A look at the stylish task seating of today

This is part three in a series on task furniture design in hotels. Click here for part two: How high-tech design is influencing task furniture.

While a good desk is an important element of a hotel room, the desk chair is where business travelers may spend as much time as they do in the bed. As such, hotels must select chairs that can complement the overall style of the room, survive a wide range of people sitting in them throughout a stay and feel comfortable for late-night work sessions. 

Global Allies focuses on task chair design, and has created seating options for a range of hotels, including the W Dallas Victory Hotel and the Shangri-La Hotel, Bangkok. The company’s president, David Cline, believes that the most important element for a desk chair is getting a product that will last. “Consider the weight loads and the joints,” he said. “It needs to be a product that will survive any and all traumatic or open-market abuse.”

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When pairing a desk and a chair, hoteliers and designers also need to look the logistics of each. “Consider the frame and the body of the chair and the arm height—all of that needs to be considered so you don’t come into conflict with desk design, so that the chair and the desk work together,” Cline said. 

One of Global Allies’ most popular chairs, Cline said, is the Manhattan model, which is available in two versions. The original had exposed metal parts that, he said, were beautiful for a room’s design, but in a guestroom with heavy usage, they could easily bruise or chip a desk. “For our interpretation, we took those components and made them internal,” he said. “We modified the frame from an exposed metal frame to an internal frame, eliminating the impact to a desk. The modification was for operational consideration, so we have a room that performs without issue.” 

"A good desk chair is not a dining chair,” Jenny Vance, VP of Astoria Compass. “You need to be able to move in it, to recline, to perch at the end of the seat and even perhaps spin around it with sheer joy that you have finally finished your emails.”