Zeph by Studio 7.5
The trio and their small studio were equally interested in Herman Miller’s 100-plus-year legacy, particularly two exemplary archetypes from the company’s back catalog: iconic mid-century chairs, such as the Eames Shell, and 30+ years of advancements in ergonomic seating. “The two branches haven’t always spoken to one another,” Carola says. “There’ve been times at Herman Miller where there was a pendulum swinging from one end to the other, but there was no middle ground. We wanted the chance to provide something that would bridge the two.”
It was, Burkhard admits, a “hard nut to crack.” They did it by animating a shell chair so it could offer not only the inherently joyful aesthetics that come with its visual language, but ergonomic benefits too. They created ample 3D-printed prototypes via trial-and-error iterations, some of which “looked like something out of a Tim Burton film,” Carola laughs, until they landed on a one-piece seat and back that actually moves with the person sitting in it. While most shell chairs are static, the Kinematic Monoshell on Zeph offers a natural recline that uses the sitter’s natural pivot points to create the right counterbalance.
Zeph’s shell offers a variety of knit options.
A rainbow of yarn make up the 3D knit palette.
“One of the things we wanted to pick up from the mid-century era was the optimistic and delightful idea of the future—we wanted to be a bit more playful and happy.” – Carola Zwick
The expansive color palette also took inspiration from the past. “One of the things we wanted to pick up from the mid-century era was the optimistic and delightful idea of the future—we wanted to be a bit more playful and happy,” Carola says. They call the palette the “crayon box,” and it’s intended not to be prescriptive but inviting for a variety of tastes, and to let people have some fun.