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Active Task Chair Frapett Author: Naina Shenoy ( Christoffer Olsson ( Rong Hu ( Basil Abu-Ragheef ( Tianyi Wang ( Supervisor: Miguel Salinas Examiners::Anders Vigren Peter Lerman Soniya Billore Lars Dafnäs Academic term: 17HT Subject: Local Innovation Level: Second Level Course code:4FE160 Date:18/01/12

Abstract Ergonomic chairs are used by many of the urban population in the world today. The term ergonomic, implies that it is adjustable to suit one’s body. However, ergonomic chairs are not just only about the adjustability, but also implies the correct healthy posture for a seated body. It is also scientifically proven now that long sedentary sitting is harmful for a human body and a person must move every 25-30 minutes of continuous sitting. People are growing conscious of these health issues and prefer making conscious decisions while buying ergonomic chairs. This paper consists of the product development project with team members of three distinct faculties of business, design and engineering. The project is with a local ergonomic chair manufacturing company called Frapett. The developer team worked on redesigning a type of ergonomic chair called the task chair or support chair. A support chair is an ergonomic chair meant for seated active tasks such as tailors, machine operators, dentists and so on. A number of theories and methods were applied to collect data and generate innovative concepts in redesigning the product. Furthermore, the concept was designed with a new design language that was created to align with the company’s aesthetics. The design language concept was around the theme called ‘whale in a suit’. This redesign of the support chair had an optimum solution of seat design and a corresponding mechanism. The product was also validated and refined in the final phase based on qualitative research methods. In the end, the product was visualized and realized based on consumer and customer requirements.

Keywords Ergonomic; chair; modular; design; strategy; kansei; engineering; business; consumeroriented; customization


Contents 1 Introduction ________________________________________________________ 4 1.1 Background ............................................................................................................. 4 1.2 Problem Description ............................................................................................... 5 2 Purpose ____________________________________________________________ 6 3 Theory _____________________________________________________________ 6 3.1 Theories within Business ........................................................................................ 6 3.2 Theories within Design .......................................................................................... 8 3.3 Theory within Engineering ................................................................................... 10 4 Methods___________________________________________________________ 10 4.1 Methods in Propose Module ................................................................................. 11 4.2 Methods in Realise Module .................................................................................. 19 4.3 Methods in Validate & Refine Module ................................................................. 22 5 Result_____________________________________________________________ 26 5.1 Empirical Findings ................................................................................................ 26 5.2 Analysis of Frapett’s Requirements ...................................................................... 27 5.3 Idea Generation ..................................................................................................... 30 5.4 Definition of Concepts and Options ..................................................................... 30 5.5 Analysis of Options............................................................................................... 31 5.6 Alternatives and Critical Analysis of Possible Solutions ..................................... 33 5.7 Co-Creation Findings and Analysis ...................................................................... 40 5.8 Presentation Material ............................................................................................ 43 6 Conclusion and Reflection____________________________________________ 45 6.1 Conclusion ............................................................................................................ 45 6.2 Reflection .............................................................................................................. 46 References __________________________________________________________ 47 Appendix ___________________________________________________________ 52 Appendix 1 : MÜbelfakta Standards ........................................................................... 52 Appendix 2 : Gantt Chart ............................................................................................ 54 Appendix 3 : Boston Matrix ....................................................................................... 55 Appendix 4 : SWOT Analysis .................................................................................... 56 Appendix 5 : Brainstorm Graphic Organiser .............................................................. 57 Appendix 6 : Image Board .......................................................................................... 58 Appendix 7 : Scenarios ............................................................................................... 59 Appendix 8 : Kansei Engineering ............................................................................... 60 Appendix 9 : Product Specifications........................................................................... 61 Appendix 10 : Technical Feasibility Check ................................................................ 62 Appendix 11 : Rigid Body Equilibrium ...................................................................... 63 Appendix 12 : Finite Element Analysis ...................................................................... 64 Appendix 13 : Concept Selection ............................................................................... 65 Appendix 14 : Costing Model ..................................................................................... 66


Appendix 15 : Interview Questions ............................................................................ 69 Appendix 16 : Target Costing ..................................................................................... 70 Appendix 17 : Data ..................................................................................................... 74 Appendix 18 : Competitive Brand .............................................................................. 76 Appendix 19 : Interviews Transcripts ......................................................................... 77 Appendix 20 : Design Language................................................................................. 87 Appendix 21 : Concepts .............................................................................................. 88 Appendix 22 : Design Alternatives Decision Matrix .................................................. 91 Appendix 23 : CAD .................................................................................................... 93 Appendix 24 : A36 Steel Properties............................................................................ 95 Appendix 25 : Technical Drawings ............................................................................ 96 Appendix 26 : Design for Environment .................................................................... 102 Appendix 27 : Frapett’s Annual............................................................................... 103


1 Introduction 1.1 Background The development of the digital work is rapidly growing, having an office job would mean sitting in a chair for an average 6 - 8 hours a day (Arbetsmiljöverket, 2017). This could be in business, service sector, private, public sector, professional and skilled jobs. Arbetsmiljöverket (2017) is an authority that has been given the task from the Swedish government to ensure that the laws on the working environment are followed by companies. Arbetsmiljöverket (2017) claims that ergonomic chairs have been a successful product development that has catered to all these working people. Ergonomic chairs are made to keep a better posture for the body with adjustments such as backrest angles, adjustable heights, adjustable seat angles. Sitting is the most common sedentary behavior of the body which is proven to be a big health hazard (Dunstan, Howard, Healy & Owen, 2012). Furthermore, Dunstan et al. (2012) state that prolonged sedentary behavior leads to cardiometabolic consequences. With more motion in everyday life, one can mitigate the chances of having a relapse from some diseases like diabetes, heart disease, and/or stroke (Hamilton, Healy, Dunstan, Zderic & Owen, 2012; Arbetsmiljöverket, 2017). Therefore the new challenge for the product development of ergonomic chair is to help the user change postures often or keep the body semi-rested and semi-moving, hence not completely sedentary. There has been a lot of research and development (R&D) into developing ergonomic chairs by large office-furniture brands such as Herman Miller, HÅG, Steelcase (Høgevold, 2011). This research and development has inspired many more product development companies to develop new improved chairs as there will always be a demand for a good work chair (Frapett, 2017). For this product development project, the product developer group was assigned the company Frapett. Frapett, Sweden is a product development and manufacturing company of ergonomic chairs (Frapett, 2017). Their ergonomic chair collection is categorized into two kinds at Frapett: 1) Work chairs and 2) Support and Saddle Chairs. Frapett is located in Mönsterås with its office and production unit. The CEO of Frapett, Mr. Dick Elgmo


(2017) describes the company as innovative product manufacturer with a passion for developing products customised for the user. The mantra for the company is ‘customising for you’ (ibid). They have 16 employees who take up specific responsibilities and whose roles cannot be replaced easily (Allabolag, 2017; Frapett, 2017). Their business model is business to business (B2B) with three salespersons who travel around Sweden (Elgmo, 2017). Mr Elgmo (2017) states that their most profitable orders are for support chairs for medical facilities, medical labs, machine operators and for assembly line workers. Many of the support chair orders are from tenders that they apply for public sectors in Sweden. These tenders for public sectors also make sure that Frapett’s product quality and production aligns with the regulations and certifications defined by Möbelfakta (See Appendix 1) Mr. Elgmo (2017) states.

1.2 Problem Description Frapett, is a high-end product development and manufacturing company for ergonomic chairs and sound absorbers (Frapett, 2017). Their ergonomic chairs section has been divided into two categories A) work chairs and B) support & saddle chairs. Mr. Dick Elgmo (2017), decided to focus on the redesign and development of the 71 series of support chairs. This because the support chairs have been their biggest orders in the past two years and identifies a bigger opportunity in the segment. However, based on consumer feedback given to the company (ibid) and developer group visit to the production units, the following problems and opportunities have been identified from the customer perspective : ·

Aesthetics of the chair looks outdated

The customers have found the look and feel of the chair have an outdated look. The chair aesthetics do not match with the new office interior trend. Added to this the underside of the seats has an unfinished look (Elgmo, 2017). ·

Chair mechanism looks bulky and ugly

The mechanism looks bulky and ugly at the backside of the chair. This because the mechanism is completely exposed to the eye. The levers of the mechanism have outdated molds for the knobs. They work against the aesthetics of the seat. The mechanism does not follow the similar language as the rest of the chair (Elgmo, 2017).


2 Purpose The main purpose of the paper is to bring Frapett products closer to the end user requirements. This, by identifying the problem description based on the brief from Frapett and the process of product development with co-creation and target costing. Hence the research question is, what is it that the end-user is looking for in an ergonomic chair?

3 Theory 3.1 Theories within Business Consumer behavior theory Consumer behaviour and consumer decision has been an interest to researchers for a long time (Bray, 2008). In the earliest phases of the research, the topic was viewed from an economic perspective and thus focusing on the purchase act (ibid). From this the perspective of ‘utility theory’ came to be and said that consumers make their choices based on what the expected outcome of the purchase is (ibid). Bray (2008) states that here the consumers are viewed as serving their self interests and doing so with rational decisions. The research today in the field of consumer behavior considers a wide range of factors that can and will influence the consumer (ibid). Bray (2008) describes a number of different approaches that has been used in decision making. It is suggested that there is five major approaches, five alternative models of a man and thus there is a quite different variables to review and examine (ibid). 1 ) The Economic Man. This approach suggests that the consumer is aware about the all the options and will choose the best course of action (ibid). 2 ) Psychodynamic Approach. This is based on Sigmund Freud (1856-1939) work (ibid). This views the behaviour is influenced from the ‘instinctive forces’ and these act outside from what is know as conscious thought (ibid). 3 ) Behaviourist Approach. Watson and Rayner (1920) did studies involving teaching a kid to fear certain objects, by repeated pairing it with loud and frightening noises. This


studies would show that it is possible for humans to learn a certain behaviour by external events (Watson & Rayner, 1920; Bray, 2008). 4 ) Cognitive Approach. Bray (2008) states that the individual is actively seeking informational inputs from social and environmental factors to be able to make a decision. This makes them more viewed as an information processor. 5 ) Humanistic Approach. This approach makes the assumption that everyone has they own and unique way of understanding the world (ibid). Thus take into consideration the emotions in decision making. Competitive Advantage Competitive advantage is arguably the main theme when discussing strategic management (Wang, 2014). To obtain competitive advantage the organization/company needs to acquire an attribute or a few attributes that will outperform everyone else in that aspect. In this area there are two dominating theories, Resource-Based and Market-Based (ibid). The Market-Based view argues that the performance of the organization/company is based on industry factors and external market (ibid). One of the best-known models from this aspect is Porter’s (1979) five forces model. To locate the organization’s strategic position, one needs to define how it performs in comparison to the competitors. Wang (2014) states, the performance and/or profitability is in this perspective based upon the structure of the industry that the company operates in. The Resource-Based view focus on the company’s internal environment and resources (ibid). In the beginning it was three categories, physical, monetary and human. From this view it is argued that useful resources and competence is what should be the source of competitive advantage (ibid). Theory of Costing Armstrong, Kotler, Harker and Brennan (2012) states that prices on products and/or services has different factors that may influence the price tag. The value it brings the customer and the productions costs will determine this (Ansari, Bell, Klammer, Lawrence, 1997). In a broad perspective, the price of products and/or services are values of different


things and/or events stacked up. Armstrong et al. (2012) continues with that a non-price factor can increase the importance for the product and/or service for the customers. Pricing is a vital part and will have an effect on the company’s profits and market share. This process could be viewed as a strategic tool for the company. By applying target costing, the process of starting out with a selling price and work to backwards, thus making a budget for all the costs (Armstrong et al,. 2012; Krueger & Hergth, 2006; Ansari et al,. 1997). Robinson (1999) and Clifton (2004) explains, with a well thought out cost target a company can improve the design of the products. The authors (Robinson, 1999; Clifton, 2004) continues to points out the perspective, target costing is trying to identify production costs proposed products. Robinson (1999) explains that target costing is used to plan and control costs of new products in development.

