Deconstructing Product Design
Worked with Bill Stumph on this chair and on the Equa. He is dead now. He was a lot of fun to work with and very instructive. I had to find a material for the mold that was already made. Rynite (a PET resin like pop bottles use) was the only one that would flow that far and fill the mold. No one had injection molded anything this big before.
I sat in an Equa at work for 15 years and it’s still OK, being used 11 years on. He had rare understanding of designing for comfort. I remember on the Equa, the very top layer of foam was very soft, “To make people think it will be comfortable when they grab it and squeeze it before they sit down.”, he said. The Aeron pelical (stretch material) inserts are now much copied. Coolness is a big plus in the hot Far East. Don’t stand on the chair or it will stretch the material and it will never come back – irrecoverable deflection.
As a design consultant, I have used and recommended the Aeron chair since 10 years now, and still highly recommend it.
I think this is the best designed ergonomic chair in the industry.
I love the chair for its distinct appearance,comfort, and it is really good for my back!
This is so different from any other chair out there because of the pellicle mesh material; it is breathable (so you never get hot while sitting on it!) and evenly distributes your body weight as well.
I have worked with a lot of clients who had back issues, this chair is not a magical solution but they tell me it greatly improved the quality of their lives!
If I was to be asked what one thing I can’t live without? it’s got to be the Aeron chair!
Quite simply, the Aeron chair is the rock-star of the seating world. It can be seen in just about every commercial and movie where the filmmaker is going for a trendy or tech-savvy feel in a board room or office. It’s interesting to see a product get so much free (if subtle) publicity in other people’s advertising.
I think that speaks volumes about how the Aeron chair is considered to be so desirable that the product itself has become a success symbol.
I love the way this chair envelops me everyday. It has become my daily support system. It is minimum and maximum all at once.
While it’s your personal chair, its heaven. When it’s in a community setting, it can be hell. There are more adjustments on this chair than cockpit controls on a 747. Its like someone has adjusted your mirrors and seat in your car, but there’s too many variables to get it back just the way it was!
A success of function over aesthetics. The designers kept only functionality in mind, and while product testers hated it for its design, it succeeded in a world where looks govern commercial success
At first sight, there’s too much going on here. I wonder if there’s a big instruction manual to go along? Sorry, but it looks like a seat out of a helicopter cockpit.
I would love something more minimalistic and simple to use, while at the same time providing comfort.
I bought a Leap chair instead of an Aeron, because the Leap is billed as the “world’s most ergonomic chair”. I sold the Leap and bought an Aeron instead and much prefer it. There are actually less adjustment settings on the Aeron and the lumbar support isn’t so good, even with the lumbar support addition, but it’s much more comfortable. The only problem is that is gradually shaves my clothes and leaves loads of dust on the back components of the chair (mainly particles of my clothing).
In some ways, sitting in the Aeron feels like joining with a mechanical extension of my own body. And the visual impression created by the muscular mechanics of the undercarriage support the creation of that feeling.
Anything that needs interactive video stuff to teach you how to use it… not such a win for me, personally. I’d rather have a Stokke 🙂 [And, yes, OK, some of that is probably down to the fact that I never got one free in all my years in Silicon Valley whereas all my friends at SGI etc. had them. So even when I had the chance to expense whatever chair I wanted when I worked at MSFT I went for something else, simpler.]
The style grabbed me, the high price put me off. Then I sat in one at an office furniture store and while the price seemed more justified, I still couldn’t push myself to place an order.
For several years, I’d been forced to get chiropractic adjustments for back pain and was getting frustrated that the chiropractor was becoming my new best, well paid, friend. I could tell it was getting to about time for another expensive session and decided to see if all the hype about the Aeron was good marketing or the real deal.
My back was hurting when the Aeron arrived but slowly the pain got less and less and, since ordering my Aeron, I haven’t needed to get another chiropractic adjustment for my back! I wouldn’t have believed it if I hadn’t actually experienced it.
I get occasional “checking how you’re doing” calls from the chiropractor’s staff because I haven’t been in for several years. I credit it all to getting what may be the most perfectly designed office chair on the market today.
Love my Aeron. Picked mine up as I was leaving my old company. They just happened to be chucking some away – I had to grab one. After a bot if a cement dust cleanup, it came out like new and takes pride of place in my little studio.
Putting it next to Herman Sperlich’s 1938 Ironrite Health Chair (considered one of the first ergonomic chairs) for contrast, one can see Bill Stumph’s genius and wizardry with materials and physiology in taking the design process to its fruition. Health as a moral imperative should be on every designer’s ethical checklist.
It ooks like very complex and busy at the first sight. I hope it’s confortable!
This is the Iconic office chair of it’s time. I had the honor of bringing both Bill stumpf and Don Chadwick the designers of the chair to Herman Miller in the 1970’s. The chair was designed after I left to join Royal Philips Electronics in 1980 and I have used one ever since and can recommend it to everyone. I Suggest that you spell Bill Stumpf’s name correctly.
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