It is not an easy jump from footwear to furniture, particularly office desks and office chairs, however Martin Keen founder of the popular footwear company Keen Footwear decided that after success in the shoe industry he would turn his hand to office furniture.
The Locus seat and desk is what came of Keen’s ventures. Pictured below, the Locus is an ergonomic workstation that includes a seat, much like the Swopper or sway stool. The design of the seat itself has been heavily influenced by a tractor seat and the products were launched on May19 at the International Contemporary Furniture Fair.
“Think of the saying ‘by the seat of your pants,” expressed Keen. His reasons for this are actually quite appropriate. The product that he designed is based on is a DIY version of an office chair and desk that Keen made whilst he was a product designer at K-Swiss and Saucony. During this time he was finding it hard to work for long periods of time in the chair that he was originally seated. He had always admired the simple ergonomic shape of the tractor seat and decided to base his design on this.
“They were made of cast steel, and farmers rode tractors for hours,” he explained. “They’d be riding behind horses, plowing fields–it probably wasn’t easy. But these old seats have the contour of human posteriors; they’re simple–there’s no superfluous design to them.” So he decided to buy one.
It was after this that he decided to create a stool to use with a tall table in his workspace. During this time and even now he liked to work in positions that were neither seated nor standing, he would lean back and forth doing both whilst working.