3.2 Theories within Design Operational Knowledge The theories and methods in design have become a focus for a formulation that rose from the era of industrialization and technological development (Protzen & Harris, 2010). This is because the scientific and rational methods were valued in order to bring about plausible tremendous changes for the future (ibid). The design in innovation is understood in a broad sense (ibid). This is because the design is not limited to a particular profession, as it covers a wide of activities (ibid). For example, municipality proposing actions to reduce traffic jams, urban planners proposing strategies to manage urban growth, marketing manager devising a new campaign (ibid). Designing and planning are held to be distinct by some people and some make no such distinction and consider them synonyms (Protzen & Harris, 2010). Design students are imparted with ‘operational knowledge’ which serves instrumental to the success of all kinds of designers, product designers, architects, graphic designers (Protzen & Harris, 2010). This is the same applied to the developer group for the project in hand. The operational knowledge for designers in theory to be learned is as follows: ·

Sociology: one must have an understanding of the how the society works in which the problem statement lives and is practiced



Economics: one must have an understanding of the economic system in which the problem statement operates in, and the role and the position it holds in that economic system.


Cultural history: one must be aware of the ideas and material objects in history that the people relate to, and how they connect the what is developed/updated from the past.


Psychology: one must have an understanding of human behaviour and how they perceive something in the environment they are looking to solve the problem statement in.

Collaborative Process In order to gather the ‘operational knowledge’, the development process involves designers, business as well as engineers to be able to bring to the table various perspectives to reach a successful outcome (Protzen & Harris, 2010). However, the designer starts leading the process since the process requires planning. Protzen and Harris (2010) believe in the synonymous nature of designing and planning. In the case for Frapett to redesign a customisable support chair, the creative output is that of product design Bürdek in History, Theory and Practise of Product Design, (2015) explains the creative process as “Socioeconomic, technological, and cultural developments, in particular, along with the historical background and the conditions of production technology, play just as important a role here as ergonomic and ecological demands, economic and political interests, and artistic-experimental aspirations”. The primary stakeholder here for this product is the user and the user in the specific working environment (Kotler, Armstrong, Harris & Percy, 2012). Democratic Design Democratic Design is a principle that was theorised by IKEA, Sweden (IKEA, 2014). Democratic Design has 5 key elements which are form, function, quality, sustainability and price. As stated by IKEA, these elements work together to create products that make great design accessible to the many people (ibid). The five dimensions of democratic design was used during the conceptualizing of the design ideas. These formed the basis of the thought process while ideating for the concepts.


3.3 Theory within Engineering Kansei Engineering Kansei Engineering (感性工学) is the word for emotional or affective engineering in Japanese, Kansei Engineering (KE) is considered as a proactive product development methodology that translates customer’s feeling into product parameters or solutions for future product design (Schütte, 2014). KE is classified into three types, KE Type I, II, and III (Nagamachi, 1995). KE is utilized in many successful Japanese industries such as the automotive design and engineering, home applications, construction, fashion, companies using KE benefited from good sales regarding the new consumer-oriented products (Nagamachi, 1995).

4 Methods The following section will explain the methods used as well as how they were used by the developer group. In the following section, it can be argued that some of the methods are also theories.Howver, those theories were operationalised and this the developing group considered these as methods rather as theory. The methods have been divided into three distinctive phases of the product development of propose, realise and validate. But the method of Gantt Chart was used for all the three modules. Gantt Chart Gantt chart is a project scheduling method that is used to illustrate the start and finish dates of the stages and tasks of the project (Clark, 1922). The gantt chart can also include the dependency of each tasks and the relationship between activities. The developer group used Gantt chart using a traditional spreadsheet software to have a clear timetable for the tasks of each team mates, activities for the project and deadlines the tasks (see Appendix 2).


4.1 Methods in Propose Module Business Strategy Assessment Porter’sFiveForces In order to create a strategic plan for the new product an analysis of the company was needed (Kotler et al., 2012). Porter’s (1979) Five Forces is a model used to identify and analyse five competitive forces that is in every industry. This model helps companies to identify its strengths and weaknesses (ibid). Porter (1979) explained that even strong companies that hold strong positions in an industry will suffer low returns if a new lowercost and/or superior substitute product enters the market. This means that companies need to be able to cope with a number of threats of outside and inside forces. Porter (1979) divided the threats into five groups. The threat of entry, power from suppliers, the power of buyers, the threat of substitute and competitive rivalry. This is given a scale (low, neutral, high) by the develop group. ·

Competitive rivalry

The rivalry between the competitors on the market is a big factor and threat for the company (Porter, 1979). If the fixed cost is high in the industry, many companies will want to try to cut the prices in any way possible. This might be mitigated or even help the company if they are innovative and thus gain a more competitive advantage (ibid). The main competitors on the market for Frapett is HÅG, with their Capisco chair, and RH with their range of office chairs (Elgmo, 2017). Elgmo (2017) explains that both of the competitors have a similar price range as Frapett, as well as delivery time (RH, 2017; Frapett, 2017; HÅG, 2017). HÅGs standard Capisco chair with the colour black/grey has a faster production time, one to two weeks. If the customer wants it customized will be three weeks (RH, 2017; Frapett, 2017; HÅG, 2017). Adding to the fact that both the name HÅG and RH being well recognized brands on the market and Frapett is not (Elgmo, 2017). Since both the competitors are well known brands and Frapett does not have the same level of fame in the field of ergonomic chairs. With this in mind, the develop group deemed that the competition is viewed as high. ·

Threat of entry

According to Porter (1979), when new companies enter the industry they will try to take part of the market shares and bring in more capacity to the market. New companies try to be more diverse in order to accomplish this and shake-up the market. The seriousness of


the threat is depended on the different barriers to enter the market. When the barriers are high and the competitors on the market will start a retaliation against the newcomers, naturally the new company will then not be a huge threat on the market (ibid). To be able to enter the industry there is need of big investments in machinery and material to start the production (Elgmo, 2017). Mr Elgmo also said that experience is needed to be an effective manufacturer. Without this knowledge, Me Elgmo claimed the production costs could ruin the company. This will make the start of the journey for a new company in the industry a bit rougher. The threat of new entries is then viewed as low. ¡

Substitute products

The substitution refers to the possibility that the customers buy something else that will fulfill the same need (Porter, 1979). This will force the prices down and with it the profit. If the substitute has a higher price-performance trade-off the company will be forced to lower the price and/or make the quality higher (ibid). Mr Elgmo (2017) explained that a big substitute for the support chair is any other chair. He continued to explain two problems with ergonomic chairs. There are people that do not have them, because of to little knowledge about ergonomics. The second is that even if the consumer have it, they might not use it correct (ibid). This made the develop group put substitute as high. ¡

Powerful supplier and buyers

The bargaining power that the suppliers can have on the company is in form of raising prices or reducing the quality of the services they provide (Porter, 1979). With fewer quality materials the company's end products will suffer. If the supplier wants a higher profitable outcome they might force the industry to increase their overall price on the products. The customers also hold power over the prices. By demanding higher quality from the company, or more service from them, the customers can start using this against the company. By doing this the competitors start playing against each other, a play about who can lower their own profits enough to remain on the top (ibid). Mr Elgmo (2017) stated that they have many different suppliers all around the world. The supplier can supply with any material that is needed for the factory that produce the seat for the 71-serie. Since there are orders made just when Frapett needs material. Mr Elgmo (2017) can choose from any supplier in the world makes the supplier power low. By Mr


Elgmo’s (2017) words, the most common order received for 1 up to 10 chairs in various models. To day the company have had two enormous orders, 1 500 chairs from Airbus France and a second on 400 chairs from Laboratory Lund. Mr. Elgmo also stated that they produced 8 000 chairs last year, that is 156 chairs in a week. There is no indication that the buyer power is high nor low, thus deemed neutral. The Boston Matrix The Boston matrix is used by companies to classify its strategic business units (SBU) according to a growth-share matrix (Kotler et al, 2012). An SBU can be a product line, a brand or company division. It is important for the company to assess the attractiveness of every SBUs and then decide how much money will they spend on them. This analysis method uses two dimensions, growth and market shares. In this growth-share matrix, the company can find four types of SBUs (ibid). The develop group used the Boston Matrix in order to get an overview of Frapetts products (See Appendix 3). ·


The stars are defined as a high-growth and high-share product (Kotler et al., 2012). These are often in need of big investments so their growth can be stimulated. At one point in the life cycle, their growth will decelerate, and turn the stars into cash cows. ·

Cash cows:

The low-growth and high-share products are being called cash cows (ibid). This SBUs do not require many investments to hold their market shares. Thanks to this the cash cows will generate a stable cash flow that ideally is used to invest and support new SBUs. The products 7100 and 7110L is viewed as cash cows, due to the two big orders Mr Elgmo (See Appendix 3) told the develop group about. ·

Question marks:

This SBUs are a high-growth market but have low-share (Kotler et al., 2012). This SBU is in need of heavy investments to hold their share and even more in order to increase them. At this stage, the management will have a hard decision, what to do with “the question mark”? Should they invest in order to push it into stars or should they let it go and become a dog? Frapett has recently released a new model the 3660 and 3760 (Elgmo, 2017). These are viewed as Question marks since they have a high market growth, but a low market share (ibid).




