Cosm Chair, Dipped in Color by Herman Miller
The COSM Chair, Dipped in Color by Herman Miller represents a departure from ergonomic task chairs as we’ve come to know them and a turn to what an ergonomic task chair should be. In an ideal world, your chair should be something you don’t even think about. You should sit down and be ready to work. That’s what the COSM Chair accomplishes. It makes pressure-point free sitting intuitive and automatic.
Designed by Studio 7.5, Herman Miller wanted a chair that was actually responsive to the sitter. Drawing on similar silhouettes to past designs like the Setu and Eames Aluminum Group, the goal was to make a chair that is supportive the very first time you sit in it. You don’t need to adjust it; the chair simply responds to your body’s unique needs. Built out of a reactive frame and breathable mesh, the chair is ready for your body to tell it what to do. You don’t have to push buttons and pull levers. You just sit down. It’s one of the first truly non-adjustable ergonomic chairs that the world has ever seen. The COSM Chair is straightforwardness in a world of overcomplication. Simplify your workday with a chair as smart as you are.
- Natural Balanced Movement: Herman Miller chairs move in tandem with you, through any change in position, keeping your entire body stress-free.
- Total Spinal Support: When your body is properly supported as you sit, you have the strength you need to stay comfortable and injury-free as you work. The Cosm chair's intercept suspension eliminates gaps between seat and back through continuous contour, enveloping you and offering uninterrupted comfort and ergonomic support.
- Dynamic Fit: Herman Miller's high-performance task chairs are designed to support you through all your twists and turns, no matter the shape or size of your body.
- Auto-Harmonic Tilt: Provides natural, balanced motion through a range of posture changes. Automated interface eliminates the need for tilt tension adjustment while providing the proper support and the right amount of tension.
- The Cosm chair's flexible frame allows for torsional flex so you can stretch and reach laterally.
- The new Leaf arm cradles the elbow in tasking or casual postures, without interfering with the work surfaces.
- Innovative Intercept Suspension mesh is breathable and temperature-neutral. The continuous form of this elastomeric suspension eliminates the gap between the seat and back, conforming to each person's body to provide dynamic spinal support.
Overall: 29.3" H x 29.3" W x 26.7" D
Overall Product Weight: 50
Seat Height Range: 14.8" to 20.9"
Assembly Required: No
PRODUCT DESIGN STORY
For the Berlin-based designers at Studio 7.5—Carola Zwick, Roland Zwick, and Burkhard Schmitz—their latest chair for Herman Miller represents something of a holy grail: a design that creates a new reference point for instant, personalized comfort. Cosm’s new Auto-Harmonic Tilt, in particular, has been a goal they’ve worked toward for years.
The designers knew, even when working on predecessors like Mirra, Setu, and Mirra 2, that the ideal chair would provide a smooth feeling of natural balance. “You should have a chair that allows you to change postures as easily as possible,” Roland says. “You can only do that with a chair that is correctly adjusted, so we wanted to build a chair that does that part for you.”
A tilt is to a chair what a transmission is to a car, and like transmissions, some are manual, and others, such as Cosm’s, are automatic. With other self-adjusting models, the chair decides how you should sit by forcing the body to conform to the tilt’s movement. Cosm’s Auto-Harmonic Tilt puts the person first and responds to them—no matter their posture—providing a balanced recline and personalized comfort. Studio 7.5 and Herman Miller perfected the self-adjusting tilt by inventing a complex, finely tuned mechanism. Accounting for the sitter’s vertical force—which is always in flux—the gears within the tilt move the fulcrum along a leaf spring to automatically adjust the chair’s tension.
The tilt alone doesn’t make Cosm the designers’ most refined design to date; a meticulous process of prototyping hundreds of hand-sculpted and 3D-printed parts paved the path toward a seating experience unlike any other. “One of the biggest challenges—or I should say, one of the biggest opportunities—was to determine how to attach the suspension in a way that made it blend into the frame as seamlessly as possible,” Burkhard says. The answer came in the form of small “teeth” that allow the suspension material to clip into the chair’s frame while staying taut for even pressure distribution. The ingenious way that Studio 7.5 has attached the suspension to the frame is a prime example of what they call “industrial craftsmanship”—a guiding light in their design process. “We like a product that is readable so that you can understand, even if you’re not a mechanic or an engineer, how you’re being supported,” Carola says.
