If you’ve ever looked into buying an office chair
and have say looked up some options online,
you’ll find that it’s possible to buy one for about $ 50.
There are also ones for between a hundred to a thousand.
And there are ones for over a thousand dollars.
You may think to yourself,
“Aren’t they all just things we put our butts on?”
“What’s with the big price range?”
“And what kind of crazy person would spend
over a thousand dollars on a chair?”
Well let me tell you a story.
The first chair I ever bought for myself
was a chair from.. I think Walmart, for like $ 39.99.
After about 18 months of use,
an arm had broken off,
the adjustable seat had gotten stuck,
the vinyl had ripped in a bunch of places
and the seat cushion was as flat as a pancake.
In fact, this chair wasn’t even frequently used.
I maybe sat in it for about
1-2 hours a day on average.
A good, durable office chair should last about 10-15 years
while being used continuously
for an average of a 40 hour work week.
A cheap chair may cost you less initially.
But if you had to replace it every year or two,
it may end up costing you more in the end.
And that’s not even mentioning
that cheaper chairs are often very uncomfortable
and not ergonomically designed.
This is not to say that every single person
needs to spend a thousand dollars on a chair.
For light residential use,
you could probably find a good quality chair for that purpose
for a few hundred dollars.
But if you’re looking to buy a chair for business use,
or you work from home
and you do spend about 40 hours a week sitting in it,
you probably want to look into spending a little bit more
to get a good quality chair for the long term.
Designing a quality commercial office chair often takes years
and cost a lot of money to implement.
It involves a lot of research and development,
testing of materials, concepts iterations,
and involve the work and input of
many scientists, engineers, designers, technologists
科学家 工程师 设计师 技术人员
and even healthcare professionals.
For instance, the Steelcase leap chair took four years to develop,
cost 35 million dollars,
and involved 11 academic studies.
But why do furniture manufacturers bother with doing all of those things?
Well one, because it takes a lot of work
to develop something that’s strong and durable.
Most commercial manufactures will put their chair designs
through vigorous testing methods for function and durability.
An example of this is the ISO 21015 test for office work chairs.
这方面的一个例子是办公椅测试标准 ISO 21015
This test would determine the stability, strength and durability of a chair
by applying various standardized simulations of functional use
as well as expected misuse.
Number two, most high quality chairs are extensively ergonomically designed,
since most of us expect to sit in them
for up to 40 hours a week.
Sitting for a long period of time in an uncomfortable seat,
a poorly supported cushion,
or a strained position
could lead to severe health conditions.
Thus a chair should not only be comfortable, but also adjustable.
So most professional office chairs are designed with mechanisms
that allow a user to easily adjust
seat height, back angles, seat depth, chair tilt,
座椅高度 靠背角度 座椅深度 座椅倾斜度
arm location, chair width, tension,
and sometimes even the locations of lumbar support,
allowing the chair to adapt to your
body type, work conditions and personal preference.
Many commercial office chairs are also customizable.
At a residential furniture store,
you generally have a limited choice of design and fabric options.
Because manufactures can keep costs low by manufacturing a few
standardized products in mass quantity.
But commercial customers usually require a wider selection of options
so commercial suppliers generally have a higher per-item cost.
A commercial chair supplier usually allows you to choose
from a greater selection of designs, finishes, and fabric options.
You can even bring in your own fabric,
or have the option of printing a custom graphic or pattern onto the fabric.
Many commercial businesses want to be able to reflect
their brand colour or image in the design of their offices,
especially if it’s for a customer facing environment.
But if you’re just a person who’s looking for
a simple functional chair for your home office,
you most likely don’t need all of that.
But the option is there if you have
a very specific design in mind.
Ultimately, a great chair like all great designs,
最终 一把好椅子 就像所有伟大的设计一样
seamlessly ties together elegant form,
innovative technology and functional excellence.
The Aeron chair, a Herman Miller product
that was designed by Bill Stumpf and Don Chadwick in 1994
is actually a part of the collection of the Museum of Modern Art.
An interesting and innovative part of their design
is that its seat as well as back are
are actually not built out of traditional upholstery.
It’s made out of an intricate network of polyester mesh
that’s stretched over an aluminum frame.
This make it light and flexible
yet durable, resilient, stain proof, splash proof
又经久耐用 弹性好 防污防溅
and its open mesh helps to keep your butt airy and cool.
So if you’re looking to buy a chair,
whether you’re looking for a classic work of of art,
that’s worth of a museum,
or you’re just looking for a simple functional chair,
hopefully this gives you a little bit of an idea
into what to consider and what to look for.
Often I like to talk about how
everything in this world is designed,
from the concrete curbs on the side the road,
to toilet partitions in a public bathroom,
to the plastic trims on the edges of a chair.
Most people don’t even realize or take for granted just
how much work and thought has gone into designing
some of the most ubiquitous things in the world.
So I’d love to hear from you guys.
What are some of your curious questions about the design world?
Or just what are some of your questions
about the everyday objects around you?
Feel free to leave it in the comments below,
or suggest it to me via any of my social media accounts.
Thanks for watching and happy sitting!
If you’ve ever looked into buying an office chair