The dogs are low-share and low-growth products. They might be able to generate just enough money to keep themselves going, but cannot be considered any sources for money. The 7110 is classified as a dog, it does have a low market share, and a low or close to none market growth (Elgmo, 2007). SWOT-analysis SWOT analysis is a process that identifies and analyzes the internal and external of organization's strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats (Kotler et al., 2012). This can help organizations develop a full awareness of all the factors involved in a decision (Staff, 2017). SWOT analysis which is the assessment of strengths and weaknesses of the organization in light of the opportunities and threats in its environment (Mintzberg, Ahlstrand & Lampel, 2009). A SWOT analysis usually is used at the beginning of formulating a strategic planning in the organization (Kotler et al., 2012). The framework enables uncover opportunities for success that were previously unarticulated and to identify threats before they become trouble. Therefore, it is considered a necessary support for decision-making. The develop group got a SWOT analysis from Frapett, that they had done recently (See Appendix 4). It states as following: ·


Frapett has in-house design and production and using Just-In-Time model, which is an strategy companies use to increase efficiency and decrease waste (Staff, 2017). This is done by receiving goods only as they are needed in the production process, thereby reducing inventory costs. The production range is made of support chairs for all working places. The company has short decision routes, and thus are able to act fast if an opportunity appears. Every chair is customer's specific and thus make every chair specialized for the consumer. Frapetts products all meet the standards set by Möbelfakta, which ensures eco friendly and quality products. With a skilled crafting staff they make sure that every product produced will keep the high quality. ·


Many of Frapett’s chairs has an old appearance to them, and are in need of updates to fit into the new office spaces. For some of the chairs, the way to fasten the sitting cover is old, and gives the appearance of bad quality. Frapetts has few co-workers, meaning that


if someone gets ill or have other reasons why they cannot make it to work, the company faces difficulties. ·


The biggest opportunity Frapett sees is their new and unique products, saddle chair for example, will take big market shares. They also see an opportunity to Co-branding together with Kinnarps. Frapett sees the work with ÅF lab as a big opportunity to create new innovative products. ·


One of the biggest threats for Frapett is if Kinnarps, their main retailer, switches supplier or produces themselves. The market for chair manufacturing has few actors on the Nordic market, the threat is that many of the ones on the market are large. If the conomic in the Nordic region, and northern part of Europe start to stagnate this will have a big impact on Frapett since their products are high price luxury. Artefact Analysis An artefact analysis is a systematic examination that is made of an object, of its material, aesthetic and interactive qualities. This contributes to understanding of the product’s physical, social and cultural context (Martin & Hanington, 2012). In this case, the product is a support chair by Frapett. As the brief states the developer team has to redesign their existing 71L series support chair. The group found this method helpful in understanding the product to be re-designed for its material, aesthetic and interactive qualities. This is, to identify Frapett’s design language, the look and feel they want followed for the Europe market, the function of the chair, it’s ergonomic requirements and the safety standards. Brainstorm Graphic Organise The method of brainstorm graphic organiser is a tool used to create new knowledge by creating visual structures after deep diving into a problem area (Martin & Hanington, 2012). Brainstorming also helps in thinking out loud in a more constructed fashion which helps in the fluency of the one’s thinking. Two kinds of the brainstorm graphic organisers were used by the developer group, the brainstorming webs and the tree diagram. The brainstorming web is made by having a central concept or question and building its characteristics, supporting facts and related ideas around it. The second kind is the tree


diagram, which is a hierarchical construction from top down or bottom up of main and supporting ideas or components (Martin & Hanington, 2012). In this case, the brainstorming graphic organizers method of web brainstorming (see Appendix 5) was used to identify the opportunities from the three perspectives of design, engineering and business. This helped the developer group to conceive a debrief for product design that would align with the company mantra. The tree diagram also known as linear diagram was also used to identify the company product portfolio and the positioning of the product to be redesigned. This diagram was also used while brainstorming the scenarios for the product in focus(see Appendix 5). Image Board An image board sets the mood for the concept and idea generation (Martin & Hanington, 2012). It is a collection of images, words, illustrations to be able to define an abstract set of ideas and emotions into one board. This serves as an internal tool to bring about a tangible focus for the developer group while brainstorming for ideas and concepts. These boards can be used to describe the colour palettes, user scenarios, interior styles so on and so forth (Martin & Hanington, 2012). For this project, the developer group put together a mood board with the help of images that were found online (see Appendix 6) to describe the abstract solutions, emotions, feeling, details and ideas, Frapett products must have based on the product description. Scenarios The method of scenario creation is a method that helps in exploring the future use of a product in the end-user’s point of view (Martin & Hanington, 2012). This helps the design team to design for the product’s place in person’s day to day life. The purpose of this method is to make the design ideas explicit and concrete, so that it can be envisioned empathetically on how the product will be used (Martin & Hanington, 2012). In this case, the support chair to be redesigned and developed is for users with semiphysical nature of work and their work environment. The developer group brainstormed the plausible users who require and use support chairs. The identified users were dentist, gynaecologist, biotech engineer, scientist, watchmaker, musicians, airline ground staff, machine operator, assembly worker, carpenter, craft workshop chairs, tailor and


glassworker. The developer group narrowed down to two specific users who lie on the two extremes of the work environment spectrum: dentist (medical facility) vs glassworker (workshop). The spectrum here is made on the basis of the nature of the work environment from it being very sterile all the to being greasy and dusty. The two user scenarios would allow the chair to cover the requirements and options for the rest of the users in the spectrum (see Appendix 7). Thereby, scenario creation was vital to the chair development to design for their day to day work practice and habits. ErgonomicAnalysis Ergonomic Analysis is an evaluation to inspire redesign or evaluate the product to suggest corrections through adjustments or equipment replacement (Martin & Hanington, 2012). The analysis is made using five interrelated criteria which are size, clearance, reach and posture, this ranging from micro scale (finger, hand, tool) to macro scale (limb, body, environment) (Martin & Hanington, 2012). The support chair is a separate branch of ergonomic office chairs (Robertson, Amick, DeRango, Rooney, Bazzani, Harrist & Moore, 2017). The very nature and definition of the chair is required to be ergonomic. The method helped the developer group work with predefined specifications for dimensions, seat height, backrest angle and seat angle during the product development. Since the chair is developed and produced in Sweden for the European Market, the ergonomics have to align to Möbelfakta (See Appendix 1). The developer group refers to the Möbelfakta specifications to understand dimensions for the European users which are tested. Frapett is a B2B ergonomic chair manufacturing supply company. To receive large orders by tenders for the public sectors, is one of their main stream of sales (Elgmo, 2017). Möbelfakta requirement is of utmost importance to be able to apply for the tenders. Reverse Engineering Reverse engineering is a method of discovering the technological principles of a device, object, or a system (Eilam, 2005). It is done by extracting its properties, dimensions, and analyzing its structure and functions to transform it into a new product, device, or system. without using or duplicating the original (ibid). It’s been commonly used in the analysis of hardware for commercial or military uses (ibid).


This method has been used since the developing engineers did not have previous experience in making chairs’ mechanisms. The developer group started to analyze Frapett’s existing chair mechanism (See Figure 1 & 2) and see how it functions, using visual observation and measuring tools. After observations the developer group started to redesign the mechanism according to the data retrieved.

Figure 1: Image of reverse engineered mechanism Figure 2: Image of existing mechanism

Kansei Engineering, Type I Method As discussed in the theory part, this method has three types, the developer group has decided to go with the Type I concept since it is simple and do not require additional software or resources, and can produce the physical characteristic of the product in the processes (Customerthink, 2017). Type I is also called category classification which a product’s Kansei is broken down into a tree structure (Nagamachi, 1995). The developer group made a tree structure starts from the Zero Level concept and broken into sub concepts that are, 1st, 2nd, ..., nth subconcepts until the design specifications are being obtained (Nagamachi, 1995). The developer group started to breakup the concept of “Customized for you” into 3 main feelings; comfort feeling, fit feeling, and healthy feeling, the breaking up process was carried on until the physical traits started to appear (see Appendix 8).


4.2 Methods in Realise Module Product Specification Product specifications is a method done using conventional spreadsheet softwares to have a list of features of the product, in other words what the product have to do, also to put a metric to it in order to make it measurable. It also can be referred to as “product requirements”, “engineering characteristics”, or “technical specifications” (Ulrich, 2010). The developer group has set a number of physical features that are desired by the group and company to be in the chair and its engineering metric and specified which feature it affects using a spreadsheet software to later identify and implement into the technical design and CAD designs (see Appendix 9). Technical Feasibility Check A feasibility study is described as the evaluation of the concepts or designs under predefined circumstances to find how much the new concept, design, or product is technically feasible (Matson, 2000). In this project, a technical feasibility study has been carried out by the developer group to assess the concepts that have been produced throughout the project. The study focuses on the resources, logistics, and the technology that is used in currently in Frapett. It also considers the available technology that they can use or can utilize in future. It also takes in consideration the concept if it is practical, if it did actually solve the initial problem and if it has possibilities for future improvements (see Appendix 10). Computer Aided Design Computer Aided Design (CAD) as the name suggests is a design process aided by computers, where you can easily visualize, create, modify, optimize, and analyze your designs (Narayan, 2008). After putting the product specifications that we need and getting the mechanism parameters through Kansai engineering and through reverse engineering the existing mechanism, a redesign has been made for a simpler mechanism and to substitute the undesirable to desirable features (see Appendix 24).


Rigid Body Equilibrium Static equilibrium for a rigid body can be defined as : “A body (or any part of it) which is currently stationary will remain stationary if the resultant force and resultant moment are zero for all the forces and couples applied on it� (, 2017). The develop group implemented this methods to calculate the distribution of forces on the chair and its mechanism after assuming the weight of the sitting person and started to analyse the two dimensional forces (see Appendix 11). Finite Element Analysis The finite element Analysis or (FEA) is a numerical method for analysing engineering applications and structures and solving engineering problems in many areas including structural analysis, heat transfer, fluid flow (Reddy, 2006). The developer group has used FEA software application to analyze the mechanism stress concentration points and the weak areas, by applying loads that the group had from the Rigid body Equilibrium method and also the material that will be used to the CAD models in the software, the software later show results for the stress and deformation (see Appendix 12). Design for Environment Design for the Environment (DFE) is a design and engineering approach to reduce the overall human health and environmental impact of a product, process or service, where impacts are considered across its life cycle. It provides organization with a practical method to minimize these impact in an effort to create a more sustainable society (Ulrich & Eppinger, 2012; US EPA, 2017). Environmental impact of a product into two broad categories: energy and materials. Both represent critical environmental problems that need to be solved. Addressing the energy problem which means using less and renewable energy developing products (Ulrich & Eppinger, 2010). To address the materials problem is not easy. Therefore, choosing a right and recycled material for products during the early stages of the product development process, the project developers need to take deliberate decisions about material use, energy efficiency, and waste avoidance can minimize or eliminate environmental impact. The aim to produce good development group is to produce the product at a low-cost while maintaining quality and staying competitive in the market. Incorporating DFE can


