There is a lot of variety in many things in existence, but there are few products which can fluctuate as far as the typical – or not so typical – chair. Chairs come in every shape, size, layout colour and fabric possible and they’re also able to function any number of different functions. In its simplest form, a seat is simply something that we sit on, but if you think outside that the seat becomes a much more complex item.
Ultimately every seat has a purpose and that purpose could possibly be a solitary one or one with multiple goals. The living room chair, easy chair or couch seat is a classic case. On the face of it, it is simply a seat, however, most folks who buy that kind of chair need it to do two things.
Firstly they want it to be comfortable, but secondly, they also want it to look good, fit in with the room’s décor and put in a visual point of interest. In terms of “comfort”, the expression is much too general. An ergonomic office chair is comfortable for working on a PC, but it wouldn’t be considered perfect or appropriate for watching TV in the day. So even “comfort” means different things in the context of different environments and different methods of working with a seat.
Our expectations of this chair have and continue to grow and expand as we create more actions, more ways of performing seated jobs, and as distinct designs and trends come into and go out of fashion. Ergonomics and orthopedics are currently playing an ever-increasing role in chair design as engineers seek to make seats not only feel great but also to actively encourage our skeletal and muscle structure.
The consequence of these analytical ways of evaluating mid century modern chairs layout has seen the development of orthopedic seats and activity chairs – chairs that work with our own body and that remain in harmony with the tasks or actions that we perform whilst seated on them. With an increasingly sedentary workforce and more and more seat based hobbies and pastimes, how nicely our seats support us is becoming increasingly important and this has been recognized for the future design of chairs.
So what does the future have to offer you?
Already there are seats in stores and in development which are replicating human chemistry in their own design. These seats have seat and backrest designs based around the human spine with the notion that a chair with a backbone can support a body based around a skeletal backbone. Each of those mechanical vertebrae segments making up the chair’s backbone is hinged allowing them to move uniformly in equilibrium with a human back.
Other developments are researching advanced chairs that go as the body moves. These chairs stop to be passive supports and become mechanically adjusting supports that twist and move as the individual sitting on them moves.
There are also self-adjusting chairs that shape themselves into the natural curves and bends of their back, shoulders, upper and bottom thighs by reacting to the different pressure factors applied to them. These seats will encourage everyone who sits on them in a slightly different manner by due to their personal biology, weight and body form. Ultimately the future holds many advances in ergonomic, orthopedic and active support seat design and we are only beginning to see the first fruition of these developments.