Prototype of the R18 Ultra chair from Audi's Lightweight Design CentreEnlarge Photo
Crowdsourcing is everywhere these days. Astronomers use it to find rogue asteroids. City planners use it to revitalize downtown promenades. And it's the ethos behind the game-changing Kickstarter.com.
So naturally, when Audi's Lightweight Design Centre needed to crank out a new chair, it followed suit.
Audi's designers were tasked with creating a superlatively comfortable chair that weighed as little as possible. They built a prototype of using materials borrowed from the world of automotive racing, including carbon composites and aluminium alloy.
Then, the team placed the chair in a public square in Milan, Italy and asked thousands of pedestrians to have a sit. As they did, scores of tiny senors attached to the prototype began recording data. The designers then crunched all that data to figure out where their chair was the most comfortable and where it could use some improvement.
The testing process was shown off at the Salone Internazionale del Mobile in Milan back in April. The final product -- dubbed the R18 Ultra, after the Audi race car -- will be revealed later this year at Design Miami.
For more information, check out the video below, or check this post at FastCoDesign.