effectively help company save cost, reduce business and environmental risks, expand business and market opportunities and to meet environmental regulations (, 2017). In this project, the developer group with the help of DFE methods made a table of materials that are used in the product. An analysis was made to understand the five environmental impacts that the materials caused. Also, the materials listed were even marked whether they were recyclable and/or renewable. The DFE method was used at a small scale in understanding the environmental impact of producing the product and its usage. The method helped the developer group take material decisions and propose alternatives to reduce impact. Concept Selection The method of concept selection was used to be able to evaluate the proposed three concepts to the client. The selection was a process to evaluate the concepts with respect to customer needs, manufacturer’s needs and other relating stakeholders. This is to compare the relative strengths and weaknesses of the concepts, and selecting one for further investigation, testing and development (Ulrich & Eppinger, 2010). The team used this to make the selection process explicit along with Dick Elgmo (Managing Director of Frapett). The tabular method is the “Decision Matrices”. The developer group rated the three concepts against the pre-specified criteria (Appendix 13). This helped the group maintain objectivity during the selection process. With the “Decision Matrices” the developer group used, “External Decision”, “Product Champion” and “Intuition” exert influences on the decision. Costing Model When making a costing model Slack (2012) explains, there is a lot of details to take into consideration. The costs of a product is often divided into different groups, correlated with actions taken (ibid). The most common groups to use are: Material costs, Production costs and G&A (General and Administrative Expenses). With these three groups it is possible to locate the cost for every part of the product, alternative add costs on the G&A to cover for overhead costs (ibid). The material costs, in this project, is based on the pricing the develop group could find on the internet (See Appendix 14). This pricing is and estimation of what the materials might cost for the company to acquire. The price is


calculated by unit, meaning how much material and labor is needed for the production of one unit (Slack, 2012). This price will change as the refining of the product happens as well as the ordering process. When ordering a higher quantity of goods the prices often drops for larger companies (Chaudhuri, Mohanty & Singh, 2013). After the material and labor cost has been accounted for, there are some more costs to take a look at. Every production line have cost in form of taxes, storage of good, transportation and cost associated with selling. These cost are often located to the G&A. Trott (2012) also explains that it is not enough to produce a product. It must sell in order to earn any money for the company. For this Trott (2012) says the product needs a unique selling point, the main reason why customers will buy it.

4.3 Methods in Validate & Refine Module Research Method -

Difference between qualitative and quantitative The goal of this report is to answer the stipulated research question and in order to do so, one must follow a research strategy and that depends on the nature of the research question. Before conducting the research, it is important to distinguish between a qualitative and a quantitative research strategy due to their ambiguous characteristics (Saunders, Lewis & Thornhill, 2012). According to Bryman and Bell (2011), a quantitative research is a research strategy that emphasizes quantification in the collection and analysis of data while a qualitative research is more concerned with words rather than numerical data. The underlying differences between the two research strategies are that a quantitative research is viewed more towards the opinion of the researcher than the participants and relates to more numerical data. There is higher proximity between the researcher and the participant in a qualitative research method than the quantitative method and the theory and concepts emerge from the data collected rather than having the purpose of being tested in a research model (Bryman & Bell, 2011).



Qualitative method A qualitative method of research was carried out because it enables to understand consumer preference and needs of the research participants. Through interviews, it is viable to gain deeper knowledge on the consumer preference (Bryman & Bell, 2011). Furthermore, this approach will be more appropriate to get a better in-depth understanding of the requirements of the consumer, subject towards the preference of the consumer as the authors of this paper would like to use the interview to know ‘what’ factors influence people to purchase the ergonomic support chair. According to Saunders et al., (2012) research strategy is defined as a “general plan of how the researcher will go about answering the research question(s)”. The main research strategies associated with qualitative research are experimental and survey research strategies (ibid). Some of the most common strategies used in qualitative research are: action research, case study research, ethnography, grounded theory and narrative research (ibid). By studying what may affect consumer purchase the ergonomic support chair, this research will constitute a case study whereas the research topic will be explored within its context and associated to consumer requirements, in order to understanding about their consumer preferences. (Saunders et al., 2012). In this research, the focus is to stipulate what factors influence the people to purchase he ergonomic support chair. In this project, the developer group did a qualitative interview for research to collect primary data at the validation phase of the project. The purpose of the research was to understand and analyse the end-user’s requirement for a support chair. This required the group to list down the active users of the chair which were end-users, interior designer and the product salesperson. A set of three users, one interior design and one salesperson were interviewed. The study was made in three stages: preparation, interview and analysis. During the preparation stage the group listed down the requirements assumed for a support chair. Then a set of open ended questions were prepared so as to cover the requirement assumed topics (See Appendix 15). The interview ended with asking the interviewees to review the new developed product that was presented to them. After this, an analysis was done by picking out the main requirements that were mentioned by the


interviewees that helped the group for validating the assumed requirements. This also helped the group carry out the following target costing method for value engineering. The product review and feedback helped the group in the refinement of the product. Target Costing Target costing is a system which helps project plans in advance for the price, product costs, and margins that it wants to achieve for a new product (Bragg & Bragg, 2017; Krueger & Hergth, 2006; Ansari et al,. 1997). With target costing, the development group can monitor products from the moment they enter the product design process and throughout their product life cycles. Target costing is one of the most important method to help project achieve consistent profitability in a manufacturing environment (Bragg & Bragg, 2017; Krueger & Hergth, 2006). The develop group started with Target Costing after finishing the realise stage of the product development. Target costing mainly helps the engineer and the designer, redesign the new product to come closer to the customers’ expectations with terms of price value index (Krueger & Hergth, 2006; Ansari et al,. 1997). Target costing is an important management accounting method for cost reduction during the design stage of a product’s life cycle and one that can explicitly help to manage total-life-cycle costs (Atkinson, Kaplan, Matsumura & Young, 2011; Ansari et al,. 1997). In this case, the development team started to break down the product cost into its main components., which were seat design, mechanism with housing, gaspipe with housing, chair base with castors and packaging. Based on the qualitative interviews, the customer requirements were listed down and were given relative rankings. And then, the development group used the Quality Function matrix chart to convert relative ranking of features into percentage of value the customers give for each of the components. Furthermore, for each customer requirement a set of correlation marks such as strong correlation, moderate correlation or weak correlation were marked against the product components. Next, the percentage of importance for each components was compared with that of each relative cost and the value index was drawn. Finally, the development group can clearly understand where to relocate cost by reducing or enhancing component costs (See Appendix 16).


Value Engineering Value Engineering (VE) is a method used to identify and analyse poor values at various stages starting from the design cycle till distribution to reduce the cost and improve the effectiveness of the functions (, 2017). VE can be approached in three different steps: Concept-VE which deals with improving the early stages of searching for possible innovations at the conceptual levels. Project-VE, which is the traditional form of VE consists in functional improvements of a product in the design stage and increasing its value without raising the cost. Validation-VE is the search for functional improvements during the validation stage with the existing components of the product without adding new components (Ibusuki, 2007). The developer group has used the methods of VE during the product development process along with the target costing method in order to evaluate the components of the products in relation to the consumer feedback that has been retrieved using the qualitative analysis from the personal interviews the developer group has conducted. Co-Creation Co-creation is a business strategy focusing on the customer experience and interactive relationship. Co-creation encourages and allows consumers do more active involvement and participation as well as create the experience with value (Lonnie, 2017). In this case, co creation was done at the validation phase of the product development. The suggestions and constructive criticism were received from the end user and customer perspective. To understand customer and user requirements, the developer group conducted a business research method of qualitative interviews. The interviewees for the interview were a total of five participants; three users, on interior designer and one furniture sales person. The development group collected primary data and knowledge on what customers or users were seeking when buying support chairs. Furthermore, the developed product from the realise module was also given to the interviewee for their reviews and feedback. The co creation findings were considered for the refinement and validation of the product as well as value engineering. Co creation gave the group applicable insights in real time.


5 Result 5.1 Empirical Findings Secondary Data – Propose & Realise Module Collection of data for Frapett started from meeting with the managing director, Mr. Dick Elgmo and the factory visit. The project brief given to the developer group was to redesign the 71 series of their support chairs. The project required the developer group to conduct the strategic assessment and position assessment of the company in order to design and develop for Frapett. The main data regarding the company was given by Mr. Elgmo himself based on the questions that were put across to him by the developer group from all the three perspectives. This helped the group make a strategic assessment of the company and also assess their product portfolio. Furthermore, The Swedish Standards Institute and the MÜbelfakta document for ergonomic work chairs was also shared with us. This served as the guidelines during idea generation. All the above-mentioned data can be found in the Appendix 17. For the market analysis, the developer group studied the competitive brands that Frapett feels threatened by, within the segment of support chairs. There exists a benchmark product in the market called the Capisco chair developed by HÅG (see Appendix 18). And Frapett appreciates the product and is inspired by the same for its design as well as the selling price. The latest study in ergonomic chairs finds the industrialized world suffers from chronic back pain due to poor seat designs or poor posture (Hedge, 2016). It is also stated that health of the spine is what is found to be the main effect. Furthermore, the lumbar region of the spine consists of the largest vertebrae and they are prone to damage due to poor postures on chairs. In order to design a chair, data regarding sitting posture, body postures, biomechanics of sitting, factors influencing postures, preferred sitting angle and seat design criteria are to be considered (Hedge, 2016). Data for the same from the Cornell University Ergonomics Web that present information from research studies and class work by the students and faculty in the Cornell Human Factors and Ergonomics Research Group under the direction of Professor Alan Hedge. The content found in the class notes


for sitting and chair design was a very good reference for the developer group to understand the considerations to be studied for developing chair design (ibid). During the concept generation stage for the mechanism, data regarding structural proportions and mechanical features for reverse engineering was collected. The website (2017) was a good reference in collecting required data for the same. Primary Data – Propose & Realise Module For the validation module, the developer group conducted a business research method of qualitative study. This was done through qualitative interviews for customer and end users for the support chair. The interview participants chosen were direct users, interior designer (customer) and chair salesperson (user-buyer assistance). A set of open ended questions were prepared for the interviews (See Appendix 15). This, so that we could encourage the participants to bring deeper and surrounding insights to understanding customer requirements when buying a support chair. Also, the redesigned support chair was presented to each of the interviewees for valuable feedback and review. The interviews were recorded and transcribed for further analysis (See Appendix 19).

5.2 Analysis of Frapett’s Requirements To be able to develop on the brief from Frapett, the team was required to make an overall assessment of the company from the three perspectives of business, engineering and design. After having gathered the secondary data about Frapett from sources mentioned above, team made a strategic assessment to understand consumer behavior, competition, the product life cycle theory and the theory of costing. At first, Porter’s five forces were used to understand the market position of Frapett for its products and brand. The analysis of the company was that their competition was high. From the market research, there is a benchmark product in the market that is the biggest competition for Frapett’s support chair segment called the Capisco chair. In comparison to this product, Frapett’s product is seen far from catching up. hence the challenge lies in the product developer’s hands to redesign the product with a considerable leap to be able to compete with the benchmark product.


