Title:
Suspension Chair
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A chair of the invention includes at least one of a seat assembly and a back assembly. The seat assembly includes a pair of spaced seat supports. A seat is flexibly connected to the seat supports. The seat includes a plurality of rigid seat members connected together by one or more seat flexible members interlaced or woven around the seat members. The back assembly includes a pair of spaced back supports. A back is connected to the back supports. The back includes a plurality of rigid back members connected together by one or more back flexible members interlaced or woven around the back members.



Inventors:
Lutz, Jason (Danville, VT, US)
Application Number:
14/603442
Publication Date:
07/23/2015
Filing Date:
01/23/2015
Assignee:
LUTZ JASON
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
297/452.1
International Classes:
A47C3/00; A47C5/00; A47C5/02
View Patent Images:
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20020166941Seat postNovember, 2002Dunlap
20050151405Vehicle seating with protected living spaceJuly, 2005Dowty et al.
20110062759Seat Mechanism for an Item of Seating Furniture, in Particular Office Swivel ChairMarch, 2011Härtel
20070057561Leg rest device for a wheelchairMarch, 2007Liao



Foreign References:
GB390579A1933-04-13
Primary Examiner:
NELSON JR, MILTON
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
THE WEBB LAW FIRM, P.C. (PITTSBURGH, PA, US)
Claims:
The invention claimed is:

1. A chair, comprising at least one of a seat assembly comprising: a pair of spaced seat supports; and a seat comprising a plurality of rigid seat members connected by one or more seat flexible members woven around the seat members, wherein outer seat members are connected to an adjacent seat support by one or more flexible seat connecting members wrapped around the outer seat member and the adjacent seat support; and a back assembly comprising: a pair of spaced back supports; and a back comprising a plurality of rigid back members connected by one or more back flexible members woven around the back members, wherein outer back members are connected to an adjacent back support by one or more flexible back connecting members wrapped around the outer back member and the adjacent back support.

2. The chair of claim 1, including both the seat assembly and the back assembly.

3. The chair of claim 1, wherein the seat members are connected to one another by seat flexible members at a plurality of locations.

4. The chair of claim 1, wherein the back members are connected to one another by back flexible members at a plurality of locations.

5. The chair of claim 1, wherein the outer seat members are connected to the adjacent seat support by seat connecting members at a plurality of locations.

6. The chair of claim 1, wherein the outer back members are connected to the adjacent back support by back connecting members at a plurality of locations.

7. The chair of claim 1, wherein the seat flexible members, back flexible members, seat connecting members, and back connecting members, are selected from the group consisting of manila and rattan.

8. The chair of claim 1, wherein the seat members and/or the back members are substantially cylindrical.

9. The chair of claim 1, including a pair of spaced front legs, wherein the front legs are connected to the back supports by an upper support and a lower support.

10. The chair of claim 9, wherein the seat supports extend between the front legs and the back supports.

11. The chair of claim 10, including at least one front brace extending between and connected to the front legs.

12. The chair of claim 1, including at least one back brace extending between and connected to the back supports.

13. The chair of claim 1, wherein the back members are substantially parallel to each other.

14. The chair of claim 1, wherein the back members form a fan shape and the back includes a centerpiece having an elongated body and a tapered end region.

15. The chair of claim 14, wherein the tapered end region comprises a pair of wooden end pieces connected to an upper end of the elongated body.

16. A chair, comprising: a pair of front legs; a pair of back supports, wherein the front legs are connected to the back supports by an upper support and a lower support; at least one front brace extending between and connected to the front legs; a pair of seat supports extending between the front legs and the back supports; a seat comprising a plurality of rigid seat members connected by one or more seat flexible members woven around the seat members such that the rigid seat members are movable relative to one another, wherein outer seat members are connected to an adjacent seat support by one or more flexible seat connecting members wrapped around the outer seat member and the adjacent seat support; and a back comprising a plurality of rigid back members connected by one or more back flexible members woven around the back members such that the rigid back members are movable relative to one another, wherein outer back members are connected to an adjacent back support by one or more flexible back connecting members wrapped around the outer back member and the adjacent back support.

