Armchair S 650: The Making of Story

Thonet Making of S 650

Discover the making of stories of our new lounge designs!

This week we are introducing Sabine Hutter and the making of her new lounge furniture programme S 650 which was inspired by Thonet lounge furniture of the 1950s.

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 inhouse designers: The Thonet Design Team!

Thonet Making of Stories S 650
Thonet Making of Story S 650

The source of inspiration

Sabine Hutter found her source of inspiration for the contract sofa S 650 in our historical Thonet archives. The design of ST 683 by Eddi Harlis from the 1950s offered potential for the design of a contemporary contract furniture programme range.

The exciting contrast between the graphic, lightweight frame structure and the voluminous upholstered elements as well as the clarity and discreteness would become decisive for the new design. The designer also saw approaches for a contemporary interpretation in the possibilities of flexible interior design and the formation of seating landscapes.

The drafting process

Sabine Hutter sketched out initial ideas and possibilities and generated an expressive modern design, conclusively incarnating the formal Thonet language. She also included extension options such as linking individual armchair elements and the integration of storage surfaces and electrical connections in her considerations.

The realization in the CAD programme and examination of the design with scaled models served as the first proportional control steps.

Thonet Making of Story S 650
Thonet Making of Story

The model making process

The construction of a full-size prototype was a milestone on the way to the final product. Many factors such as ergonomics, seating comfort and stability were examined, optimised and improved. The close contact with our model making and production facilities was a reliable pillar for the precise definition of materials and details.

The subsequent substantiation in the CAD programme helped examine the interaction of the many individual components and elaborate details in a targeted way. Sabine Hutter gave special attention to the development of the upholstery and seams, aiming to enhance the graphic contours and look of the furniture.

Thonet Making of Story S 650
Thonet Making of Story S 650

The pilot series

As a preparation for the public premiere at the 2015 Salone del Mobile in Milan, Sabine Hutter developed various colour concepts that achieved different effects of the furniture in rooms. The design and realisation of assembly instructions for the connecting table S 655 was also part of the development and a varied graphic discipline.

The finished, newly designed product

The final presentations at trade fairs and road shows and the accompaniment of photo shoots were very exciting events at the end of this development process, presenting the programme range in all of its modularity and diversity.

The positive feedback from our customers and specialist dealers during these shows served as wonderful and enriching confirmation for the designer. 

Thonet Making of Story S 650
Thonet Making of Story S 650

The designer

Sabine Hutter, born 1982 in Lich near Gießen, Germany, headed the graphic design unit at TeDo-Verlag in Marburg/Lahn after training as a media designer. Afterwards, from 2006 until 2011, she studied integrated product design at Coburg University of Applied Sciences and Arts and worked as an intern at Radius Design in Brühl and at Designkonzentrat in Cologne. Since 2012, Sabine Hutter has been working in the THONET product development unit as a designer and project manager.

Photo: Philipp Thonet

» The Thonet Design Team