The Aeron chair
|Designer||Don Chadwick and Bill Stumpf|
|Sold by||Herman Miller (United States)|
The Aeron chair is an office chair designed in 1992 by Don Chadwick and Bill Stumpf. It has been called "America's best-selling chair" (as of 2010) and is featured in the Museum of Modern Art's permanent collection.
Aeron chairs are produced by Herman Miller and were popular with web startups during the late 1990s, when they were associated with the dot-com bubble. A 2006 article in New York magazine called the Aeron "the Dot-Com Throne", writing that the chairs "became shorthand for the countless companies that didn't have a clue how to make money on the Internet, but, man, did they have the know-how to set up a cool office". The Aerons were so popular that after the bubble burst, one commenter described the piles of unused chairs as reminiscent of a "corporate graveyard" of office furniture. The big volume of sales led Herman Miller through the uncertainty following the bubble. As of 2016, Herman Miller had sold nearly 7 million units, and more than a million chairs are produced every year.
As described by Galen Kranz, "one of the secrets of the success of that chair was finding that fabric they called ‘pellicle’. That sheer but resistant fabric hit on the right gestalt for where our culture was at." The Aeron chair is made out of recycled materials, and 94 percent of the chair itself is recyclable.
According to a 2010 Bloomberg Businessweek article, the Aeron chair "made a fetish of lumbar support". Galen Kranz has commented that while the company is aware that a perching position (facilitated by the chair's rounded front rail) is preferable, it put in the lumbar support to conform to public expectations—"because that's what people think is required for it to be a scientifically 'good' chair".
Sitting expert A. C. Mandal has criticized the Aeron as "far too low" and not offering enough height adjustment and opportunities for the sitter to move. According to the chair's co-designer Don Chadwick, the task given to him by Herman Miller was to update the company's previous best-seller, not to design the ideal chair for an eight-hour workday. "We were given a brief and basically told to design the next-generation office chair," Chadwick said.
In 2016, the chair was updated with a new suspension system, better spine support and re-engineered tilt.
- "Your Office Chair is Killing You". Bloomberg. 2010-04-29. Retrieved 2016-04-23.
- "Donald T. Chadwick, William Stumpf. Aeron Office Chair. 1992". Museum of Modern Art. Retrieved 2 October 2015.
- "Aeron®: What's in a Name?". SmartFurniture.com. Retrieved 8 September 2014.
- Kennedy, Brian (September 25, 2006). "Remembering the Dot-Com Throne". New York. Intelligencer (column). Retrieved July 12, 2015.
- "The Herman Miller Aeron Chair Review - TheCozyOffice.com". TheCozyOffice. 2016-08-25. Retrieved 2017-03-14.
- Dalton, Melissa (2008). "A Conversation With Galen Cranz" (PDF). Portland Spaces.
- "Aeron Chair". Herman Miller. Retrieved July 12, 2015.