17. The chair of claim 16, wherein the back members are substantially parallel to each other.

18. The chair of claim 16, wherein the back members form a fan shape and the back includes a centerpiece having an elongated body and a tapered end region.

19. The chair of claim 18, wherein the tapered end region comprises a pair of wooden end pieces connected to an upper end of the elongated body.

20. A chair, comprising: a pair of front legs; a pair of back supports, wherein the front legs are connected to the back supports by an upper support and a lower support; at least one front brace extending between and connected to the front legs; at least one back brace extending between and connected to the back supports; a pair of seat supports extending between the front legs and the back supports; a seat comprising a plurality of rigid seat members connected by one or more seat flexible members woven around the seat members such that the rigid seat members are movable relative to one another, wherein outer seat members are connected to an adjacent seat support by one or more flexible seat connecting members wrapped around the outer seat member and the adjacent seat support; and a back comprising a plurality of rigid back members connected by one or more back flexible members woven around the back members such that the rigid back members are movable relative to one another, wherein the back members are connected to one another by back flexible members at a plurality of locations, wherein outer back members are connected to an adjacent back support by one or more flexible back connecting members wrapped around the outer back member and the adjacent back support, wherein the back members form a fan shape and the back includes a centerpiece having an elongated body and a tapered end region, wherein the tapered end region comprises a pair of wooden end pieces connected to an upper end of the elongated body, and wherein the seat members and/or the back members are substantially cylindrical.

Description:

CROSS REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATION

This application claims priority to U.S. Provisional Application No. 61/930,531, filed Jan. 23, 2014, which is herein incorporated by reference in its entirety.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

1. Field of the Invention

This invention relates generally to furniture and, more particularly, to a chair having a flexible seat and/or back.

2. Technical Considerations

Conventional chairs having rigid seats and backs provide firm support for a user. However, these rigid chairs can become uncomfortable to sit in after prolonged periods of time. To help alleviate this problem, many such chairs incorporate cushions or padding over the rigid seat and back to make the chair more comfortable to a user. However, this padding requires extra effort and cost, and can wear out or become stained or torn, requiring the expense of replacement. As an alternative to such rigid chairs, chairs having more flexible seats and backs have been developed. For example, some chairs, such as some folding chairs and beach chairs, use a piece of canvas or cloth for the seat and back. The cloth seat and back are more flexible than the rigid seats and backs of conventional chairs. However, these cloth seats and backs also have drawbacks. For example, the cloth can tear or stain and, over time, the cloth can stretch, making it difficult to sit comfortably in or to easily get out of the chair.

Therefore, it would be advantageous to provide a chair with sufficient rigidity to firmly support a user but also have the flexibility to conform generally to the users' shape, making it more comfortable to sit in the chair for longer periods of time. It would also be advantageous if such a chair were made of materials more resistant to tearing and staining than chairs having conventional cloth seats and backs.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

A chair of the invention comprises at least one of a seat assembly and a back assembly. The seat assembly comprises a pair of spaced seat supports. A seat is flexibly connected to the seat supports. The seat comprises a plurality of rigid seat members connected together by one or more seat flexible members interlaced or woven around the seat members. The back assembly comprises a pair of spaced back supports. A back is connected to the back supports. The back comprises a plurality of rigid back members connected together by one or more back flexible members interlaced or woven around the back members.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

The invention will be described with reference to the following drawing figures, wherein like reference numbers identify like parts throughout.

FIG. 1 is a perspective view (not to scale) of a chair incorporating features of the invention;

FIG. 2 is a plan view (not to scale) of a seat assembly of the invention;

FIG. 3 is a front view (not to scale) of a portion of the seat of FIG. 2;

FIG. 4 is a front view (not to scale) of a back assembly of the invention; and

FIG. 5 is a front view of a centerpiece (not to scale) that can be incorporated into the back assembly.

DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS

As used herein, spatial or directional terms, such as “left”, “right”, “inner”, “outer”, “above”, “below”, and the like, relate to the invention as it is shown in the drawing figures. However, it is to be understood that the invention can assume various alternative orientations and, accordingly, such terms are not to be considered as limiting. Further, as used herein, all numbers expressing dimensions, physical characteristics, and the like, used in the specification and claims are to be understood as being modified in all instances by the term “about”. Accordingly, unless indicated to the contrary, the numerical values set forth in the following specification and claims may vary depending upon the desired properties sought to be obtained by the present invention. At the very least, and not as an attempt to limit the application of the doctrine of equivalents to the scope of the claims, each numerical value should at least be construed in light of the number of reported significant digits and by applying ordinary rounding techniques. Moreover, all ranges disclosed herein are to be understood to encompass the beginning and ending range values and any and all subranges subsumed therein. For example, a stated range of “1 to 10” should be considered to include any and all subranges between (and inclusive of) the minimum value of 1 and the maximum value of 10; that is, all subranges beginning with a minimum value of 1 or more and ending with a maximum value of 10 or less, e.g., 1 to 3.3, 4.7 to 7.5, 5.5 to 10, and the like.

For purpose of the following discussion, the invention will be discussed with reference to use with a chair having a seat, a back, and four legs. However, it is to be understood that the invention is not limited to the specific chair configuration disclosed in the drawings, but the invention could be practiced with other types of seating devices, such as rocking chairs, loveseats, so-called Adirondack chairs, and other such conventional seating devices. Therefore, it is to be understood that the specifically disclosed exemplary embodiments are presented simply to explain the general concepts of the invention and that the invention is not limited to the specifically disclosed exemplary embodiments.

A chair 10 incorporating features of the invention is shown in FIG. 1. The chair 10 includes a seat assembly 12 and a back assembly 14. In the specifically disclosed embodiment, the chair 10 includes a pair of front legs 16. Each leg 16 is connected to the back assembly 14 by an upper support 20 (e.g., armrest) and a lower support 22. The chair 10 can include one or more front braces 24 extending between and connected to the front legs 16. The seat assembly 12 includes a seat 28 connected to seat supports 30. The back assembly 14 includes a pair of back supports 32 (forming the back legs of the chair 10) and a back 34 connected to the back supports 32. The chair 10 can include one or more back braces 36 extending between and connected to the back supports 32.

As shown in FIGS. 1-3, the seat assembly 12 includes a pair of spaced seat supports 30. Each seat support 30 has a first end 40 (inner end) configured to engage or be connected to the back assembly 14 and a second end 42 (outer end) configured to engage or be connected to the front legs 16 of the chair 10. A seat 28 is located between, and is connected to, such as flexibly connected to, the seat supports 30. The seat 28 includes a plurality of spaced rigid seat members 44 flexibly interconnected by one or more flexible members 46 (seat flexible members) interlaced or woven around the seat members 44. In one particular embodiment, the seat members 44 are substantially cylindrical wooden members, such as cedar pieces. The seat members 44 can have any desired length, such as in the range of 10 inches to 25 inches, such as 10 inches to 20 inches, such as 12 inches to 18 inches.

As shown particularly in FIGS. 2 and 3, the flexible members 46 are interlaced or woven over and under the seat members 44 to connect the seat members 44 together to form the seat 28. The flexible members 46 can be made of any suitable material. In one embodiment, the flexible members 46 can be made of manila or rattan. As shown in FIG. 3, flexible members 46 can be positioned at spaced locations on the seat 28 to interconnect the seat members 44 at a plurality of locations. In the exemplary embodiment shown in FIG. 2, one or more first flexible members 46 are woven around the seat members 44 at a first (forward) connection location 48 at or near the front of the seat 28, and one or more other (second) flexible members 46 are woven under and over the seat members 44 at a second (rear) connection location 50 at or near the rear end of the seat 28. Thus, the seat members 44 are woven together at a plurality of locations. It is to be understood that this is simply one exemplary embodiment of the invention, and the number and location of such connecting regions can be varied.

