Parts of her book are engrossing. In particular, her historical perspective of how chair design has evolved historically may be unmatched. Her discussion of the holistic aspects of posture is also interesting. That said, this book is not noteworthy for the caliber of its review of the ergonomics research on sitting postures and seating. Much of it is plain hogwash.

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Are you sitting sensibly? The Chair By Galen Cranz. W W Norton, It should be an invaluable source of reference for anyone in the field of design, or indeed anyone with an interest in their own long-term physical and mental well-being. Divided neatly into three parts, considering the past, present and future of the chair, the first section looks at how chairs have evolved, from the earliest examples of Neolithic stools, through the Roman Empire and ancient Egypt, up to the present day.

This chapter charts the progression of the chair into a decorative art object and examines the effects of cultural and sociological change on its form. Cranz goes on to analyse the present problems caused by chairs and sitting.

This is perhaps the most startling chapter; indeed some of the claims are likely to make you want to give up conventional chairs for good. Cranz describes how the ninety degree angle between seat and back which most chairs conform to has, in fact, deformed our bodies over the years, to the extent that, when we try to sit correctly and unsupported, we are unable to do so.

The chapter is detailed yet digestible, drawing on the research of many experts right across the fields of physical, mental and holistic health.

Many examples of radical redesigns and chairless offices and homes are included, as Cranz argues her case for cultural change in the way we live and work. And become your own advocate for body-conscious design.


"The Chair" by Galen Cranz


BS 5839 PART 6 PDF

The Chair: Rethinking Culture, Body, and Design


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