36 interiors+sources december2016 interiorsandsources.com
With a founding principle that great spaces inspire great work, Coalesse makes
products for workplaces to help facilitate better
social connections and creative collaboration. A
belief that work evolves into a hub of modern
culture, the company serves up furniture and
storage solutions for today’s contemporary workspace. One of its most inventive offerings of late,
the Less ThanFive Chair provides a unique solution
for a variety of applications. In a one-on-one with
Coalesse, i+s was able to get a first-hand look
at the inspiration, development, and distinctive
details of the innovative seating option.
WHEN WAS LESSTHANFIVE DEVELOPED?
The Less ThanFive Chair took several years of
research + development and engineering before it
officially launched in February 2016.
HOW DID THE NAME FOR THE PRODUCT COME ABOUT?
The Less ThanFive Chair is just that—a carbon
fiber chair that weighs less than five pounds.
WHO DESIGNED THE LESSTHANFIVE CHAIR?
Coalesse Design Group and Michael Young.
WHAT WAS THE INSPIRATION BEHIND IT?
Inspiration came from a variety of sources related
to the industries that were pushing the limits of
carbon fiber: bikes, planes, cars, and
sporting equipment. Though the true
inspiration was delivered by a challenge
put forth by the CEO of the company to better
understand this material and how it could impact
our products in the future.
WHAT WAS THE BIGGEST HURDLE IN BRINGING THE
LESSTHANFIVE CHAIR TO LIFE?
It was a new material, a new supply chain, a new
testing process, and with such we had to develop
new ways to bring the solution to market. We also
had many hurdles with how we think about our
products and what our customers’ expectations are
for them, what the business model would need to be
to make this viable, and then how we could offer the
solution in new ways that our customers would value.
HOW WAS THE INITIAL RESPONSE TO LESSTHANFIVE?
Overwhelmingly positive—surprise and delight
with an added layer of desire to have one.
WHAT IS THE MOST IMPRESSIVE PROJECT THE
LESSTHANFIVE CHAIR HAS FOUND ITS WAY INTO?
The offering is so young that it seems every
project we hear about is new and impressive in
different ways, from higher education to industry;
Europe, Asia, and the Americas; executive suites
to racing yachts.
WHAT IS YOUR HOPE FOR THE PRODUCT?
That the people who specify and use the chair
will find as much delight in using it as we found in
the process of creating it, and that our learnings
about the material will influence other projects we
are currently working on. Also that this is only the
first in a series that will become a lasting part of
ARE THERE ANY CHANGES TO THE LESSTHANFIVE
CHAIR ON THE HORIZON?
We have developed some concepts that continue
our exploration into what carbon fiber can do
and how we might use it. We are continuing to
advance the ways in which you can customize
the finishing of it, and we hope to leverage our
learnings from the market response to iterate the
product in the future.
WHAT’S SOMETHING PEOPLE DON’T KNOW ABOUT
The Less ThanFive Chair is made from 1,323
meters ( 4,340.5 feet) of carbon thread; there are
175 different pieces of carbon fiber that need to
layup in the correct position to make one chair.
It takes a total of seven people and 25 hours to
complete the production of a chair.
Photography courtesy of Coalesse