The seat 28 is connected to the seat supports 30 by one or more additional flexible members 52 (seat connecting members). An additional flexible member 52 connects the outermost seat member 44 on one side of the seat 28 with the adjacent seat support 30 and another additional flexible member 52 connects the outermost seat member 44 on the opposite side of the seat 28 with its adjacent seat support 30. For example, looking at the right side of FIG. 2, one or more additional flexible members 52 (connecting members) can be used to connect the rightmost seat member 44 with the right seat support 30. For example, one or more additional flexible members 52 can be wrapped around the rightmost seat member 44 and the right support 30 for a plurality of turns. The leftmost seat member 44 can be attached to the left seat support 30 by one or more similar additional flexible members 52 (connecting members). These flexible members 52 can be, for example, manila or rattan. The number, location, and position of attaching the seat 28 to the seat supports 30 can be varied as desired.

A back assembly 14 is shown in FIG. 4. The back assembly 14 includes a pair of spaced back supports 32 and a back 34 flexibly connected to the back supports 32. The back 34 includes a plurality of spaced rigid back members 54 flexibly interconnected by one or more flexible members 46 (back flexible members), such as described above. The back members 54 can be, for example, substantially cylindrical wooden pieces (such as cedar) having a length in the range of 15 inches to 30 inches, such as 15 inches to 25 inches, such as 20 inches to 25 inches, such as 24 inches. The back members 54 can be flexibly interconnected by one or more flexible members 46 at a plurality of connection locations 56. The flexible members 46 are interlaced or woven around the back members 54 in similar manner as described above with respect to the interconnection of the seat members 44. In the embodiment shown in FIG. 4, two connection locations 56 are shown. However, it is to be understood that this is simply one exemplary embodiment of the invention and that a plurality of such connection locations 56 could be positioned at various locations as desired. The back 34 is connected to the back supports 32 by additional flexible members 52 (back connecting members). In the embodiment shown in FIG. 4, the rightmost back member 54 is connected to the right back support 32 by additional flexible members 52 wrapped around the rightmost back member 54 and adjacent back support 32 at two locations, e.g., an upper connection location 58 and a lower connection location 60. The leftmost back member 54 is connected to the left back support 32 in similar manner. However, it is to be understood that the leftmost and rightmost back members 54 can be connected to the back supports 32 at a number of locations, as desired.

The back members 54 can be positioned substantially parallel to the back supports 32. However, in an alternative embodiment, the back members 54 can be positioned to form a fan shape, as shown in FIG. 4. This fan shape embodiment can include a centerpiece 62, shown in FIG. 5, having an elongated body 64 and a tapered end region 66. The body 64 can be formed by a substantially cylindrical wooden piece of substantially the same diameter as the back members 54. However, the body 64 can have a length less than that of the other back members 54. The tapered end region 66 can be formed, for example, by a pair of wooden end pieces 68 attached to the upper end of the body 64, such as by a screw, bolt, adhesive, or other conventional fastening means. The outer ends of the end pieces 68 can be connected together in similar manner. The centerpiece 62 can be interwoven with the back members 54. One or more further flexible members 70 can be woven between the centerpiece 62 and the adjacent back members 54 to form a decorative pattern.

As will be appreciated from the above description, the chair 10 of the invention provides various advantages over conventional rigid and flexible chairs. The rigid seat members 44 and back members 54 provide a firm base of support for a user. However, since the rigid seat members 44 and rigid back members 54 are flexibly interconnected by the flexible members 46 woven around these rigid members, this allows the seat members 44 and back members 54 to move relative to one another and to conform to the general shape of a user. This provides more comfortable and enjoyable seating than with known chair designs.

It will be readily appreciated by those skilled in the art that modifications may be made to the invention without departing from the concepts disclosed in the foregoing description. For example, although the chair 10 specifically described above included both the seat 28 and back 34 of the invention, it is within the scope of the invention that features need not both be present, i.e., one could be present without the other. Also, although it is preferred that the seat members 44 and back members 54 be made of wood, any suitable material could be used. Accordingly, the particular embodiments described in detail herein are illustrative only and are not limiting to the scope of the invention, which is to be given the full breadth of the appended claims and any and all equivalents thereof.