself to refining Remi’s fabric patterns, cuts and stitching. To create the natural look and appealing silhouette we wanted, its covering had to fit like a supple skin, becoming one with the form. Along the arm and back, a top-stitch is used for a very subtle seam, while twin-needle is used for the rear, internal and seat panels.

The seat has a soft dome of moulded foam on webbed suspension for a residential level of comfort. A pocket of cut foam has been included in the lumbar area to cushion the sitter’s back – the area most sensitive to the firmness of injection moulded foam.

Though it has a relatively small footprint, with its generous seat and steel base Remi is a weighty piece.

For an added sense of freedom and flexibility, there is the option for a 360° swivel, or a 180° swivel with autoreturn. The sitter can smoothly adjust their position to converse or enjoy a particular view but when they alight it will right itself without burdening housekeeping.

Following our holistic, natural philosophy, we have created a piece that transcends changing trends and fashions. We like to imagine that Remi has been smoothed and rounded by wind or water – a unique, timeless form to put people at ease, welcoming them to sit, relax and converse. Its longevity is ensured at a practical level too. Remi has been designed for easy reupholstering, so you can refresh its colour and fabric when the time comes to update your décor scheme.

                               Boss Design – May 2024

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