Coalesse Wins IF Design Award

IF Design Award – Coalesse – Photo Credit Peter Rüssmann


Coalesse, leader in Bringing New Life to Work, received the top distinction in this year’s iF DESIGN AWARD: the iF gold award. Out of more than 5,500 submissions, only 75 were chosen for the gold award by an independent expert jury.

Coalesse’s winning product, LessThanFive, won a gold award in the “office” category (discipline: “product”). The jury released the following statement explaining their decision:“The chair has exceptional material quality combined with an intuitive form. The use of carbon not only leads to an extremely light chair, but also lends an interesting aesthetic expression, which is both futuristic and contemporary. Details such as connections and transitions have been solved precisely and perfectly.”

“I love designs that challenge the norms and yet can be a business success”, designer Michael Young explains. “LessThanFive is a product that delights anyone that interacts with it and it is already proving to be a real success in the market. Therefore I am very proud and delighted that it got recognized with the prestigious iF gold award.”

Extraordinary craftsmanship: ultra-light and individual

The LessThanFive chair is entirely made of carbon fiber, one of the strongest and lightest materials available for industry and design today. At a weight of less than 5 pounds, the chair is able to support up to 299 pounds.

Michael Young explains: “We wanted to create a functional and ergonomic carbon fiber chair. Both shape and structure of LessThanFive are influenced by our collaboration with a manufacturer of high-performance bicycles. The technique is perfect for creating an ultra-light, stackable chair.”LessThanFive is manufactured from one piece by fusing together multiple layers of carbon fiber. With hinges and connecting pieces omitted, the chair can be conveniently used both indoors and outdoors.

“The chair reflects the craftsmanship of the 21st century which is characterized by clear, structural shapes”, explains John Hamilton, Design Director at the San Francisco-based Coalesse Design Studio. “The design is sophisticated, making the chair all at once functional, ergonomic and stackable up to four times.”LessThanFive comes in six standard versions, but can also be personalized: By using the web based customizer tool, individualists can upload their very own surface design and color to have their unique LessThanFive version designed.

After having won the Best of Best of NeoCon Silver Award and the Buildings Innovations Award when launched in 2014, as well as recently the 2016 GOOD DESIGN Award, “LessThanFive confirms itself as an iconic product that represents a revolution in the way Coalesse is defining modern craft”, says John Hamilton.

About Michael Young

Michael Young was born in 1966 in Sunderland, a small industrial city in the North-East of England, and over the last 20 years has established himself as one of the leading international figures in his field. Since forming his studio, revered retailers and institutions such as The Conran Shop and the Pompidou Museum quickly began demanding his work. He became known in the industry as a sophisticated minimalist acclaimed for his elegant, pared-down aesthetic design.

After nearly a decade working across the U.K. and Iceland, Michael was enticed to Asia by his passion for pioneering technology, and in 2006 set up a studio in Hong Kong. Today the Michael Young Studio is considered to be one of the most exciting and formidable design companies operating in Asia, responsible for designing icons for its clients that last a lifetime, have won awards and are presented in museums globally. Michael Young collaborated with the Coalesse Design Group to create the LessThanFive Chair available through Coalesse.

About Coalesse

Led by intuition, backed by research, and driven by design – Coalesse creates thoughtful furnishings for the modern workplace. We help our customers to make great spaces that inspire great work by empowering social connection, creative collaboration, and focus and rejuvenation. From our San Francisco studio for workplaces around the world, we design products that blend beauty and utility, comfort and vitality, and insights with inspiration to bring new life to work. As part of the Steelcase Inc. family of brands, we are globally accessible through a network of over 800 dealers.


Since over 60 years, the iF DESIGN AWARD has been recognized as an arbiter of quality for exceptional design. The iF label is renowned worldwide for outstanding design services, and the iF DESIGN AWARD is one of the most important design prizes in the world. Submissions are awarded in the following disciplines: Product, Packaging, Communication and Service Design, Architecture and Interior Architecture, as well as Professional Concepts. All awarded entries are featured on the iF WORLD DESIGN GUIDE, in the iF design app and are displayed at the iF design exhibition Hamburg.