Zeph’s clean and uninterrupted silhouette is intentional. The sculpted mono-shell seat delivers a playful nod to Herman Miller’s contoured classic Eames Shell chair. However, customers shouldn’t be deceived by its simple, organic appearance. Under the seat lies hidden technology designed to deliver a seamless ergonomic experience that leverages human-centered motion. This allows Zeph to create a natural, fluid motion that works for all body types.
“Our ambition was to create an animated shell chair. What first sounds like a contradiction became possible by utilizing the inherent materiality of plastic: being flexible and capable of providing a spring-loaded mechanism. Zeph’s joyful aesthetics provide surprising ergonomic benefits too,” said Burkhard Schmitz, who helms Studio 7.5 with Carola Zwick and her brother Roland Zwick.
After many iterations of 3-D printed prototypes, Studio 7.5 perfected a one-piece seat and back that actually moves with the person sitting in it. While most chairs are static, the kinematic plastic monoshell on Zeph offers a natural recline that uses the sitter’s pivot points to create the right counterbalance and change posture seamlessly.
The expansive color palette also took inspiration from the past. “One of the things we wanted to pick up from Herman Miller’s mid-century era was the optimistic and delightful idea of the future. We wanted Zeph to be playful and happy,” adds Zwick. The palette or “the crayon box,” as Studio 7.5 says, is intended to be inviting for a variety of tastes, and to let users have some fun.
The uniform hue design, achieved by pioneering dipped-in color options, was first introduced to Herman Miller by Studio 7.5 through the launch of the Cosm chair. Through this process, color is applied purposefully to the entire chair, all the way down to the casters, accentuating the sculptural beauty of its form.