How Bogaerts Label Developed Jacob Nitz’s Siren Chair

For this installment of Deconstruction, we check in with Eindhoven-based Bogaerts Label to hear more about the Siren Chair designed by Jacob Nitz. The silhouette may seem simple and fairly minimalist but the complex design went through an extensive design process, one that’s still going on as they continue to explore new versions for the future. Here, Bogaerts Label takes us through all the stages that resulted in this colorful workplace staple.

The Siren chair got its name, literally, from a siren of an ambulance that was in front of Jacob Nitz’s house in Chicago when he was making the first design sketches of his Siren chair.

Jacob wanted to have a continuous line as a framework which would embrace the seating. To enhance this design aspect he didn’t want any exposed fasteners.

The first draft of the Siren chair. We chose to do double sided seating so we could play with more colors and contrast to give Siren that extra distinguished touch.

When we were working on the details of Siren we started to think about functionality and how to present this to the market. What else could we do with this design approach to create a family of Siren products?

Determining our goals for Siren we decided that the chair should be stackable. Not only would this be perfect for users in office spaces, but also for shipping. This way we could send out chairs assembled and as small as possible. So we changed the width of the framework to fit over the seating.

Result of the stackable Siren chair.

Arm study on the initial Siren chair design.

During the design process we made small side steps to research the possibilities of the Siren aesthetics. In this process we explored the possibilities for arm chairs, lounge chairs and outdoor chairs.

First draft of the Siren lounge chair.

It was important for the lounge chair to be stackable as well. Probably less important for the users, but a big plus when it comes to expediting international transport. The Siren Lounge Chair is still a concept, on track to officially join the collection in 2019.

Back side view of the stackable lounge chair.

One of the first attempts to create an outdoor Siren chair is executed with metal slates and finished in a monotone color.

In the process of exploring outdoor possibilities a seating with a metal mesh sheet was one of the considered options.

Outdoor Siren chair with hard wood slates.

Exploded view of an outdoor Siren chair. In this version we designed the seating to be made from 1 piece of sheet metal with laser cut slates. Instead of welding each separate slate to the seating, this version would need less welds.

The biggest challenge for production was the framework. We had several bends in the design that asked for good expertise and the right tooling. The first models didn’t go that well and were rejected after testing by our team because of stability. Eventually we managed to produce the Siren framework in perfect balance.

In this phase the most interesting part is to see where a design on paper becomes reality.

After creating the right bends and determining the best thickness for the tube of the framework, the seating comfort, height and depth were tested. A beautiful detail, seen here, is the framework separate from the seating. You can see how well Jacob’s design approach of the continuous frame line is executed.

Parts being bent by machinery.

With finished parts we could test the color tones in real life. The width of the seating needed to be less wide which was very determinative for proper stacking. The final model was in sight!

In the final stage of the first models we made an initial selection which had upholstered seatings / wooden seatings and optional arm rests in our program.

Final result of the Siren chair.

Final result of the Siren chair.

One of our hopes was that clients would combine crazy colors for their specific projects. Our fist setup was made to inspire that.

We chose to have the same upholstery colored backs to keep the varied color versions uniform – something our clients still embrace today.

Due to the growing request for custom colors, we now present a pre selection of frame colors and a wide variety of fabric colors for the seating, which results in some crazy color combinations.

Caroline Williamson is Editor-in-Chief of Design Milk. She has a BFA in photography from SCAD and can usually be found searching for vintage wares, doing New York Times crossword puzzles in pen, or reworking playlists on Spotify.