It almost makes sense for automakers and design firms to develop products together given all the effort that goes into making a car, at least that’s what it seems Mercedes-Benz this thinking.
It unveiled a furniture line earlier this week and now German automaker Audi has teamed up with Clemens Weisshaar and Reed Kram on its “R18 Ultra Chair.”
The piece will be developed using lightweight manufacturing methods from Audi’s R18 Ultra race car and will consist of a carbon composite seat, a carbon-rubber backrest and aluminum legs. Similar to how Nissan employed NASA’s assistance for its new Altima “space seats,” Audi will use the general public to crowdsource data and finalize the R18 Ultra Chair’s design.
The public will be able to test a prototype of the R18 Ultra Chair in the courtyard of the 18th Century Palazzo Clerici, Milan from April 17 to 22 during the 51st Salone Internazionale del Mobile.
Filled with a network of sensors, the chair will gather data from those that sit in it. That data will then be processed by algorithms designed by Weisshaar and Kram to determine the final shape of the chair. Essentially, it will be a live laboratory to determine what will make the chair comfortable for an average person.
Overengineering or just intuitive thinking? We’ll let you be the judge of that; but we can’t wait to see how crazy the pricing will be on the R18 Ultra Chair. The final version will debut at Design Miami in December.
GALLERY: Audi R18 Ultra Chair