The Koi chaise lounge solves two problems with deck chairs. One is that they’re hard to move around and the other is their alarming tendency to flip over if you lean on them the wrong way. The first problem is solved by creating a chair that is light and designed to be flattened out and rolled up. The second problem is solved by a chair design that touches the ground from tip to toe.
Created by Sascha Akkermann and Flo Florian, who work together under the name Confused-Direction, the Koi is made out of a single thick sheet of polypropylene. In manufacturing, lines and curves are milled out of the material, which provides the creases that make it possible to fold the chair. This solves a third problem, which is disposal. "Because of the monomaterialed furniture, it is easy to recycle it to 100%," says Akkermann.
The Koi isn’t the first folding deck chair designed by Confused-Direction. They started with a wooden chair called the Poissonmobile. It looks basically like the Koi but at 22 kilos (48 pounds) it was too heavy to transport easily. From the Poissonmobile, they moved to the Salmón, which uses recycled truck tarpuline (sort of like Freitag’s bags), but these proved to be too expensive for most of their customers. "Then we found the fine polypropylene sheets," says Akkermann. They are easy to produce, very light, and "very comfortable." Perfect for bringing to the beach.
It’s interesting to see this meandering path of iteration in the product’s design and it speaks right to the name of the duo. "Confused-direction is the way we work," says Akkermann, "The way we go to get a solution is never a straight one. We try this and that to get the best option." Their working relationship can be characterized by a harmonious tension between rapidly iterating on ideas and attention to details. "For me it is important to get fast results," says Akkermann. "Flo can work on one detail for a long, long time."