Product name designer tagline Gravity


Relax into complete weightlessness
Peter Opsvik, 1983

Product description text block Gravity

Designed with the intention to create a single chair that could accommodate both relaxation and productivity, Gravity is multifunctional without compromise. With its four angles, you are given room to alternate between postures ranging from kneeling to the fully reclined. Once seated, your body is constantly close to its balancing point, allowing the slightest shift of weight to bring you from one position to the next.

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Gravity Animation

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Leaning forward, Gravity can be used as a kneeling chair. Shift your weight slightly backwards for an upright position, placing your feet on either the floor or shin cushions for variation. To assume a reclined position, gently push away from the ground. The unparalleled feeling of defying gravity is achieved by leaning all the way back, to a fully reclined position where your legs are elevated above your heart. Here, the chair gently rocks in response to the rhythm of your breathing, allowing you to relax into weightlessness.

Two Close Up Images of Gravity

two detailed images of Gravity armrest and curved wooden runners

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Unlike traditional recliners, lumbar support actually increases in the reclined positions. The space between the headrest and tilted backrest, provides freedom of movement for arms and shoulders. The headrest itself can be moved up or down, allowing you to find the setting that best suits your needs. Apart from this, Gravity is free from mechanical adjustment parts, a distinguishing characteristic found in several of Opsvik’s designs. This allows the body’s natural movements to determine where we go, ensuring smooth transitions from one position to another.

Landscape Image

Woman relaxing in Gravity chair in modern workspace

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Gravity 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 robust qualities through the application of heat and pressure. This traditional wood-working technique allows for extreme shapes that endure continuous pressure, while simultaneously providing the flexibility needed to ensure a dynamic sitting experience.

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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 mean 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.  

Designs: Variable balans, Gravity balans, Thatsit balans, Multi balans, Wing balans and Actulum 

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 which was tilted slightly forward, encouraged a natural posture which provided greater mobility and relieved 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 where 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.