Blur the Lines 12 Tim Webber Design 9 Comvita Wellness Lab: Theatre chair

  • Pou Auaha / Creative Directors
    Danielle Barclay, Naomi Rushmer
  • Ringatoi Matua / Design Director
    Tim Webber
  • Ngā Kaimahi / Team Member
    Jessie Stent
  • Client
    Comvita Limited

Concept design

We designed a multi sensory honey tasting exhibition for Comvita inside a custom designed boutique 180 degree theatre.

The 30 minute immersive experience connects people to nature and educates them on the health benefits of honey by engaging all the senses.

As part of the design project we developed a concept for a luxury theatre chair to provide drama in the room but also most importantly functionality specific to our experience.

The form was inspired by the wings of bees and we wanted to give the audience a sense of relaxation and freedom of movement to swivel, taking in the screen.

Fit for purpose

From our early sketches we designed a theatre chair that was purpose built for our experience, enabling swivel movement to take in the 180 degree screen and also ease of access to the flight of honeys presented.

We worked through a number of prototype stages to ensure the scale, position, comfort level and aesthetic worked across a range of body types.

We incorporated a side table to hold the tray of honeys in glass vessels. Special consideration was given to location, size and proportion of the table and its relationship to the chair to ensure the piece of furniture worked for a wide range of visitors.

We developed two versions of the chair, a highback for the back row and a low back for the front row to offer choice.


Comvita is a proud NZ company and their connection to nature is a very important brand attribute we wanted to communicate.

We chose local wool upholstery in a two tone finish, a warm honey tone and a neutral grey to make this connection, with the woven texture of the fabric adding to the palette of matte rendered walls and gloss floor.

Feature timber panels were added to the back of the chair to connect the components, and add to the aesthetic as the chairs are first enjoyed from the back view as you enter the room.

Comvita is passionate about forest regeneration and conservation of our land so it was important for us to focus on a design which was as sustainable as possible.

The seat and backrest were filled with a mix of natural latex rubber and pure NZ wool. The biodegradable 100% natural latex was necessary for comfort and is created from the latex of trees formed into a foam using minimal chemicals.

Soft, small clusters of pure NZ wool creates a naturally luxurious and sustainable fill for the chair.

The timber pressed moulds were created using NZ radiata pine with no harmful emissions and the leg base uses steel which is the most recyclable building material in the world. The steel used is NZ made.

The wool upholstery, a natural fibre and renewable source, was produced using Palliser Ridge mid micron wool accredited with the Responsible Wool Standard.

This wool is scoured in Napier under strict environmental protocols ensuring they recycle and reuse as much as possible.