Generation by Knoll®

Designed by Formway Design, 2009

Generation by Knoll® is the world’s first multi posture task chair. It fully supports the upright postures required for focused work, through to less conventional postures in collaborative settings.

Generation thumb



Flex back: Integrally coloured, high performance elastomer and glass reinforced polyester structure. Height adjustable and high performance arms: Burnished cast aluminium and integrally coloured, glass reinforced nylon supports with integrally coloured, self skinning polyurethane arm pads. Flex Seat: high-resilency moulded urethane foam with textile cover and integrally coloured, glass reinforced, impact modified nylon structure. Base: Integrally coloured glass reinforced nylon or aluminium; five star design. Castors and Glides: available in hard and soft nylon, with brake. Also available with glides. Height Adjustable lumbar: integrally coloured, glass reinforced polycarbonate.


Base: polished aluminium, grey. The frame is always black. Castors are clear, whether hard or soft. 6 Generation back suspension fabrics. 3 approved fabric, 5 approved leather groups.


Generation supports the diverse range of postures and work styles that are typical of today’s workplace and promotes more open, expressive and interactive postures.

The flex back responds to your movements. The flex top folds down to provide a comfortable arm rest when side sitting. Lumbar support continues from the flex back through to the free floating arm pads, that naturally adjust as you change position. The soft seat edge flexes, unhindered by obtrusive levers.

The result is seamless movement from upright to perched to side sitting, ¾ side recline and full recline postures.

This unrestricted movement allows freedom of expression, encouraging creativity and engagement of individuals. Generation is the first chair to adapt itself to the user, not vice versa. Allows people to sit how they want to sit, whilst meeting international norms ergonomic guidelines.




Overall dimensions: 106.4cm high, 72.4cm wide, 66cm deep.

Arm height from floor: 57.8cm with height adjustable arms. 82.6cm with high performance arms.

Seat height: 41.9-55.3cm. Seat width: 53.3cm. Seat depth: 38.1-44.5cm. Base diameter: 68cm.

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Product Story image

By watching hundreds of hours of video and conducting in-depth interviews with workers of all ages, in all disciplines, Knoll and Formway Design recognised that the basic assumption about office seating — that there are only a few optimal ways to sit while at work — was flawed. In fact, their investigation showed that sitting upright and facing forward was just one of the ways people use their office chairs. Shifting, stretching, rotating, leaning, and reclining not only relieve boredom but are essential to our ability to stay energised and collaborate with colleagues. Understanding that no combination of adjustment levers could make a chair equally comfortable in each of those positions, Formway sought to achieve an elastic design—the idea that a product would rearrange itself in response to a user’s movements. After years of design and development, spent considering and reconsidering every component of the chair, Formway arrived at a truly innovative design. With a revolutionary new material for the chair’s back and a form that anticipates and allows for a multitude of body positions, Generation achieves Knoll and Formway’s mission to help workers sit how they want. It is truly the next generation of seating.

Designer image

Founded in 1956, New Zealand-based Formway Design has been designing furniture for more than five decades. In 1979 the company redefined itself, developing a new identity and philosophy that focused on team-based design and extensive research. Formway’s designs are informed by insight gained through observation and consideration of human behavior. Their user-centered approach marries a rigorous design process, aesthetic sensitivity, and a passion for the environment. Knoll and Formway first collaborated on the highly successful Life® Chair, introduced in 2002, which is celebrated for its sophisticated design, intuitive adjustments, responsive ergonomics and sustainable attributes. Building on these features, the two companies came together once again to develop the Generation chair, introduced in 2009. The progressive design features new materials and an elastic design that supports the physical and cognitive activities of the modern office worker. Inspired by Generation, MultiGeneration® and ReGeneration® expand the Generation by Knoll® Family.