By Patrizia Catalano

Everyone knows that in the world of upholstered furniture research usually means ergonomics, new typologies and covering materials.

But something different happens when this sector, usually not very innovative in technological terms, sets out to explore new opportunities, focusing on novelty that starts inside the product, testing the possibilities of offering upholstered furniture that has been completely updated in its functions. This is just what has happened at Natuzzi, in Santeramo in Colle. About three years ago the New Zealand-based studio Formway Design, whose main field of expertise is ergonomic office seating, aware that Natuzzi has worked at length on the theme of reclining seating with built-in movement mechanisms – and also sets aside 7% of its income for research – decided to propose a project for a high-performance armchair, with patented mechanical systems to put the chair into many different positions. Re-vive, the creature born after thirty years of gestation overseen by the Natuzzi staff and the New Zealand studio (and proudly presented in December, at the Milan showroom), thanks to its patented and top secret mechanisms, has an extremely adjustable back. A simple movement of the seated person visibly lowers the back, transforming the seat into a lounge chair. In short, the armchair, thanks to a reactive mechanism that compensates for weight, takes on different positions in a fluid, natural way. The secret of this mechanism lies in the spine of the chair, composed of composite injection-moulded polymer, and in the chassis, whose main components are made with injection moulding of flexible polymers. The idea of following the movement of the body is also aided by the ‘dynamic armrests’ equipped with reactive mobility to adapt to the movements of the arms, a sliding headrest that can always be positioned at an ideal height, a swivel base that facilitates movement when sitting or rising, and an inclined hassock that flexes based on the position of the legs and feet. Great care has also gone into the finishes, with Italian leather of the highest quality offered in different colors. The project is also ecosustainable: Re-vive is made with recycled materials wherever possible, and has been designed for easy recycling at the end of its life span. Pasquale Natuzzi believes strongly in this revolutionary design, and in the merits of investment in technology and communication: “At present, we put about 7% of our income into research and development, but over the next five years we plan to invest even more. Innovation means not just experimenting with new materials, techniques or forms, but also rethinking our way of designing itself, simplifying production processes and thus cutting down on transport and distribution costs as well.”