Ergonomic Furniture and Contemporary Home Design!
We hear a lot about ergonomic design these days. It seems like every furniture ad out there features the word in big bold letters. But what is ergonomic design? Is it just a popular catchphrase to sell furniture, does it actually impact the way we use and enjoy these products? Is there really much of a difference between the chair we sit in all day at work and the chair we sit in in the home office?
What is Ergonomic Design?
To understand what ergonomic design is, we need to have a handle on what the term ergonomic means. Ergonomic design is a form of biotechnology, (look at us getting all scientific over here!) it is the way in which an object is designed to provide optimum support to its user. Basically, ergonomic design is how physically comfortable your bum is in an easy chair.
You might be reading this and thinking, a chair is just a chair, but that’s really not true, is it? Think about the wooden chair you sit on every day at your local café when you’re working remotely. After about an hour or so, do you start to get a little uncomfortable? Be honest: how long are you able to sit in that chair before you have to get up and move? Compare this experience with the padded office chair you have at home. You’re probably able to work at least a few hours before you get up and wander to the kitchen, and that’s only to avoid doing more work.
Ergonomic Design: A Brief History
The success of ergonomic furniture took off in the late 1940s with the furniture designs of the architect Eero Saarinen and product designers Charles and Ray Eames. During World War II, Charles and Ray developed a way to mold plywood to make seamless splints to help stabilize the leg injuries suffered by American soldiers. After experimenting with the splints, the Eames figured out a way to apply their designs to furniture pieces using wood, and eventually, steel. After discovering how to mold these materials, the Eames and Saarinen applied these techniques to their furniture designs, molding each piece to meet the comfort of the user.
After the public was introduced to the affordable value of well-made, comfortable furniture, furniture companies everywhere began expounding promises that their furniture too was “designed with you in mind.” People raced to get these new pieces, and for a time promises of comfort and style were true. Unfortunately, a lot of companies tried to fast track their own versions of the furniture, and ended up selling pieces that entirely missed the mark. I mean come on, how’s that writing desk from Wal-Mart treating you?
While a great many companies have made a number of empty promises to consumers, there’s one company that hasn’t, and that’s Fritz Hansen.
Ergonomic Design: The Fritz Hansen Story
Fritz Hansen got its start in late 19th-century Denmark, when a young and talented cabinet maker named Fritz Hansen got his trade license. After obtaining his license, the cabinet maker tried his skill at furniture design, and by 1885, young Hansen turned his cabinetry skills into a successful furniture design company. Fritz Hansen designers have innovated furniture design in their own right, learning how to steam-bend beechwood and steel, all while maintaining the lightness and purity of line and form, two qualities that are synonymous with Scandinavian design. Their molded furniture pieces are as ergonomic and supportive as they were 50 years ago, and the company doesn’t show any sign of stopping this train.
Want to fill your home with beautiful, pretty and comfortable little things? Look no further than Fritz Hansen.