Variable™ Plus

The original kneeling chair
Peter Opsvik, 2021

Variable Plus is an advancement of the iconic Variable. Featuring a fixed backrest with an upholstered cushion, the chair inspires you to vary between a wider range of sitting positions, while still providing the unparalleled functionality of the original kneeling chair. The backrest provides support when leaning back, shift your weight forward and the shin cushions offer support while you focus on the task in front of you. The curvature of the wooden runners is optimized, ensuring that finding and holding a balanced position is both effortless and intuitive. Variable Plus is suitable for use by any standard height table. The chair is available in a natural or black finish, and a wide range of upholstery fabrics and colors. The wooden parts are made from layers of beech and ash veneer.

Quick ship items

The following cushions & base combinations are typically in stock and ready to ship within 7 calendar days. Shipping takes 2-3 days anywhere in the US. SOFT TAPE IS NOW INCLUDED FOR FREE!

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$599.00Variable +, Black Revive on Natural wood
$599.00Variable +, Black Revive on Black wood

Designer

Peter Opsvik

Peter Opsvik is a Norwegian industrial designer born in 1939, trained at the Bergen College of Applied Art and the Norwegian State College of Applied Art in Oslo. Opsvik has worked as a freelance industrial designer since 1970, and currently has his own design studio in Oslo, where he works with seven colleagues focusing on product design as a means for solving real-life problems. Throughout his career, Opsvik has attempted to overcome our stereotypical sitting habits with his unconventional seating solutions. With a playful and human starting point, his work is a display of how norms of sitting nicely and sitting still can be broken.

The Balans® Concept 

At the very beginning of 1976, Hans Christian Mengshoel (1946) initiated a study that set out to answer how we could sit in more balanced and ergonomic ways. Through observation and research, Mengshoel found that a seat that was tilted slightly forward encouraged a natural posture that provided greater mobility and relieving unwanted pressure while seated. The idea of shin support was introduced to keep the user from sliding off the seat while simultaneously maintaining an open hip angle. With this, Mengshoel initiated the concept of the kneeling posture in Norway and set the mark for a truly experimental time in Norwegian design history.

Mengshoel invited designers Oddvin Rykken, Peter Opsvik, and Svein Gusrud to design products based on the novel balans concept. The collaboration resulted in several experimental designs, where stereotypical views of sitting and seating were abandoned. A collection of Balans prototypes were displayed at the 1979 Scandinavian Furniture Fair in Copenhagen, where they received significant attention. In 1984 the three designers and Mengshoel were awarded the Jacob Prize, the highest recognition granted to designers, architects, and artists in Norway, for their original contributions.

Materials

Variable is made from beech plywood. The plywood is treated through an iterative molding process where several veneer layers are combined and glued. Through the application of combined heat and pressure, the layers are given their characteristic shape. All wooden parts are flexible and strong, ensuring a sitting experience that is never static. For a beautiful and durable finish, our plywood is covered with an ash top veneer, manually sanded and coated with water-based lacquers.

Fabric

Revive is a vibrant upholstery textile designed by Georgina Wright, produced by Kvadrat. Made from 100% post-consumer recycled polyester, it is created with a focus to reduce the environmental impact both in production and on natural resources.

Weight limit for the Variable Balans

The weight limit as far as warranty/defects are concerned is 240 pounds. (Another option is the Thatsit, which has a weight limit of 300 pounds)

Waranty for the Variable Balans

We are proud of our products and stand by all of them with a 7-year warranty against fabrication faults on the wooden parts, and 5-year warranty against fabrication faults on the mechanism. If for any reason you are not satisfied with your order, you can return it within 30 days. We do recommend however that you try it for at least 2 weeks, as it can take a bit to get used to.

How to sit on a Variable Balans?

It is important that most of the weight is on your hips and only about 10-15% is on your shins. Also, your kneecaps should not be touching the padding. This will help your back be more aligned and help you feel more balanced on the runners. 

Supplementing with the optional backrest, adds to the range of possible sitting positions, allowing you to lean back and stretch out. Designed as an open construction, free of mechanical adjustment parts, the Variable is lightweight and can easily be moved around. When you’re done for the day, simply place the chair on the edge of your tabletop, keeping it off the floor and out of the way.

The Variable is available in a natural or black finish and a wide range of upholstery fabrics and colors. The wooden runners are made from layers of beech and ash plywood, which are laminated and given their characteristic shape through the application of heat and pressure. This traditional woodworking technique allows for extreme shapes that endure continuous pressure. Enabling us to craft functional furniture based on creative designs, without the constraints warranted when using solid wood. All wooden parts are flexible and strong, ensuring a sitting experience that is never static.