The SWOT analysis gave the team an understanding on where their strengths and opportunities lie which is to be able to make innovative products with the help of their good manufacturing set-up. However, their main weakness identified was that they were very slow in development as there wasn’t anyone devoted to design and develop the products in-house. The team took the opportunity to temporarily be the team for them to create a system of products that they will be able to build on further for a product line. Another of their internal operations weakness noted was that they can face delay with decision and work, if the employer's fall ill or on leave since they do not have the workforce to make up for their absence. Also, during the SWOT analysis, we identified that their big distributor – Kinnarps also poses the threat of being their biggest competition as they make their own ergonomic chairs. Kinnarps is one of the leading furniture retailer and wholesaler as well as distributor of many furniture brands. It also has a furniture rental business as part of their service. Hence the developer team analyzed Frapett’s customers are unaware of Frapett brand of products. Frapett feels passionate about customising their products for their customers and users. However, their relationship with the end-user as a brand has been nil because of the B2B nature of their business model. Brand building is identified to be an important requirement for Frapett to increase customer loyalty as well as to be able to be a part of their product development with repeated customer feedback. The team then conducted the Boston Matrix method to analyze Frapett’s product portfolio of support chairs. The 71-series support chair to be redesigned, fell into the cash cow box in comparison to the other series in the category. This, was because the highest orders in their recent past have been for this chair. The 71 series of support chairs are further divided into two types; one with backrest and one without backrest. The large orders have been for the chair without the backrest. Frapett believes the chair with the backrest to have potential for high sales, however the comfort of the backrest was questionable so the team analyzed that the backrest design would be the first priority during the conceptualization. This, so that the 71-series can then become a star for the company’s support chair category.


After having analyzed Frapett from its business perspective, an analysis was made from the design perspective. The principle of democratic design from IKEA with its five dimensions, formed a basis of design approach of product development. While any design student starts designing a product or service, the theory of operational knowledge serves instrumental by considering sociological stand, economical stand, cultural history and psychological stand of the product or the service. Hence a series of design methods were exercised to begin the design process. The process was a collaborative process with Frapett and the multidisciplinary team. The method of brainstorming was used to exercise and analyse the methods of scenario creation and image board. At first, to be able to identify the product from its operational knowledge perspective, the method of scenario creation was used. The analysis of which was that the product concepts should be modularized to cater to the specific scenario users through customization. The method of artefact analysis resulted in the analysis was that, there was a lack with Frapett products to have a strong and attractive design language for their products as a brand. Based on the artefact analysis, the developer group identified the seat design for the 71 series could look like they are inspired from a blue whale for its form, functions, and features of being sleek, aerodynamic and curved. This brought about a new theme for the developers to bring forth a theme called ‘whale in a suit’ (see Appendix 20). The personification ‘in a suit’ is to bring the connotation of a formal product for work environment as well as the customised essence of a work suit. This theme led the developer group to create a reference to explore, strengthen and develop a design language based on the existing seat design from Frapett. This because the design language must also suit the Frapett management’s aesthetic preferences. The team was able to then analyse the more abstract emotional requirements and function of the product with the help of an image board to be sleek yet comfortable, modularised yet customised. During the collaborative process of brainstorming, the team with Mr. Elgmo asked for the company's mantra. The mantra that was stated by Mr. Elgmo was – customised for you. To make the product a more consumer-oriented, the developer group started to break down the concept of “Customized for you” into the feelings that come out of the product, until the desirable features and product parameters started to appear. This helps the developer group to determine angles, spring stiffness, and the dimensions that are going to be used. This was made with ergonomic analysis by following the Swedish standards


and the MĂśbelfakta quality check. There are regulations and standards specified for ergonomic chairs in general. However, there is not one specifically for the saddle and support chair segment like found otherwise for other kinds of furniture. This left a small loophole for the developer group to use during concept generation for more innovative ideas.

5.3 Idea Generation Generating of ideas is the beginning of innovation (Trott, 2012). It is the conception of these ideas that start the innovation fire. Innovation is a cousin of the invention but it is not the same. One definition of innovation applies very well to this project brief. That definition is by Myers and Marquis (1969) “Innovation is not a single action but a total process of interrelated sub processes. It is not the conception of a new idea, nor the invention of a new device, nor the development of a new market, the process is all the things acting in an integrated fashion�. This because, the redesign of the support chair project does not mean styling the product, nor to simplify the mechanism, nor to modularise the parts for production, nor build design language for brand building, nor design for customisation, nor shortening delivery time, nor for easy stock keeping, innovation process is all these ideas and theories acting in a combined form. The concepts developed for the support chair can be a sustainable guideline for the future product development for Frapett.

5.4 Definition of Concepts and Options For this brief and problem description, the developers came up with 3 concepts (see Appendix 21). 1.

One Base Chair with Changeable Support Foam: The idea here is that a single base chair can have different support upholstered foams. These support foams cater to different posture requirement for active tasks such as dentist, glassworker etc. The designers have identified two variations for the concept, the first is where the base shell is with non-adjustable backrest and the second is with adjustable backrest.


Rotatable Backrest for Two Lumbar Supports: The idea here is that the user can easily adjust the backrest lumbar depth by simply rotating the backrest. The


designers have identified two variations to the concept where the backrest is like a rotating horizontal cylinder and the other is where the backrest is rotated vertically (like a windmill) for two adjustments of lumbar supports based on the posture for the active tasks. 3.

One Seat Design with choices for Backrest: The idea here is that the company can provide choices for backrests for different active task of the users.

In accordance to the functions proposed for the concepts, it was also very important for the mechanism concept to be generated. The following section explains the concept generated for the proposed mechanism. Mechanism with a tilt In the first stages of the development process, a mechanism was built based on the old existing mechanism that the developer group acquired from Frapett. The concept was that the mechanism must have a tilt stopping feature to stop the tilt after releasing the gas cylinder to heighten the chair. This is to break the tilting once the gaspipe was heightened, because the centre of gravity would move and create imbalance

5.5 Analysis of Options Chair Concepts All the three concepts were ideated to align with the image board that was created for Frapett. All the concepts were modular, customisable, compact, ergonomic, user friendly and innovative in as many aspects as possible. The aesthetics for the concepts was the predefined theme of whale in a suit. Taking the three concepts, the developer group conducted the concept selection. The concept selection process included a selection scoring matrix (see Appendix 13) which had pre-specified factors from two perspectives. The first was customer’s perspective such as comfort, adjustability, multi-functionality, most appealing and customisation. The second was manufacturer’s perspective such as modularity, production time, cost, potential for product line growth and compatibility. The three concepts were analysed and scored based on the previous mentioned factors with + (more), - (less) and 0 (neutral) in


relation to each other. Once the concepts were all scored against the pre-specified factors, a net score was calculated. The results were that Concept 1 received 5 points, Concept 2 received 3 points and Concept 3 received - 2 points. The resulting ranks for concepts 1, 2 and 3 were 1, 2 and 3 respectively. Concept 1 was selected for the further development and testing.

Figure 3: Selected Concept


Mechanism The minimum height of Frapett’s chair was to maintained to 43 cms. This is viewed high for a seat height, hence the developer group at first considered to eliminate the tilt in the mechanism. This because having a tilt at the maximum height will not feel secure enough. However, when the developer group started with the concept of the mechanism design, the tilting feature could be retained in the mechanism for reasons that the chair should allow flexible movement and avoid fixed posture. Hence the concept for - mechanism with a tilt was developed where the mechanism would have a feature that would stop the tilt the minute the gaspipe is extended to increase the seat height. The concept went under several revisions. While reverse engineering the existing mechanism, the spring leaf feature for the tilting function was replaced with using springs. This feature was explored further. This was mainly with the number of springs that would help the tilting function of the mechanism. The mechanism concept was explored at first with two springs and a friction brake. But it was identified further that a single spring would be enough to bear the weight of the chair. Hence a revision was made again to simplify the concept with using only one spring. This in turn helped to reduce the size and reduce cost. In this revision, the friction brake was removed and replaced with the gear-based brake.The mechanism was designed corresponding to fit the seat shell form. The decisions with materials such as metal plate and features such as gear based brakes were taken because they would be easier to manufacture using Frapett’s laser cutting machines for metal.

5.6 Alternatives and Critical Analysis of Possible Solutions Seat Design The selected concept - Concept 1 was that the support chair will have one seat shell design with clip on seat foam that allows the seat foam to be changeable. The concept had design requirements for two parts of the seat design; 1) Seat shell design and 2) Clip on support


foam design. The concept had two options for the seat design; 1) Seat base with adjustable backrest and 2) Seat base with non-adjustable backrest. The materials proposed for the seat shell was wood or plastic based on the form that would be derived after further exploration. The concept was further narrowed down for development by the elimination process. As discussed in the problem description earlier, another problem to be solved for the developer group was to design a chair mechanism that is aesthetically better looking and is less bulky than the existing Frapett mechanisms. Considering these mechanism conditions, a calculative decision was made while picking the seat shell design. The decision was also made taking into consideration the ergonomic and comfort factors of each of the options in relation to the proposed material with the seat shell. A decision was made to pick the option 2 for the seat design, which is having a fixed seat design were the backrest is non-adjustable and it will be made with bent ply or moulded plastic. However, after making a study using design for environment (DFE), the develop group felt that it was better to use plastic because it can be recycled and it does not require any coating like the wood would require. Also, bent ply would contain glue and paper that makes it very complicated to recycle. The fixed seat shell design also reduced the mechanism function required to adjust the backrest angle, allowing the mechanism size to be smaller than before. The changeable support foam would allow Frapett to develop new forms for the seat foam based on the user requirements. The concept also has the potential to use the latest technology of additive manufacturing called 3D printing, where the backrest of the users such as dentist or glassworker can be 3D scanned and 3D printed to make customised support foams. The support foam for the seat would be made in PU foam that are formed with moulds like those made in the automobile seat industry. The formed PU foam would also have a plastic layer on the underside, onto which the foam will be glued against. This plastic sheet allows a clean finish with upholstering of the PU foam and also forms a stiff base for the clip-on hardware to be fixed. Having identified the materials and processes for the concept, the concept was further defined to further develop which was: Support chair having fixed seat shell with support


foam design. The support foam design to be developed was to cater to all the scenarios that were identified for the support chair. In the realize module, the developer group made a product specification table to analyse the need and metric parameters while designing the selected the concept for the chair (see Figure 5). For further explorations, the developer group developed a total of six alternatives for the seat design which were named Seat A- F. These explorations were purely based on form and ergonomics to generate alternatives for the seat design. These six alternatives were then analysed by using a form selection process. The parameters used were categorised under pre-specified factors of form and ergonomics for the support chair. This was done by using another decision matrix (see Appendix 22). The matrix with a linear scale resulted in narrowing down three seat designs that would align with the form and aesthetics parameters. Here, we asked Dick Elgmo to take his personal favourite out of the selected designs. The selection made was Seat B. The seat B was further refined aesthetically and ergonomically in the 3D modelling software (see Figure 5).

