Serial entrepreneur and avid competitive tennis player, Dr. Rahul Anand (he’s an anesthesiologist), was annoyed when he saw college and pro tennis players throwing sweat laden towels on the court after wiping off. Initially, he had hoped this was just a rare occasion, but it continued to happen. Dr. Anand even contacted the players and/or their management teams to make them aware of the hygiene problem this towel discarding was causing. Still, no change. Exasperated, Dr. Anand decided to take this problem on. This is where FUSE comes in.
Armed with the problem Dr. Anand was trying to fix, FUSE got to work. FUSE retraced the research, and for sure, this problem is a new animal. Not that it’s rare, just that its not been recognized. Lots of products start this way, we as humans adapt to situations. Look at what TESLA is trying to do with the removal of stalks.
After numerous concepts and a couple of full scale prototypes. A tight production budget started to provide clarity. Our team and Dr. Anand settled on the Rocket concept. Initially the Rocket was a single part roto-molded creature. It would hold towels, warm-up clothing, balls, hydration and personal items (phones, keys , wallets, etc.).
While initially designed for tennis, our team imagines the pod being valuable in multiple venues. The Sport Pod is at home pool side, beach side, in the gym and in the world of hospitality. With available accessory trays, the Anand Sport Pod is the perfect guest at your next barbecue.
In order to ship around the country, the world, and not ship air (or cost more than the product), we worked with the molder to make the the legs snap on. It fits into a FEDEX and UPS friendly box and sets up in minutes with no tools.
When they go low, we go high.
The Ariel chair is an update to the Crane chair. This new version adds a visually thicker mold-able cellular structure that conforms to the users’ body.
The Ariel Chair features that same elastomer powered lift mechanism that allows users to set up standing desks and sit only when needed. Users can sit and lean against the Ariel with its easily locked casters. Ariel’s more minimal i-Back encourages active postures.
Complex only 3D printable structures are super intriguing, but really hard to make. At the moment, 3D printing while compellin,g is unbelievably slow compared to modern injection molding. This design creates a thermally neutral cellular surface that is cleanable and most importantly, mold-able.
After the Herman Miller RED Orbiter project, we had this idea about a way to better the Ready To Assemble / IKEA idea. I mean, who really wants to spend the time building furniture if you don’t have to? How cool would it be if you could still flat pack that piece of furniture,but then its already assemble and all you need to do is “pose it” and then just lock it down? It would be not only flat packable but also transforming and poseable into different postures. We thought it would be really cool and started with a chair- the Arma Chair like “armature” – get it?! Clever, right?
Sitting Is The New Smoking
This project was born within FUSE during the time when became widely recognized that standing was better than sitting. This period saw the advent of work surfaces that raised and lowered. These were expensive desks and the other thing is it’s hard to love a desk or at least want to spend big money on a desk. We know you can make a desk from an inexpensive door and sawhorses and most importantly you can put the desk up high to support standing. What is needed is a chair that can support this posture. Even better would be a chair that can go from traditional task height to stool height, maybe even allowing a worker to perch or lean against that chair. Easily done with locking a few casters!
Also, for the facilities managers who must purchase chairs for an organization the Crane chair supports all the work surface heights a facility may have.
We submitted this design to premiere office seating manufacturer Herman Miller (HM) and they picked up on it, flew our principal to HQ and launched a project to build a prototype. The project hit a snag when the HM design manager went on maternity leave but this led to our participation in multiple projects at HM.
A Masters in Cartography
After the missing in action Crane Chair prototype, Herman Miller contacted FUSE to participate in a design competition to design a furniture line or system that fell somewhere between Office Depot and the more expensive Contract furniture. We were told it need to be flat packed and Ready To Assemble (RTA). After that, the requirements were up to us. FUSE said “yes” and was given 3o days to come up with something to present at HM headquarters. Our design focused on what we thought all start-ups, fast moving design firms needed. That is: what we needed. We knew we wanted wheels and adjustable work surface heights. We had built our own MDF work surfaced desks and knew how heavy they were. We used this super light structural material called PEPCORE for our work surfaces. We also noticed that all images of all furniture never showed the cords that ran the CPU’s, monitors and equipment that every knowledge worker used . We made our vertical structures into cable ways with multiple access point for cords to enter and exit.
Our design was one of the winners and went on to be prototyped by HM. Ultimately, we lost the PEPCORE work surface as the supplier could not make enough of it, cheap enough, but our design was being manufactured.