Made from plant polymers and recycled waste, Lightly is a lightweight, stackable, durable chair designed to do it all, with less. Lightly is designed for noho by award-winning studio Formway.
Where did the idea come from?
Like all Formway products, Lightly started with in-depth research to find unmet user needs. We found that our homes and workplaces have become increasingly multi-functional – think of having extra dinner guests at home, a space at work used for both meetings and events, or cafes and restaurants dealing with a rush of customers. Seating should be available when needed and disappear when it isn’t. We also see homes continue to shrink as cities grow, and furniture needs to be sized accordingly. Environmental consideration is another major factor for us. From material selection and use to shipping, the entire life cycle of Lightly needed to be a considered, responsible process.
What does Lightly do?
Lightly is a versatile chair for any space or occasion at home or in a commercial setting. At just 2.75kg, it’s super lightweight making it easy to move, it efficiently stacks 10 chairs high and is designed for any posture. The back surface provides great support for a wide range of users through its form and subtle movement. The contoured seat relieves pressure and makes any posture comfortable. Lightly is designed to exceed the highest standards for commercial-grade dining chairs to ensure longevity, even in high-demand spaces.
Tell us about your design process.
The project team are the researchers, builders, designers and engineers, creating a real drive to deliver on the needs identified in our research. The actual design process is iterative and rigorous. We are constantly coming up with new ideas, then proving them virtually or by building physical prototypes. For Lightly, we built a series of full-scale prototypes by 3D printing the shell of the chair frame before filling it with resin and long fiberglass strand. This created a single-piece chair frame with a similar weight and stiffness to the intended production material, which could be picked up and sat on. User trialing helped to refine the design to suit a wide range of users.
We love the colours, especially the yellow. Just saying.
Thanks! We started by hand-mixing colours and painting prototype chairs. It’s really important to see the colour on the actual chair so you can understand the effect of light and shadow, and see how the colours work in different spaces. We’ve been through hundreds of colours to ensure they work individually, together and in today’s interiors.
What is Lightly made from and how does it contribute to the environment?
Lightly’s frame is made from a plant-based polymer called EcoPaXX, made predominantly from castor bean oil. The castor bean plant thrives in low-quality, sandy soil and is rain-fed, so it can be grown in places unsuitable for food production and doesn’t contribute to deforestation. As the plant grows, it also absorbs greenhouse-causing carbon dioxide. The seat is made from a post-consumer recycled polymer called ASA, known for resistance to impact, wear and UV. noho products are sold globally, so the design process also needed to consider the shipping footprint. Lightly’s remarkable stacking allows a single shipping container to transport 1,650 chairs at once. By using great materials and using them sparingly, we designed the chair to last.
Lightly by noho