Figure 4: Alternatives for seat design


Figure 5: Seat Design B

Mechanism Design Reverse engineering the mechanisms acquired from Frapett gave the development enough information to start the conception stage for the mechanism. Data were extracted from the structure by using measuring tools and applying results in CAD software. Mechanical functions and features were retrieved through observation of how the mechanisms works. The developer group was concerned about the height of the chair since the minimum height is higher than the maximum height of normal chairs, according to Mr. Elgmo. Having a tilt at such height increases risks of falling. While taking the decision to retain the tilt in the mechanism, it was decided to retain the tilt only at the lowest height of the chair. This was derived from the analysis of the Kansei Engineering Type 1 method, whose result included the seat that requires flexibility. Once the seat shell concepts were refined further, the developer group decided that the mechanism should be redesigned to satisfy the selected concept. Product specification method was used to identify and evaluate the function need analysis for the chair. These


needs and function were based on the information received from Mr. Elgmo, Kansei method, and the developer team’s judgement. The first suggested design was to have a spring for the tilt in the cylinder itself which houses the upper part of it, with the rotating part of the mechanism that its contact with the spring has the same shape of the cam in the car engine. That did not work however because it had some problems such as the fear of buckling in the cylinder. Using the CAD method software, the mechanism was redesigned into two laser-cut sheets of A36 steel that is bended to have a U shape, one is stationary and attached to the gas cylinder, and the other is moving and attached to the first one on a pivot point. The compound houses two springs and it allows rotating in two different directions, with a friction brake to stop the tilting (See Appendix 23). The developer group took in consideration the production capabilities of Frapett so the designed mechanism would be easily produced in their assembly lines. However, that design has been changed later, the developer group eliminated one of the springs and changed the brake into a gear brake.

The developer group started to estimate the forces acting on the mechanism by assuming an person weighted 150 Kg sitting on it and have his/her center of mass 30 CM above his/her hip joint and 10 CM from the contact point with the backrest towards the body (See Appendix 11). This was because that Statistiska CentralbyrĂĽn (2011) has released the average weight in Sweden. Since the average goes to a maximum of 90 Kg on average, the developer group used a safety marginal to make sure that the mechanism will hold the average person as well as the people that weighs more. This will make sure that the mechanism will hold better and thus be more durable. After acquiring the results, it has been used as an input for a Finite Element method software to analyze stress. The software uses the von-mises stress equations to solve the problem given (Mott, 2003). After the software calculated stresses, the result was the stress is 20% less than the yield point (250,000 kPa) (See Appendix 24) of the mechanism steel (A36 Structural Steel) (See Appendix 12). Ů?After getting the results the gears were changed to have a special cut for its teeth to make it self locking during load , yet have bigger dimensions to avoid bending (See Appendix 25). The new mechanism included a tension adjuster for the spring. This, to adjust the force needed to tilt.


Figure 6: Revised Mechanism with a tilt break

Design for Environment (DFE) The DFE method was partly used by the developer group to analyse the materials that were used in making and selling of the support chair. This to propose better alternatives, be aware of the impacts caused and also help take decisions to lower environmental impacts. A total of 13 materials are used for the redesigned support chair. They broken down to: Paper, gas cylinder oil, grease, thread, glue, paint, wood coat, plastic, foam, fabric and steel. Based on the analysis of of these materials, the development group identifies the main environmental impacts, such as Global Warming, Water pollution, Resource depletion, Air pollution, Solid waste and Land degradation for each of the materials (See Appendix 26) Steel products used for the product development are mild steel and stainless steel, they are both the recyclable materials. Steel is recycled by melting it in a metal making factory. It can be melted at temperatures higher than 1700 degrees and there is wastewater discharged into the environment, this results in global warming, water pollution, air pollution, solid waste and land degradation during their productions. Fabric as the upholstery, the development group want to use the felt blazer. This material is renewable and is possible for recycling, however the environmental impacts are water pollution and global warming. Foam can be used by PU foam, it is a recyclable material and used commonly for the composite foam mattress, the environmental impact of PU foam has global warming, water pollution, resource depletion, air pollution and solid waste. The development group want to use four different plastic on the product, they are nylon, PA6,


PP and PE. PA6 is a kind of nylon, it is a recyclable material like nylon. PP as the main material of set shell, it is recyclable material and with high quality to guarantee long usage. PE also is recyclable plastic,used for the packaging , the PE film is too dirty to recycle directly, before recycling, waste PE film must be washed first. Although the quantity of post-consumer plastics recycled has increased every year since at least 1990, the rates lag far behind those of other items. U.S. post-consumer plastic waste for 2008 was estimated at 33.6 million tons; 2.2 million tons (6.5%) were recycled and 2.6 million tons (7.7%) were burned for energy; 28.9 million tons, or 85.5%, were discarded in landfills. Therefore, the use of plastic would impact the environment with their production, clear and recycle, such as global warming, water pollution, resource depletion, air pollution, solid waste and land degradation. The glue and thread both are non recyclable and non renewable materials, but they have the different environmental impact. The development group can look for the plant based resin as the glue material to achieve the environmentally friendly. The synthetic thread however small it may seem takes a long process to make it. This material has a lot of impact on the environment, such as global warming, water pollution, resource depletion, air pollution, solid waste and land degradation. Gas cylinder oil is a lubricant oil used in the gas pump of the cair. This oil is not recyclable and renewable material, and it has environmental impacts like global warming, water pollution, air pollution, solid waste and land degradation. Cardboard as the packaging box, the material is a recyclable material called corrugated sheet. Although the use of this material would trigger global warming, resource depletion, air pollution and solid waste, it can be reused to a certain extent. The sticker will be used on paper, there is a high rate of paper to recyclable and renewable. Paper recycling rate in the EU has reached a near theoretical maximum of 71.5% in 2015, and it still sustainable growth and paper manufactured has 40% recycled content. However, the paper also has the severe impact on global warming, water pollution, resource depletion, air pollution, solid waste and land degradation. All the materials have severe environmental impacts and the development group understands the importance of design consciously for the future of the planet. Having established this, the developer group also found alternatives for some of the materials for the better of the environment. DFE should become an important practice for all product developers for the sake of the health of this planet.


5.7 Co-Creation Findings and Analysis The design for the support chair was developed by the end of the realise phase of the project. It was made after careful analysis of various explorations and tests that were conducted during the design and engineering process. However, this was not the final product of this product development because it missed the collaboration from the main stakeholders for this product. The main stakeholders considered here for the collaboration were not only the ultimate users but also the individuals who influence the user’s choice. It was vital for the developer group to get validation and feedback from these stakeholders to be able to co-create. This because it would make the product more applicable in real time. For the validation phase, the developer group did qualitative study via interviews to be able to get insights for the user requirements of a support chair as well as review the new product developed. The participants chosen for the interview were classified into 3 types. They were the users, salesperson at Kinnarps (Frapett’s distributor) and an interior designer. The developer group interviewed a total of five participants; three physicians, one interior designer and one salesperson at Kinnarps, Växjö. The interviews were recorded and transcribed to make an overall analysis of the interviewees response. The interview questions were kept open-ended to encourage discussions for deeper insights. The first part of the interview was to understand the user requirement while purchasing an ergonomic chair and the second part was to review the design product by the developer group. User Requirement: Based on the interviews the following analysis was made for the user requirement while purchasing an ergonomic chair. The highest priority was given to how it looks. The first judgements were said to be made based on how good the product looks before one tests the product and also one looks for the price of the product. Hence it is seen essential to make the product look good and attractive first before the buyer can go deep on the product features, comfort and cost. Secondly it was also analysed that people look at every detail of the chair from all angles and sides. This made the developer group refine the product for its form overall and also add a cover for the mechanism.


From the usability perspective, it was analysed that the users are always looking for a chair that is simple to use and durable for a minimum for 10 years. This by making the chair parts easy to repair or replace. This was already considered by the developer group in the product and therefore the modularity of the concept was validated. From the customisation perspective, it was analysed that customers looked for a customisation only colour and materials. For example, medical professionals require the material to be water resistant such as leatherette that allows them to clean the seat regularly. This was also considered in the concept so as to cater to various user scenario requirements and hence this feature of the concept was validated. Lastly an analysis was made based on the buying behaviour of the customer. It was understood that the customers require the assistance and help from the salesperson or an interior designer while choosing a product. This especially when there are so many products in the same segment in the market. The customers are not very sure what are the necessary feature one must consider while buying an ergonomic chair and hence, are dependent on the expert’s advice. It is analysed that it is important to sell the brand and their products to these experts through good marketing before it can actually reach the customer. Hence the developer group believes that the developed product concept with customisable seat can be a good value to help salespersons recommend to the buyer. Product Review and Feedback: The newly developed product from the realise phase was presented to the interviewees for review and feedback (see Figure 7). An overall feedback of the product was that it looked good and comfortable. However, the main feedback received for the seat design was that the seat base could be flattened to a small extent, so that they do not dig into the persons bottoms for larger sized people. This change was executed in the refinement of the product as the developer group agreed to the feedback. Refinements : The refinements made in the chair were 1) the overall form refinement of the seat chair, 2) housing for the mechanism and 3) slight flattening of the body shaped seat base. The analysis from the interviews was used to make the target costing to make a quality function analysis. The different important functions and features were aligned against the chair components to calculate the price value index from the user’s perspective (see


Appendix 16). This resulted in showing the seat design and the packaging to reduce cost while showing the mechanism with housing, gaspipe and the chair base with castors to be enhance cost. However, the outcome of the target costing was not acted upon due to two main reasons; 1) the number of participants to base the scores were too little and 2) the parts that asks to be enhanced in price are all outsourced and requires the company to either purchase higher quality parts from same supplier or requires the company to purchase parts from better quality suppliers.

Figure 7: Re-Design Chair


5.8 Presentation Material The developer group refined the design based on co-creation findings and analysis (see Appendix 19) for Frapett with the design and development of two elements. They are the seat design and the mechanism design. The developer group has also made the production drawings for the designed articles (see Appendix 25). The remainder of the parts for the chair such as the gas cylinder, five spoked base and the castors would be sourced from Frapett’s suppliers.

Figure 8: Refined Design

Seat Design The intention of the seat design concept is to cater to all the scenario users of a support chair; such as a dentist, scientist, machine operator, glassworker, tailor etc. Furthermore, the seat design is such that it is easy and comfortable for the seated physical nature of the work for the user. The seat design is an exposed plastic shell that houses a soft upholstered foam on the front side. The seat upholstery is felt and leatherette. The leatherette is at the seat base edge to protect from abrasion of the thighs. The molded plastic seat design is such that it allows for a flex back so as the user’s posture can be dynamic and not stationary. A plastic cover is also designed to hide the mechanism and keep it out of reach from fingers pinching. The seat aesthetic form follows the design language ‘whale in a suit’ in a subtle way. The body shaped seat base has been carried forward from the


existing Frapett 71 series and continued to shape the backrest form inspired from the whale tail. Also, the organic form of the whale allows for smooth, curved yet sleek form. Hence, for optimum cost, comfort and good aesthetics, the materials and processes have derived to form the resulting seat design (see Figure 8). Product description: The dimension of the seat is 447X420X380 mm. The seat is a fixed shell design with upholstered foam. The upholstery is of two materials, party in leatherette and the rest in eco grade felt. The foam for the seat is a moulded PU foam which is supported by another thin plastic support shell. This support shell also allows the fixing of the clip on hardware for the foam assembly to be modular. The mechanism cover is designed in a way to easily clip it onto the seat underside. All in all the assembly of the seat design is for a modular, time efficient and clean assembly. Mechanism Design The final result of the mechanism includes one spring and two levers. One lever for changing the height and one lever for breaking the tilt. It also has a knob that is used to adjust the spring tension (See Figure 9). The mechanism is compact and easy to assemble/disassemble. The new designed mechanism has shrunk in size 40%-60% from the old mechanisms with the same functions that Frapett has. (Standard bolts and other mechanical parts were used. Locking washers has been put on the bolts and nuts to avoid loosening, and plastic washers are used where the mechanism is in contact with the shell to avoid pressure damage. The mechanism supports a person weighing 150 Kg, as a safety measure base on statistiska centralbyrĂĽns (2011) report of the average weight in Sweden.

