The best desk chair ever?
Now we all know the schlep that can be Sunday to Thursday and the progressively destructive back pain that comes with it. Well as the minutes roll on by Thursday afternoon, you’ll just have to worry about your plans that night, not an appointment with the chiropractor. The Aeron chair was first launched in 1994 by designers Bill Stumpf and Don Chadwick who both said goodbye to foam and fabric to create nothing short of a machine. The new and adapted Aeron chair has a reengineered tilt mechanism and an adjustable posture setting for spinal support meaning you can be fully reclined in relaxation mode or upright and focussed.
We know, it all sounds quite much for a chair but don’t be fooled the Aeron remains a silhouette of the iconic desk chair. After two years of rustling through different materials, top engineers and researchers, the next Aeron has been born, giving you nothing but a healthy and comfortable sit. Ahead of the chairs release in the UAE, we spoke to the designers behind the ressurection of the Aeron and what its going to be about.
ESQ: What makes the Aeron a design icon?
What is recognized by the world is the visible form of the product; the shape and proportions of the back and seat frame surrounding the woven Pellicle. All which were retained for the new Aeron. Something less visible but equally important to the chair’s success, was the problem-solving that Bill Stumpf and I had. At first we thought it would be popular in the tech industry but it was quickly adopted by the entertainment industry, and then the music industry, and then everywhere. It had a lot to do with timing and a little bit of luck!
How did you approach changing the design?
Bill and I set out to experiment with new technologies in materials and manufacturing. We were dedicated to breaking new ground in chair design. Twenty years later, I was asked by Herman Miller to re-examine the design criteria that led us to the first Aeron, however with some context from today. We took it as an opportunity to step back and ask ourselves how we could apply two decades of knowledge in material manufacturing to make the chair even better. The result is the Aeron re- mastered, retaining form while improving performance.
The new chair looks a lot like the original, was that deliberate?
Absolutely. Herman Miller has sold over 7 million of the chairs in 134 countries. Retaining the silhouette that the chair is recognized by was one of only two restrictions we had when remastering the chair, the other was to incorporate the composite leaf spring tilt mechanism. It improves the chairs movement and reduces physical and visual weight.
What can people expect from the new colours?
It’s not easy to join the many different materials that make up this chair. Laura Guido-Clark who is a creative director at Herman Miller had the objective to make the new colours holistic expressions, so that you see the chair as one thing instead of as an assemblage of parts. The colours for the new chair are mineral and carbon. Mineral, the lighter of the two new colours, comes in a Satin Aluminium that is reminiscent that is inspired by leading finishes from Apple and Audi. Carbon is a neutral yet cool medium-dark.
How does the new Aeron better meet the changes on how people work today?
The workplace that Aeron launched into in 1994 is unrecognizable today. People require freedom and variety within their work spaces to support multiple types of work. The cross-performance design means the chair fully accommodates the widest possible range of activities and postures people adopt while working. Research done by Herman Miller finds that organisations are realizing the impact of employees’ health and wellness on their productivity and overall satisfaction, so from top to bottom we designed the chair to be as supporting and comfortable as possible.
The Aeron chair will be available in the Middle East from November, 2016.