Vala Recliner by Atlason for Design Within Reach
Black Vala Recliner Open Back View
Rendering of a Vala Recliner half open
Vala Recliner by Atlason for Design Within Reach

Traditionally, recliners had been associated with older consumers and unhealthy habits; extensive TV watching, beer and lethargy. Today relaxation is still a pursuit but often accessed via meditation rather than beer.

We have less disposable time, less space for big things to clutter our environment, and less tolerance for ill considered products. There shouldn't have to be a choice between aesthetics and comfort, size and comfort.

Illustration of a Vala Recliner by Atlason for Design Within Reach

As a result, the chair succeeds in feeling fully designed both in its closed, and reclined positions. With all upholstery and mechanical details coming together intentionally, to imply something of a natural element at rest, or a gentle sculpture suspended in mid-air when fully reclined.

Rendering of Vala Recliner at four stages of recline
Vala Recliner Front View

1:5 scale 3D print.

IMG 0667

Recliner mechanism.

A full-scale 3D model was created to visualize the placement of individual components and parts that would bolt into a central skeleton structure. So as to ensure the inner reclining mechanism was fully masked, and the floating forms moved as intended.

Industrial designers at Atlason working on the Vala Recliner

Full scale 3D prints of the Vala Recliner's components allowed the Atlason the to evaluate the idea positioning of each element around the mechanisms.

The molded foam parts are engineered in various densities for maximum comfort and support. Molded snugly around the kinetic mechanism, that allows the chair to change modes while not taking up too much real-estate in a room. Vala is available in leather and a number of premium upholstery fabrics.

Vala Black Side A 2 copy
Black Back Open Black Base B 2022 06 22 144013 pwtc copy
Warm Gray Front 2022 06 22 145219 mfph copy

The Vala recliner is a contradiction, it is gender neutral, sharp and soft, small on the outside while big on the inside. Designed from pebble like shapes the chair presents as a lounge chair that doesn’t give away it’s hidden feature. A feature that is made obvious when pushing into the pack to transition into recline. The shapes pull apart forming a composition of floating shapes.

Vala for DWR
Furniture Design