22 Aug 2022 /


The project for the concept, design and development of the TNK chair dates from the beginning of 2004 and it was a challenge taken on by Alegre Design, a studio specialized in industrial design and product development, in close collaboration with Actiu, a company specialized in office furniture.

At that time, Actiu had reached a turning point where it wished to focus on a product with higher quality and better performance. Alegre Design, on the other hand, had been running as a studio for two years and was going through a growth phase.

The collaboration between both companies led to the commission for an office chair with high standards of quality, with regard to materials and functionalities.

The TNK marked the direction of the design company over the course the following years, during which the quality of its performance progressively increased. And it continues to be featured in the Actiu catalogue. 

With the design of TNK a high-performance technological platform was developed for the office, which opened up a new era with regard to the quality of the brand’s products.

“Created in die-cast aluminium, TNK provided the functional and ergonomic requirements of a high-performance chair, able to compete with the most ergonomic chairs on an international scale. This is proven by the fact that the platform is still in use today with the TNK and with its later models, such as the TNK 500 and the TNK Flex,” points out Marcelo Alegre, founder and CEO of Alegre Design.

It is a living product and, today, we are still working on product improvements to respond to the needs that arise for the user.

Its main innovation is a patent for the sincro mechanism, a breakthrough on the market since it allows the coordinated movement of the seat and the backrest to favour correct posture whatever the user’s position. 

It is a living product and, today, we are still working on product improvements to respond to the needs that arise for the user,” explains Alegre.

The challenge? “An office chair is a complex product, with stringent functional, ergonomic and mechanical requirements. And finding a balance between subtle aesthetics and those technical requirements was the major challenge,” says the designer.

“We cooperated closely with the technical department of Actiu to solve all the elements of the chair step by step, part by part and movement by movement, to generate a design that has made it possible to continue developing this product for the market for twenty years.”

“Before the TNK, we worked in Alegre Design on the dimensions of elevation, plan and section. But we did not yet focus on the confluence of the three dimensions. The biggest challenge was to work with 3D vision to observe the products from all points of view and to achieve something that was beautiful from all angles.”

That design became the foundation for the firm’s later work, based on the same pioneering synchronized mechanism, which led them to develop the chairs TNK A500 and TNK Flex, and to be recognized with accolades such as the Red Dot Design Award in 2012, and the German Design Award and Archiproduct Design Award in 2018.


Photography: Alegre Design.