Antonio Citterio AC 4 Chairfor VitraWith its slender profile and reductive form, AC 4 sets a new direction in the development of office and conference chairs. Up until now, task chairs have visually emphasized either comfort or functionality; AC 4 integrates its ergonomic features discreetly. There is no longer a contradiction between elegance, functionalism and comfort. This chair stands in the tradition of designs by Antonio Citterio, who has always understood design as a synergy between form and performance, as a contemporary expression of timeless creative conception.
The structural sophistication in the backrest, which allows for a flexible range of movement, is visually concealed with meticulous detailing. The backrest is actually divided into three sections with distinct internal functions: The lumbar zone, which supports the lower back, transitions into a flexible zone for the upper back to sink into, followed by a section with stronger support for the shoulders. What one sees is elegant simplicity; what one feels is comfort.
With its unusual construction, AC 4 blazes a new trail, leaving behind both massive upholstered chairs and "sitting machines" with mesh slings.
The technical features of AC 4 are neither put on display, nor are they hidden beneath foam padding. In a choice of fabric or leather, the cover is stretched over the articulated frame of the chair and stabilized with distinctive stitched darts. This reductive approach to design requires developmental precision in every detail.
Antonio Citterio, who has collaborated with Vitra since the mid-1980s, regards this design as the next logical step in his series of office chairs from AC 1 to AC 3. Citterio says that he has always had the aim of creating a straightforward and decisively reductive chair. The result is an emblematic object that combines an elegant aura with uncompromising functionality.
The technical features of AC 4 include seat depth adjustment, a synchronized range of movement with automatic adaptation of backrest resistance to the sitter's weight and a fine-adjustment device. The armrests of the office task chair are individually adjustable in three directions: height, width and tilt. The conference chair, which does not have a lumbar support zone, is equipped with aluminium ring armrests.
At first glance, AC 4 appears to have affinities with the Aluminium Group by Charles and Ray Eames, which was designed 50 years ago. "There is undoubtedly a connection between them", says Vitra Chairman Rolf Fehlbaum. "But the Eames world is a different one. They were not very interested in adjustment options, which are now standard features in office chairs. From a technological standpoint, the two models have almost nothing in common. What they share is the ideal of lightness."
Scheduled to be available during Q1 2009