Content - Design

Urs and Carmen Greutmann-Bolzern

Greutmann Bolzern

Simplex 3D was designed by the Greutmann Bolzern Designstudio. Carmen and Urs Greutmann-Bolzern established their design studio in Zurich in 1984. Today, it is one of Switzerland's most renowned studios. The duo go way back, to their time studying together at the FHNW Academy of Art and Design in Zurich.

Carmen Greutmann-Bolzern graduated as an interior designer and Urs Greutmann as an industrial designer. The office setting forms the focal point of the design studio, which the pair founded immediately after graduating. Since 2003, they have jointly held the Chair in Product Design at the Academy of Fine Arts in Munich.

They run their design studio in the former cigarette factory in Zurich, a sympathetically renovated factory loft with a large terrace, located on the waterfront.

Designstudio Greutmann Bolzern in the cigarette factory on Sihlquai in Zurich

Simplex 3D mock-up

Design concept

Urs Greutmann on the concept behind the Simplex 3D

"Due to newly-emerging office concepts, we have less need for functional swivel chairs with advanced ergonomic features. They don't work in this environment of sit-stand and project workstations. In this setting, a big chair just gets in the way or isn't where you need it to be.

Also, its operating elements are too complex. The original idea of a stool with a backrest that accommodates lots of different postures ultimately evolved into a simple, movable chair with a backrest. On the technical front, we tried out lots of features with the engineers at Girsberger and started with an air ring as the base, then steel springs, before ending up with rubber cushions to provide the cushioning.

The name "Simplex 3D" says it all: "simple" and "three-dimensional"."

Simplex 3D rendering - final design

Design briefing



Excerpt from the Design Briefing

"Simplex should live up to its name, in appearance and function. Simplex is for women and men, old and young. It is simple, inviting and, because it looks less technical than conventional swivel chairs, pleasing to the eye.

Expectations are confirmed or even exceeded when you sit down. Simplex offers a truly new sitting experience while also being easy to operate. Simplex is a healthy way to sit, because it encourages you to move while seated in a very natural way and within a secure range.

It is this feature in particular which makes Simplex a progressive alternative to the functional swivel chair in the context of the assessments mentioned at the start."