The designers Clemens Weisshaar and Reed Kram are developing a chair within a public testing environment in collaboration with Audi’s Lightweight Design Centre using methods borrowed from the future of automotive manufacturing.
The R18 Ultra Chair consists of three main components: a carbon composite seat, a carbon-rubber composite back rest and aluminium alloy legs which can be compacted and transported in a lightweight flat-pack box.
Its genesis incorporates crowd-sourced data acquired through thousands of testing sessions using advanced industrial sensors whose data is processed by custom algorithms to adjust the final geometry and construction of the end product accordingly.
The R18 ULTRA CHAIR PUBLIC BETA installation will allow the public to take part in the interactive testing process for the development of this groundbreaking new chair in the courtyard of the 18th Century Palazzo Clerici, Milan from April 17 to 22, 2012 during the 51st Salone Internazionale del Mobile.
Audi Ultra stands for state of the art lightweight construction, technology and design aimed at streamlining and optimising efficiency across the board. This begins with the raw materials sourced for production all the way through various manufacturing stages, the operation of the vehicle, its fuel consumption and its deconstruction and recyclability at the end of its life cycle.
The chair’s namesake is the 24 Hours of Le Mans winning Audi R18 race car, as part of the installation, the Le Mans 2011 winning Audi R18 will be exhibited alongside the public beta testing lab. The carbon fibre monocoque chassis with an Audi TDI 3.7 litre V6 engine and total weight of only 900kg represents the ultimate in lightweight construction.