Development mode

Clubchair S 830: The Making of Story

Thonet Making of Story S 830

Discover the Making-of stories of our new lounge designs!

Our prestigious archives in Frankenberg have served as inspiration for several new designs. Some of you might wonder: How does Thonet come up with those new designs? Who are the designers and what inspires them? And: Which steps are involved in the development of a completely new product?

With a range of brand new making of stories we would like to provide you with an insight into the work of our in-house designers: The Thonet Design Team!

This week we are introducing Emilia Becker and the making of her newly introduced clubchair S 830 which was inspired by Thonet lounge furniture of the 1960s. The upholstered armchair S 830 was developed in just one year. Discover the design process and development of this armchair, from its source of inspiration to the final product.

Clubchair S 830 Emilia becker
Thonet Making of S 830 Inspirationsmodell

The source of inspiration

The armchair S 798 by Hanno von Gustedt served as inspiration for this model. The small, compact armchair perfectly fits in with the era in 1963 and offered plenty of potential, which the designer translated into the here and now. Emilia Becker was especially fascinated by the interaction of the round shapes and edges of this armchair; the graphic look of its tubular steel frame, however, was also an important source of inspiration.

The drafting process

Aiming to close the gap in the portfolio of the Thonet Collection, Emilia Becker designed a fully upholstered armchair which embodies the essence of the 1960s. The designer got her inspiration from the Thonet Archives and the Museum Thonet, which is home to innumerable pieces of furniture from the past. After numerous sketches and formal ideas, the computer design process began, and it resulted in the first 3D-printed models at a 1:7 scale.

Thonet Making of S 830
Thonet making of S 830
Thonet Making of 830

Product development

After the formal evaluation of the miniatures, a 1:1 model was milled from MDF. Based on this model, the designer was able to assess the proportions, the incline of the backrest and the position of the armrests. A first test seating to evaluate the comfort of the chair was then possible. After further formal revisions, a ureol model was created and, simultaneously, various frames were welded in our model making workshop.

The young designer was fascinated as she watched the generation of the foam body.

First upholstery trials

In our upholstery workshop, the cut was produced and adjusted. A good result was quickly achieved with plenty of patience and handicraft.

Thonet Making of S 830
Thonet Making of S 830

Photo shoot

After the production was finished, the chair S 830 was properly staged and photographed. Important and beautiful details are now visible: the edgy and round shapes, the seams and the tubular steel frame perfectly embracing the chair impeccably come into their own.

The finished, newly designed product

After a development time of one year, the product stood in the assembly hall fully assembled and ready for shipping for the first time.

This was an exciting moment for the designer, who saw the result of her work in its final form for the first time: “From the first sketches to the finished chair, a lot of development and lifeblood was given to the project. It was both wonderful and relieving to see the final product, at last.”

Thonet Making of S 830
Thonet Emilia Becker

The designer

Emilia Becker, born 1985 in Uljanowkskij (Kazakhstan), moved to Germany with her family in 1992. She trained as a design assistant in Coesfeld and studied product design at the Münster University of Applied Arts from 2008 to 2012. She picked up her first professional experience with a start-up company, where she was responsible for the design of measuring elements for the sports sector. Since 2014 she has been working as a designer and project manager for Thonet’s product development unit.

Photo: Philipp Thonet