Chair Anatomy: Design and Construction
Chairs are the design pieces that most of us use most of the time: from offices to dining tables, from lounging to working, the importance of good chair design to our well-being cannot be underestimated. Accordingly, designers and architects, who seek solutions to space, comfort and function, have grappled with making the perfect – or most unusual – chairs for centuries. But we only really see the end product, and have little idea of how our chair was made, or even perhaps, why it is special.
Chair Anatomy reveals in photos and illustrations the form and the construction details – the anatomy – of a selection of fifty chairs chosen from the last 150 years of modern chair design. It also introduces the designers behind these chairs, their backgrounds and their routes to creating the chairs. In reducing chairs to their constituent parts, the book gets to the heart of each design: how pieces are designed and produced to fit together; why a certain material imparts a certain quality, functional advance or comfort level; and how the chair’s structure can withstand stress while being elegant and economical to produce. In short, a chair is architecture in miniature.
‘Exploding’ these chairs gives insight into the careful and detailed thinking that has gone into a piece of furniture that we take for granted, and offers designers and students, in a single reference source, a truly nuts-and-bolts perspective on masterpieces of design.
James Orrom is Professor for Product and Furniture Design at the Rosenheim University of Applied Sciences in Germany. He co-founded Umlauf & Orrom Studio for Industrial Design in 1987, producing furniture, film equipment, porcelain, glassware and other products for such international clients as BMW, Siemens and Villeroy & Boch.