Eight months after its launch at the imm cologne 2012, the Flötotto chair series PRO is being extended to include a four-prong aluminium pedestal base and a bistro table. Flötotto is presenting the additions to the chair collection designed by Konstantin Grcic at Orgatec. In an interview with the makers of PRO, company owners Elmar and Frederik Flötotto and designer Konstantin Grcic talk about the development of the chair series.
For Flötotto, it was the idea of resuming the production of school furniture that set the PRO project in motion. How did that come about?
Elmar Flötotto: From 2008 on, after the Elmar Flötotto Holding acquired the Flötotto trademark rights and after many talks with customers, suppliers and opinion multipliers, the legendary Flötotto school chair kept cropping up in conversation. Because the product rights are held by third parties, but were only being managed and not developed further, we realised that we had to send a signal. We wanted the innovative chair for the education sector to be produced by Flötotto again. At least at the beginning, we had no plans for turning it into an even bigger project.
Was Konstantin Grcic the first designer you thought of for the project?
Elmar Flötotto: Obviously we put a great deal of thought into the design aspect right from the start. Who can combine all the necessary functions in a single chair? Who is a master of reduction? Who has the necessary sensitivity for such a complex task? It didn’t take my son Frederik and myself long to realise that there is only one designer who is capable of all this: Konstantin Grcic. He was the only designer we approached – and he agreed.
Frederik Flötotto: When we asked Konstantin Grcic to help us develop a new school chair, it was clear that we were aiming not just to satisfy extremely high ergonomic and functional standards, but to combine them with contemporary design and quality materials as well.”
What challenges had to be overcome in the course of the development process?
Konstantin Grcic: We concentrated very intensely on the scientific findings relating to school furnishings. In recent years, there have been various studies about school furniture, but the market didn’t react. That’s why we wanted to and had to react. The central question of the more recent studies is this: “How can furniture encourage children to learn?” Today we know that dynamic sitting, i.e. freedom of movement and the possibility of moving, facilitates concentration.
What impact did these learnings have?
Elmar Flötotto: Our reaction to these learnings manifests itself in the final result: in the outstanding design of the chair, in the remarkable comfort it provides and in its ability to adapt to many different spatial situations. PRO can be used anywhere: in schools, in the contract sector or in private homes.
Further information about the PRO-family at: