Lexus says it will show off its Kinetic Seat Concept at the 2016 Paris Motor Show. The seat concept features a back rest and seat cushion designed to move kinetically with both external forces and the traveller’s own weight, the ultimate goal being to help stabilize one’s head movements as they result from vehicular motion. That is interesting in its own right, but the concept takes things a step further by utilizing spider web designs — and their silk — for design and construction. Says Lexus, a spider web pattern and synthetic spider silk are both used with its seat concept.
The Kinetic Seat Concept aims to provide those in the seat better comfort and, in the case of drivers, ‘ease of driving’ by stabilizing head movements to keep one’s vision steady. As part of the overall design, Lexus has taken inspiration from spiders by using spider web patterned nets with radially spread threads as a type of upholstery for the seat frame.
The threads, says Lexus, are spread radially from the back rest’s center; the netting itself is designed to better disperse load when someone is sitting on it, making the sitting process more comfort over long-haul trips.
The net is said to closely fit the sitter’s body shape, while the back rest’s center is positioned where the sitter’s shoulder blades would be. By doing this, Lexus says the traveller’s chest will experience “rotational movement” around the pivotal axis on the seat, aiding in that aforementioned head stabilization.
As well, those threads in the back rest are, in part at least, made using synthetic spider silk rather than materials derived from petroleum. Microbial fermentation is used to transform protein, among other things, into the synthetic silk, which is then spun out during processing into a material said to have ‘superior shock absorbance properties.’