Core77 Design Awards
- Other Years
Small, simple, and something new – HiLo is a perch that will change the way you work. With its honest, personable design and revolutionary spirit, HiLo keeps you balanced between active and relaxed, fun and functional, sitting and standing.
HiLo was created by co-designers Seth Murray and Bret Recor + Box Clever, an award-winning design, branding, and product innovation agency located in San Francisco. The idea behind HiLo was to find a way to accommodate the elusive position between sitting and standing—a posture that is increasingly common in today's office as people shift back and forth between focused independent work, group meetings and socializing. And, for the increasing number of health-conscious people working at height adjustable desks in the modern workplace, there was a need for a form of seating that adapted accordingly. HiLo in its final form is more like an action-movie prop than the standard, sedentary piece of office furniture.
HiLo is designed for action and destined to reshape your day, HiLo is ready to take you where no chair can go. Pull it up to share a screen, pop in on a meeting, or take a standing break. Whether you're working alone or together, within tight spaces or tight deadlines, HiLo is a place to perch when and where the moment strikes.
HiLo was created by co-designers Seth Murray and Bret Recor + Box Clever. From their base in the Bay Area, Recor and Murray have a welcome vantage point on technology companies and, as a result, emerging trends in the workplace. Their immersion in start-up culture, where the boundaries between work and play are increasingly tangled, was essential in developing HiLo.
HiLo addresses two defining shifts in today's work culture: a focus on well-being, and the rise of untethered, flexible workstyles. HiLo goes beyond supporting the modern workplace and expands the possibilities. Users can experiment with a multitude of functions between sitting and standing, personal and shared – and find new ways to work.
HiLo places as great value on individual user experience as it does on the dynamism of the modern workplace by providing the user with an active way to sit. Keeping the blood pumping and energy flowing, the user can take a load off while keeping one's weight balanced between the base of the chair and one's feet. Based in Holistic Ergonomics™, it supports your natural movements and activities throughout the day by promoting frequent transitions between postures. Commenting on the status of workplace wellbeing, Bret Recor, co-designer, stated, "There has been an ongoing battle between whether it's better to stand or sit, HiLo wins this battle." Additionally, if the user is new to perching, a sticker on the foot illustrates exactly how to use HiLo. As a compact office companion, HiLo can pivot from individual focused work to a group setting by fitting in amongst other seats and enabling spontaneous collaboration. Whether around a presentation screen or in an open area, users can take HiLo on the go.
HiLo was designed as a small object that packs a lot of punch – lightweight yet stable, minimalist yet high performing. HiLo is made from two triangles – one is the seat and the other is the base – connected by a rigid metal stem. By rounding the corners of the triangles, the design conveys both the familiarity and reliability of a primary geometric shape and the friendliness of soft edges. Many months were spent conducting extensive user testing, followed by the refinement of details to create a truly intuitive design for the user. With a weighted base for stability, a curved lip on the seat to identify its back, and a gentle lean – HiLo clearly invites the user to take a seat.
Inspiration for the overall design of HiLo came from a variety of sources, ranging from footwear – how layers of foam, rubber, and leather can be bonded together to provide both support and flexibility – to basketballs – how changes and texture can be exploited to create a non-slip surface. Made of foam, the seat has a rubber casing, while the base has a spring steel sub-structure that is over-molded with an elastomer to provide flexibility. Rather than use a bulky gas cylinder for the stem, the designers developed a corkscrew mechanism that operates like a clutch to adjust height. A simple piece of aluminum and plastic, and gentle tilt communicate how HiLo functions.
HiLo's versatile and impactful design inspires a holistically more open and engaged workplace. Offering a spot to perch for individual work or a place for sudden collaboration, HiLo was designed for dynamic environments to encourage spontaneity, movement and collaborating leading to first rate creativity and quality work. HiLo's approachable form makes it the ideal companion about the office. Discussing the result, Seth Murray, co-designer noted, "We conceived of HiLo to personify companionship. It's right there, it's ready, it's reactive and engages with the user."