The chair’s ergonomic design is further enhanced by Cosm’s Leaf Arms—the first of their kind. The design began as an ungainly piece of foam wrapped over wood, but over time, it’s shifted shape, size, and nicknames—including motorcycle seat, half-pipe for your arms, and Dumbo ears. “The elbow is a very delicate part of our anatomy; it wants to be placed in a very soft but firm spot,” Burkard explains. “Cosm’s Leaf Arms follow the overall functional and aesthetic intent of the chair by providing a simple and super slim visual appearance with superior comfort.” Cognizant of how we work today, Studio 7.5 designed the arm to provide comfort for variety of applications. The Leaf Arms make holding a phone or book natural and comfortable, and the angle of the arms mean they don’t get in the way of a desk when it’s time to get back online.
Although technical and engineering challenges occupied much of Cosm’s development time, Studio 7.5 was no less dedicated to its aesthetic appearance. With its continuous suspension and sculptural form, the chair appears as a single unified object, and not a collection of parts and pieces. This sense of unity is also reflected in its material composure. “The monochrome coloring dematerializes the object,” Burkhard says of the dipped-in-color concept—in which they present the chair in one hue from top to bottom. “The chair is made out of many different metals and plastics, but ultimately, it’s just one thing.”
The German word for design is entwerfen, which roughly translates as “to throw.” According to Carola, that’s “throw something a little bit ahead of the curve, or ahead of what you know, to help pull you in the right direction.” With Cosm, “throwing” led Studio 7.5 and Herman Miller to their most sophisticated design yet.
Burkhard Schmitz and Carola Zwick started their studio as a team of six in Berlin in 1992. The group was looking for the freedom to work on projects that interested them, and for the freedom to do so without bosses or titles.
This is the way they’ve operated ever since. “Everybody does everything,” says Schmitz, speaking for the group that now includes Carola’s brother, Roland Zwick, and a small team of seven. “That’s how we cultivate ideas and maintain our openness and curiosity.”
The group’s name—Studio 7.5—comes from an early idea to rent a 7.5-ton truck, put a model shop in it, and drive from one project site to another. Obviously, freedom of movement is important for these designers. They move freely—and smartly—when designing products for their clients.
The complexity of design problems, Studio 7.5 believes, requires collaboration, and repeated testing of ideas in full-scale models until the most elegant answer emerges. “You really have to work in three dimensions when designing products,” notes Roland. “Computer drawings just don’t give you the feel, the touch, the smell.”
They love designing furniture, or as they prefer to call it, “equipment,” as in the tools people need for the work that they do. They find designing office chairs in particular to be most rewarding and have worked with Herman Miller on the award-winning Setu, Mirra, and Mirra 2 chairs—and now, Cosm. “We define not only how the chair looks but how it performs,” Carola says. As to how Setu, Mirra, and Cosm all perform for you, they provide comfort no matter how or where you sit. “Our goal is to enable people to assume roles similar to that of a craftsman in his shop, surrounded by what he or she needs to be most productive.”
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Herman Miller® is a pioneer in the furniture industry, an innovator whose human-centered, problem-solving approach to design has introduced new ways of living and working for over 100 years. Environmentally-friendly design, lean manufacturing, ergonomics, the open office, even American modernism itself: Herman Miller and our designers have had a hand in shaping it all. In the spirit of our founder, D.J. De Pree, who established a willingness to abandon ourselves creatively to the influence of others, we’ve partnered with the world’s leading designers for generations—from midcentury icons George Nelson, Charles and Ray Eames, and Alexander Girard to Michael Anastassiades, Scholten & Baijings, Yves Béhar, and more of today’s leading design minds. Our work with them continues to explore design as a method of change, and the enriching value authenticity brings to our lives. Together, we’re shaping the new kinds of spaces where people will live and work for years to come.