Masterminded by the German digital designer duo Clemens Weisshaar and Reed Kram, in collaboration with Audi engineers, here’s the pioneering Audi R18 Ultra Chair that impressively manifests Audi’s ultra lightweight design credo in a 2.2kg piece of furniture that is ultra light and extremely durable. Unveiled at the prestigious Design Miami, this seemingly humble household chair got a Vorsprung durch Technik makeover inspired by the Audi sports prototype ‘R18 Ultra’ that competed in the Le Mans 24-hour race this year, resulting in a tremendous 1-2-3 finish. Almost feather-light to lift, the striking R18 Ultra Chair’s multi-material space frame has been crafted with carbon micro-sandwich, high strength sheet aluminum, and carbon composites. Besides, we have also seen the limited-edition carbon-fiber furniture from British Designer Jules Sturgess that seemingly defies the laws of physics and has been influenced by the structural design and advanced materials and manufacturing processes used in the world of racing and supercars, along with the carbon fiber chair by Timothy Schreiber, and the contemporary carbon fiber furniture by Mast 3.0.
The R18 Ultra Chair’s creation incorporates crowd-sourced data which was acquired through thousands of high-tech testing sessions held in Milan during the Salone Internationale del Mobile this year.
Some 1,500 testers took the opportunity to try it out, and in the process informed the evolution of its design.
In conjunction with the engineers at Audi Lightweight Construction Centre, the duo Clemens Weisshaar and Reed Kram which is described as the ‘vanguard of the next-generation of digital designers’, used the data to analyze a wide variety of load scenarios and carefully adjust and optimize the carbon fiber lay up, geometry and the final object.
Notably, the visually-stunning chair embodies Audi's ultra lightweight design credo completely by following strict guidelines to shave off every ounce of excess weight.
However, at the Design Miami, the chair’s designers and Audi engineers gave visitors an insight into their high-tech labs and studios, along with the various stages of the development process of R18 Ultra Chair. And, it notably included a state-of-the-art industrial welding robot and the chair’s inspiration and namesake, the Audi R18 Ultra which is the pace car of an entire technology.