Never as in the past eighteen months have we understood the meaning of the word ergonomics and why it is important for well-being of the body. And above all as design and ergonomics must be integrated in a project for the body, not despite the body. When you use things differently or for the first time, you really understand if they are meant in a sensible way. We all worked at home at the kitchen table, for example. And we realized that a chair can become essential for the quality of life or a dangerous instrument of torture. This is why office chairs exist: they are designed around the human body. To avoid stress, contractions, movements and wrong postures.
A comfortable office chair is a matter of ergonomics
Tilting backrest to allow momentary distension of the spine, tilting seat to position the knees lower of the pelvis. Adjustable height and, depending on actual use (writing on the computer or, for example, drawing or playing, involve quite different movements) headrest and armrests . For some mysterious reason, the difference between male and female bodies is not taken into account. But this is an old story.
Ergonomics means design for the body
Translating ergonomics into an intuitive and aesthetically sensible serial object is the work of design. Two skills ' soft' but are equally important for ' emotional ergonomics , as well as body. The communicative quality of an object lies in its formal code. It typically involves a synthesis of intelligence and aesthetic competence. There are excellent examples. The Aeron Chair by Bill Stumpf and Don Chadwick for Herman Miller is the mother of all ergonomic seating. But if we had to choose one that best solves the formal part, we need to browse the catalog Vitra until you find the Physix of Alberto Meda.
A truly ergonomic chair?
Practice makes perfect: the more time passes, the more the project refines its experience. Up to an office chair that, while not fulfilling all ergonomic requirements, adheres to the main ones with grace and an eye to the economy: the Tip Ton by Barber Osgerby, also by Vitra. To get to the exasperation of ergonomics, in a design provocation. Agnieszka Mazur, for her Body of Construction (diploma project at the Design Academy Eindhoven), started from the millimeter observation of the junction and junction points. And she built furniture that reflects natural posture.
Posture, comfort, well-being of the body. And the spirit?
It is therefore established that ergonomics and design often go hand in hand , what we have discovered in the last eighteen months about gestures that need of objects designed for the comfort and pleasure of body and soul? Measuring the temperature at the entrance to public places, for example. The gun thermometer is perhaps physically ergonomic. But not emotionally.
For ergonomics of the immaterial
And here we come to a turning point: the ergonomics of the immaterial. Bespoke design is a digital frontier. Which, contrary to what one might think, is not a question of luxury or exclusivity, but the new boundary on which the project is measuring itself with great commitment. Among modifiable and customizable products, projects tailored to gesture and ad personam production. The bespoke product is a question of ergonomics. And technology, mediated by a well-made design, is the bridge between industry and the pleasure of using an object.