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Swoop Lounge Furniture

Designer Brian Kane tells you how Swoop lounge furniture came to be.
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Product Story

During his time as an instructor at the California College of Art, industrial designer Brian Kane observed how students interacted with furniture in public spaces on campus. He noticed that very few of them sat in what might be considered a traditional way. They perched on arms. They curled up. They sprawled out. This observation inspired a versatile and fluid design response, which became the Swoop family of lounge furniture.

Casual, Comfortable, Modular

The sweeping curves of Swoop’s modular seating components were designed to make the furniture comfortable for many different sitting positions. Coordinating box tables can be used in-line with modular seating, and work tables fit perfectly over armrests. Coffee tables function as stools with the addition of a cushion top. All components work together in countless ways to create flexible, reconfigurable spaces where people can get together casually and comfortably.

Sit However

While traditional lounge furniture inhibits movement, Swoop encourages it. Sit how you like, and change positions as you like. And when you need a work surface, pull up a table wherever you need it. Modular seating components can also be ganged together to allow a run of chairs or ottomans to create sofas or benches, which lend a sense of enclosure to help define a space.

Work Wherever

Swoop seating invites collaboration, providing the necessary comfort and support to keep focus and productivity high. Swoop work tables are freestanding, with heights that fit perfectly over an armrest to provide a non-handed work surface. Add an upholstered cushion top to a work table or coffee table to create a stool. Box tables are available with power outlets for easy connectivity.

Sweeping Curves

Brian Kane designed Swoop for the way people sit today—in a word, personally. Because there are no hard edges or 90-degree angles, the “swooping” form created as the arms curve into the seat accommodates a variety of postures and positions: upright with a laptop at the ready, or reclined with a cup of coffee; legs crossed, feet up, or settled in.

Aesthetic Range

With an extensive range of upholstery fabrics, veneers, laminates, and colors, Swoop also suits your personal style—from classic to expressive. Make a color statement with fully upholstered armchairs, club chairs, and ottomans. Tone things down with the lightness of the plywood lounge chair. Combine tables and chairs for configurations that meet practically any need.

Swoop Lounge Furniture

A Full Family of Lounge Furniture

The Swoop family includes plywood lounge chairs with exposed wood shells—a subtle reference to the iconic designs of Charles and Ray Eames—as well as fully upholstered club chairs and modular seating components. Combine them with work tables, coffee tables, or box tables in countless different ways, adding flexibility to public spaces or common areas.

Design Story

People have been sitting on Brian Kane designs for years. Kids and grownups sit in his very cool rubber chairs; they’re part of the permanent collection of the San Francisco MoMA. And he’s widely known as a designer of public pieces; his comfortable benches and graceful bike racks pop up on sidewalks in New York and San Francisco. In these objects, as in all his designs, Kane strives for what he calls “craft through technology. I have always attempted to explore existing materials and processes and use them in new ways that add an element of detail or craft that is unique.”

When we asked him to design lounge furniture for us, Kane says he didn’t want to create just another lounge chair. Instead, “I wanted to create a versatile and fluid lounge seating and table solution that allows people the freedom to move and create spaces that suit their needs.” So he approached the task with a single basic idea: “With traditional lounge seating, people are locked into it,” he says. “Swoop provides freedom to move around.”

Kane was first introduced to the world of industrial design by a high school guidance counselor. “He pointed at his office chair, his phone, the clock, and said, ‘These were all designed by somebody.’“ recalls Kane.

After graduating from the University of Bridgeport in Connecticut, he spent a year in New York designing appliances. Then he and his wife headed for Milan, Italy, where he literally knocked on doors. One opened—the door of architect Silvio Coppola—and it changed his life. “Seeing his passion for design was a real head-turner for me,” says Kane, who decided that designing furniture was what he wanted to do.

In 1989 Kane established Kane Design Studio, where he continues to focus on what he loves most of all: seating. “It’s all about comfort and innovation,” he says. His designs have won more than 80 awards and have been exhibited at numerous museums, but he says he is especially proud to now have his designs sitting alongside those of Charles Eames and George Nelson in the global Herman Miller portfolio. “For me, that’s as good as it gets.”

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