Figure 9: Mechnism with tilt break


Estimated Costs and Factory Overhead Calculations are made in order to estimate the costs of the end product. As seen in Appendix 15, the manufacturing cost is calculated to be 1 876,63 SEK for the chair. The material cost is 969,89 SEK (51,68%) and the labor is 906,74 (48,32%). For these calculations the material costs is based on what the develop group found on the Internet. These prices might seem high at the moment, however the bargain power from the company will drive down the cost of materials. The labor time and its cost is an estimation from Mr Elgmo from Frapett. It is how long he thinks it would take them to produce this project. This is something that will be validated during the actual production. The factory overheads are costs that incurred during the process of manufacturing, for the project the overhead costs will be taken from Frapetts annual (Appendix 27) and added in the develop group symbolic costs at 500 SEK/hour for each member for three months of work. This resulted the factory overhead total at 3 458 027 SEK plus 1 200 000 SEK to a grand total of 4 658 027 SEK. The product, if it keeps the same guidelines as the 7110L-series, will have a prime production at 2 800 SEK and an offer price at 4 900 SEK. That means that if Frapett only sells this new chair, they need to sell around 2 220 to break even.

6 Conclusion and Reflection 6.1 Conclusion The project came to an end with a new refined support chair developed for Frapett. The working process had been smooth yet challenging. In reflection to the working processes, some of the methods could have been planned better and executed. The method of persona creation was brainstormed and created, however due to shortage of time the developer group was not able to go deeper into persona study through actual observation for validation and refinement of the developed product. The method of co-creation could have been carried out earlier in the group as the insights could have also been used during concept generation. For the method of focus group, a test focus group could have been carried out earlier so that the developer group could have prepared better and carried out an actual focus group for the support chair.


From the product perspective, the developer group feels satisfied of the outcome of the product design. However, the mechanism requires more refinement as the developer group feels that it can be improved further. The developer team requires another month of work for a complete well-designed mechanism. From the project perspective, the main challenge that was faced by the developer group, was in the validation phase, where the group would have preferred to have developed a working prototype. However, the prototyping was not possible due to shortage of time and resources. Various alternative methods for prototyping were considered, however the methods were either time consuming and/or expensive. Also, Frapett got very busy with their end of the year business orders and hence were unable to make use of the factory set up. This was also the point when the close collaboration between developer group and Frapett was lost and the communication was only via email. Therefore, the project was carried out independent of the company at this point in time. The overall goal of the academic project has been achieved sufficiently, however from the company perspective the project stays incomplete because the crucial stage of prototyping was not achieved. It is only after prototyping can the project serve more purpose and meaning for the company.

6.2 Reflection Reflecting back on the project outcome and the product development process, the developer group believes that it was only possible because of the interdisciplinary team work. The outcome of the project would not have had the advanced outcome if not for the collaborative nature of the team memebers from the three distinctive faculties of business, engineer and design. If the group constituted of only designers, or only business students, or only engineers, the development would not have been as self sustained. The process also led to growth in individual knowledge as a result of the collaborative team effort from this interdisciplinary nature of the developer group.


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Appendix Appendix 1 : Mรถbelfakta Standards



Appendix 2 : Gantt Chart


Appendix 3 : Boston Matrix


Appendix 4 : SWOT Analysis


Appendix 5 : Brainstorm Graphic Organiser


Appendix 6 : Image Board


Appendix 7 : Scenarios


Appendix 8 : Kansei Engineering


Appendix 9 : Product Specifications


Appendix 10 : Technical Feasibility Check


Appendix 11 : Rigid Body Equilibrium


Appendix 12 : Finite Element Analysis


Appendix 13 : Concept Selection


Appendix 14 : Costing Model



1 USD = SEK 8,5 1 Euro = 9.97 SEK 1 Price from Frapett 2 Price from Frapett 3 Price from Frapett 4 0.05-0.5 USD 5 300-451 USD/ton 6 440-480 USD/ton 7 1100-3000 USD/ton 8 1100-3000 USD/ton 9 1100-3000 USD/ton 10 440-480 USD/ton 11 1100-3000 USD/ton 12 0,46-39 USD/KG 13 24,80 SEK 14 0,0001-0,5 USD 15 5,44 SEK 16 0,001-0,2 USD 17 0,03-1 USD 18 0,50 USD 19 0,01-0,1 USD 20 0,003-0,02 USD 21 0,003-0,02 22 0,12-46 ISD 23 0.4-3 USD 24 0.0015-0.059 USD/st 25 0,01-1,5 USD 26 0,01-0,2 USD 27 0,05-1 USD 28 0,01 USD 29 0,0001-0,5 USD 30 Price from Frapett 31 0,28-2,8 USD 32 Price from Frapett 33 Price from Frapett 34 35 Price from Frapett 36 Price from Frapett 37 Price from Frapett 38 Price from Frapett


Appendix 15 : Interview Questions


Appendix 16 : Target Costing





Appendix 17 : Data



Appendix 18 : Competitive Brand


Appendix 19 : Interviews Transcripts Intreview #1: Anna R = Rong C = Christoffer N = Naina A = Anna C. The first question is… What are the requirements you see when you buy a support chair? A. Support chair? You mean? N. The chair we use… A. Of cause it depends on the space I want to design. You told me it was for hairdressers so its a task chair… Maybe you could use it in the offices? Maybe? N. Yeah maybe. A. With computer users. N. eem.. Not specific computers but more of a labor intense Like a glassworker. You know he is sitting there.. or a dentist sitting there near the patient. A. Someone how wants to sometimes wants to have a seat or sometimes needs to be flexible and move around… N. yes with the chair as well, since it has wheels at the bottom. A. So em.. I think for me as a interior designer, first point should be match with the space of cause. The chair should match with other in the space. Sometimes it… The appearance of the chair. The functions of cause is the most important.. I think. I think both functions and appearance at the first level. R. Something else, after the first level, you maybe.. N. If you have other considerations maybe? A. Yeah I ee.. As I told you, function is the most important. But the function in the space. It’s so different office / dentist.. So you specified before the function space so. N. Yeah, like the scenarios before, the users space A. And the other is space planning. It is related to space planning. It show you the placement and arrangement of furnitures and other objects like accessories. N. So when you go to like the vendor, supplier of the chair. Ones you look at okey this is the chair I want. It looks nice… A. You know, as a Interior designer, I mean.. I’m in the middle of the truth.. The client and the user. I’m someone in the middle. First of all I must satisfy my customer. Maybe he or she needs something else… Maybe depends on their taste.. But I have to push him in the right way. But I have to tell him to no it's not okay for your use, you must choose another that is more comfortable. it matches with your functions.


N. So when you say functions, if you wanna deep dive, when you say functions of the chair. What are the thing s you are looking for? A. I think the flexibility for the chair. Since I work a lot in front of the desk, and all the chairs annoyed me. When I worked for a long time. SO for dentist I think is the most important thing.. sicne they have to bend their body and hang over the customers mouth. And I think the flexibility and the confortiblity is‌ N. So when it comes to ergonomic chairs, we have adjustments in the chair right? So do you have any.. Regarding the adjustments? What do you think is important, a lot of adjustments or? A. Yes, it should be a lot of adjustments in the hight. In the seat.. the chair (she is sitting on) is just about my body. And someone fat, it is not comfortable to sit on. So you have to design a chair could be flexible in the size. Maybe you can find a size.. a dimension that is not to small or to big. It might be appropriate for a man with a height. You know in addition to hight I think , the back and the seat should be in different angles. In general I think the circulation in the space is more important. Sometimes the objects.. limits the movements of the human. N. Also the base of the chair.. You should be able to move it. A. But I think it is part of the interior designer.. You can just be limited in the seat size. So yeah the circulation and items. The user activities.. The duration of the use. And also depends on ergonomics. And the material. In duration it's about materials. for example some type of plastic, after awhile they get scratched. N. It get scratches. A. Yeah, and you will need to change the seat or the back after a while. I think that for this type of user, that the duration is like.. 45 minuter per seating. They use it more than a dentist. Sometimes the dentist needs to walk and take some time and.. But for a hairdresser the duration is more. And the size of cause for selection when I go to a store, and I told you about the flexibility and you told me about ergonomics. I have to satisfy the customer from a cultural point, and emotional. Maybe in the hairdresser store, they want to choice different types of colours. A bit more colour full. But in offices they might go neutral grey is best choice. So you have to satisfy the emotions of your client. I think this factor is more important for you. So you have more alternatives. N. Basically customization R. For colour and for size. A. And in general I think this objects should fit the characteristics of the space of the project.


You know the still of the design. I think in the office space, you always use some neet… neet. N. Yeah, sleek, simple yeah yeah neet. A. You can play a bit with the colours and the form a little bit, I think. C. Buying process, you kinda answered that already, but the buying process? A. Oh yeah I forgot the more important part, Price. R. You have the cost for… A. It happened to me, you choose something, a chair for my client but he did not choose it because it cost to much. So I changed the idea and choose another one. N. So what was the cost? Maybe say in swedish so we can convert it. A: That chair was of a famous designer, that's why it was so expensive. But I think that its logical. For example for a lighinging.. I suggest for a friend in sweden, he wanted to buy one for 10 000 SEK, and I asked why? When you can choose another object in the similar shape but in R-N-A: a lower price… A. I think that 10 000 kronor is to much for a light. You know.. A logical one would be 13 000 SEK. But that also depends on the taste of the client. Maybe someone wants to pay much. N. So let’s say you go by to choose some chairs, when you go to.. Do you take your client to select? A. Nah, sometimes I have to go with my client, and they pay most attention on the price… And they pay attention in the cost of cause, in the shape I guide them. Because they don’t have any idea.. But sometimes they choose the colour. But mostly I will guide them since they don’t know.. N. How many times do you need to go to the store? A. One visit with the client. But for me I can go about 4 times. Before finding a final. But Most of the time I choose the first one… I don't know why. Maybe the first choice is the better. N. Do you go to different stores or just one place you go to? A. ah, yeah. I go to different stores. But always is best is proparate price, function, aesthetics… How it looks. That’s the best combinations, but sometimes brands can satisfy you in this case. But when you just want to pay attention in the cost you might eliminate other factors. N. I think that is good for the buying process. What’s the next question? C. Do you prefer to buy online or in store. A. aha.. I prefer, I myself prefer in the store. I believe that online is easier But I want to touch material, for me.. N But if it is something you already know. A: Yeah if I have already experienced it, of cause I order it online. N. Have you done that for a projects? A; In my country online shopping is not that common, yet.. But yeah, 1 or 2 time.


