17th April 2024

Foster + Partners Industrial Design launches new chair with Walter Knoll

The Osuu chair is Foster + Partners Industrial Design’s seventh collaborative project with the German manufacturer, Walter Knoll. Combining a molded plywood seat, steam bent dowels, and machined timber, the chair’s pared-back aesthetic and fluid lines make it a unique addition to the office or home.

Mike Holland, Head of Industrial Design, Foster + Partners, said: “We have a long and enduring relationship with Walter Knoll, having first worked together on the Reichstag project about 25 years ago. The Osuu chair’s effortless sloping form is achieved using traditional and modern manufacturing techniques to full effect. The chair embodies an inherent lightness, both in terms of its physical weight and a light-touch approach to design.”

The chair’s front legs, arms and supportive upper backrest are made from solid steam bent dowels. The molded plywood seat rests lightly on timber cross rails, gently curving over the top of the backrest and downwards towards the floor. The chair was developed iteratively and has gone through rigorous ergonomic testing to ensure maximum comfort. Weighing approximately 6 kilograms, it is both incredibly light and versatile.

Available in walnut or oak, the wooden surfaces are treated with a natural hard wax, creating a silky matt finish. Timber comes from the Black Forest, and all materials are processed within a 450-kilometer radius of Walter Knoll’s factory in Herrenberg. All wood variants are FSC certified, which guarantees sustainable forestry. 

Osuu also features an interchangeable seating pad that is made from saddle leather or wool felt. The pad is attached to the plywood seat using tabs, rather than screw fixings or adhesives, allowing the user to customise and reupholster their chair with ease.