C. Oh, this question, what do you prefer for seat material? N. For this practically use. A. Material? N. Yeah like is it hard? or soft? or? Leather or? A: Leather I think for the public leather user.. A fabric will get dirty after some time. And you will need to change it. and cover after a while but leather is better. I prefer leather and just a little bit soft, not so soft, just a little bit. It can form with your body. I think a type of plastic material, like that. Like rubber plastic.. N. What’s the next one? C: We touched on this before.. How many adjustments do you prefer in a support chair? A. height you know, height. And in the back and seat angle. and maybe the angle of the seat. YOu can bend it. Maybe.. and.. It's not adjustment, but if you can adjust the height of the back. For example bus chair, the size of the chairs is not proper for me, I’m the size of… Yeah I have problems, the neck support is so far above from me. I just get lost in it. N. That’s ergonomics. It's so difficult though. But not for hairdresser, they don’t use high back. Maybe small back. A: Because they want.. they always are in the move. Maybe because of that. yes. You have right. This option… Yeah. C. Have ever deep cleaning a chair.. Like clean it… N. No do you keep in mind that you might need to clean the chair? Do you consider it as a factor? A: You mean.. cleaning? not dirty? No.. Maybe? If you saw something on it.. But most of the time no. Often they are new .. But as I told you about the scratch. N. When you select it, do you see them use a foot rest for the chair? A: Yeah! N. Do you think that it is important that we give them a foot rest? A. Maybe, yeah.. I see that. I saw in the store, there’s a lot of chair and they always have a foot rest. But its better for domestic use, for a task user no I don’t think so. Maybe if they have a rest but.. no They have not enough time to rest. C. How long do you think the product should live, the life-span? A. I think at least 5 years. But this factor is always depending on price. More expensive more durability. If you choose the cheapest then yeah… If you pay you might get something. At least 5 years. C. Have you ever took the time to look at the mechanism under the chair? A. Yes of cause. As I told you about the functions. Special if you are task users. Because they have a lot of activities during the day. They have to.. time for rest. And they put the body in a comfortable place and ergonomic.. I think is related so. The appearance should


be.. The hardest part of the design is when you consider both together, mechanism and design. Because I worked on a table and a chair of a primary schools and for children design is above function.. Because they have to.. be cheer full. Because of that priority above. But for task I think is a bit different. Function might be a bit above design. C: Then it’s just the feedback on the chair we have.. A: It’s beautiful! I was impressed with this part, the form. (seat). It can help your body to rest. For all size of body. N. its about 45 cm, 44 cm.. A: Yeah its a standard dimension for the seat. I think. Maybe about appearance.. Can I? Maybe you can work on the materials, new appearance. Maybe steal? Maybe with other colours. (wheels). I like the bionic idea. The fabric is.. and with leather. That’s so good. For back doesn’t matter.

Intreview #2: Veronica Christoffer: What are the most common requirements people are asking for when they come here? Veronica: We are selling a lot of chairs by phone. They often go to our website and have a look before. There are some that comes by the store and take look at our show room. We also have had those that really take their time and come here with specific needs, as back pains, injuries or herniated. They might had used a chair that was not good and is prepared to spend more time into trying out a chair. Christoffer: Okej, I see. Is there any specific things they ask for about the chairs? Something it should be able to do or withstand? Veronica: The chairs from Kinnarps is well known for the high quality. That is something the customer has with them as they are entering the store. We have a wide range of models and got the possibility to add specific parts. As a long person they might want to have a higher gaspipe. Of cause there is the possibilities of the classic, neck support and arm support since this has become a standard for how the chair should be. Today we talk a lot about stand up and work. Switch between standing and sitting. Today we maybe do not sit and work as much as we used to do. It might have been a change there, and today we also have


these‌ I call them officeballs. They are perfect for the activity based companies with open office. Christoffer: Oh lovely! How does the buying process of the consumer look like? Veronica: I need to do some sort of need analysis, do they have any specific needs and what are they using today? You need to really listen to the customer and start from there and make sure to not show ten different chairs for them. One should try to have a small group of chairs when you show the customers. We have this new chair that lets you work a bit more with you stomach muscles when using. Christoffer: Okej, how does your need analysis look like? Veronica: It is a home-made version based on the things I have learned. We have many customer on contracts, as the university you are on. They buy their working chairs from us. There is one that they wanted, a model, and then buy a lot of it and then hope that they work for everyone. If there is a need for specific chair they can get a replacement for it. Christoffer: Do they have any preferences for the material of the chair? Veronica: We do lead them into some material. Example the plastic is cheaper than aluminum, so we do try to argue for aluminium. The customers do not really reflect upon it. It is mainly if they are looking for something more designed. Christoffer: Do they look for a lot of adjustments on the chair? Veronica. Depends a bit on the chair it self. They mainly care about the highs and lower adjustments. It is only if you are long you might want a higher gas pip. The average person do not look too much into it. Christoffer: Does the customers every ask about cleaning possibilities of the chair? Veronica: I have never got the question, but for rougher environments they might look into the environmental impacts or if it is possible to wipe of dirt. They also look into that the chair does not get caught on fire. Christoffer: How often do they ask for feetrests? Veronica: For places where they do packaging and do not have an adjustment tables there is a need for it. It is about the need of the situation. We even go out to companies to take a look for what they have and what they need. We even let them borrow a chair to try it out. Christoffer: How long is the average lifespan of a chair? Veronica: Our customers are extremely spoiled in that area. I had a customer today that called after that the company did a safety check. They have had the same chairs from us for 20 years now. Today was the day they needed new chairs. This could be since we are offering help with change broken parts like neck support, arm support or something could be


wrong the gas pipe. We send an repairman to the company so it is very comfortable for our customers. Our chairs is almost build for reservparts. We have a 5 year guarantee, and we will always make sure that we just switch the broken parts and not the whole chair. Christoffer: How does the customer view the mechanisms under the chair? Veronica: Well, mainly it is the architects that thinks about it, at least more than the users. They are the bigger player in that part and people has started to hire them more and more for new projects. It does have a little effect on the decoration in open offices. When you look out at 10-15 chairs, it makes the design more important. I would say that it is more important today in someway. Christoffer: Thank you for the answers. We would love to get some feedback on our design if you may? Veronica: I like this, that round shape, but I do get a bit unsure about that seat base. I feel like it is sticking up a bit too much. It should be a bit more flatt. Many of our customers are a bit, big it might be feeling uncomfortable for them. They also want to have the back of the chair all the way up to the neck. But when you work, in front of a computer for example, you will be happy if the back is even up on the lumber. But I like the chair, it is cool. It is only the seat base that I am a bit unsure about but I really like the shape language. I think this chair could be sold for around 5 000 - 6 000 SEK here. That is excluding VAT.

Intreviews #3: Alaa Sadik, 45 Distriktsläkare (General practitioner) Place of Work: VC Växjöhälsan, Växjö 1. What are the requirements you see when buying a support chain? “Well It should be as comfortable as possible. Good support to shoulders and the neck. I prefer long back support to rest on and keep a good posture” 2. How does a buying process look like? “First I start checking different brands and models online and then go to the stores to buy." 3. Do you prefer to buy a chair online or offline?


“Offline, but I’d check online before buying.” 4. What preferences do you have for the seat material? “I look for durability so I would buy the metal one, preferably aluminum so it is not so heavy.” 5. How many adjustments do you prefer in a support chair? “I would like many adjustments to make my sitting as comfortable as possible, but I would also like it to be simple to use.” 6. Do you clean your chair? If yes, how? and how often? “I use a disinfectant on my things including the chair frequently, at least twice a week.” 7. Do you place your feet on chair base, table support when using the chair? “Not on the chair base, I put it on the table support/base instead” 8. How long do you think the product should live? “At least 10 years” 9. Have you ever taken the time to look at the mechanism under the seat? “Sometimes I do.”

Yessir Abu-Rgif, 36 Läkarassistans & Laserbehandlare (Doctor assistant and laser therapist) Place of Work: Växjökliniken, Växjö 1. What are the requirements you see when buying a support chain? “I want it to be comfortable, and I’d choose bright colors, good and practical design, and it shouldn’t take too much space” 2. How does a buying process look like? “I’d look at catalogs, I get catalogs in mail to my house from different stores, I see what is new and then go try it and buy it.” 3. Do you prefer to buy a chair online or offline? “I don’t like buying online. I’d go to the store and buy, or online if someone in my family did it for me”


4. What preferences do you have for the seat material? “I’d look for the softest cushioning, (She doesn’t care about the material used)” 5. How many adjustments do you prefer in a support chair? “Height adjustment is important, but I’d also want it to move as I like so it won’t be uncomfortable, but I’d also want it to be simple.” 6. Do you clean your chair? If yes, how? and how often? “Yes, I do, I clean my work furniture with sterilizers from time to time, at least once a week.” 7. Do you place your feet on chair base, table support when using the chair? “No, sometimes I do but mostly I put it on the ground.” 8. How long do you think the product should live? “I’d expect it to live forever but I also would change it in least 2-3 years” 9. Have you ever taken the time to look at the mechanism under the seat? “No.” Wassan Khalil, 22 Hudterapeut (Esthetician) Place of Work: Växjökliniken, Växjö 1. What are the requirements you see when buying a support chain? “I’d look for a durable, comfortable, and simple chair, nothing specific in mind.” 2. How does a buying process look like? “Check online, I don’t ask anyone I’d go on different online marketplaces and choose, sometimes I read reviews or see how much stars it have. 3. Do you prefer to buy a chair online or offline? “Online, with a delivery option.” 4. What preferences do you have for the seat material? “Overall soft look, I don’t like it to look with rough material, I’d choose something that look good”


5. How many adjustments do you prefer in a support chair? “Not too much, I want it simple, not complex, but have the standard things like changing heights.” 6. Do you clean your chair? If yes, how? and how often? “Yes, once a week with sterilizers.” 7. Do you place your feet on chair base, table support when using the chair? “Yes, I put it on the chair base most of the time.” 8. How long do you think the product should live? “10 years” 9. Have you ever taken the time to look at the mechanism under the seat? “No it is not important to me.”


Appendix 20 : Design Language


Appendix 21 : Concepts




Appendix 22 : Design Alternatives Decision Matrix



Appendix 23 : CAD First Concept

Second Concept


Final Concept


Appendix 24 : A36 Steel Properties

Source: MatWeb


Appendix 25 : Technical Drawings







Appendix 26 : Design for Environment


Appendix 27 : Frapett’s Annual


Profile for Naina Shenoy

Active Task Chair  

Active Task Chair