Designed by Don Chadwick and Bill Stumpf
A Work Chair Solution
High-performance, long-term seating in three sizes with a full
complement of adjustments and innovative suspension; for computer
work, general office work, and casual or formal meetings.
The PostureFit difference. This next-generation breakthrough provides
natural, custom-fitted lower-back support below the beltline for
healthier posture and outstanding lower-back comfort.
High back. All three chair sizes have a
high and wide contoured back that takes weight off the lower spine.
Easy on the arms. Wide, soft armrests are
sloped in the front.
Waterfall front edge. Reduces pressure
under the thighs so circulation isn't restricted.
Healthful support. The strong Pellicle suspension system distributes
weight evenly over the seat and back.
Form-fitting. The Pellicle conforms to
each person's shape and minimizes pressure.
Aeration. Since air can pass through the
Pellicle, the sitter stays cool and comfortable.
Smooth ride. The Kinemat tilt lets people move naturally and effortlessly,
from forward-leaning through reclining.
In sync. The backrest and seat pan move
in proper relation for correct support in all positions.
Responsive. Whether the user is in motion
or at rest, the chair spontaneously supports the preferred posture.
Inclusive look. Blends both classic and contemporary influences
for a unique appearance that fits in wherever it's used.
Pellicle choices. Three unique Pellicle
weaves in a choice of neutral colors coordinate with lighter-scaled
Finish options. A variety of base-and-frame
finishes complements the Pellicle.
Innovative Work Stool
Work chair ergonomics. With its Pellicle suspension, Kinemat tilt,
and PostureFit option, the work stool matches the work chair's
performance; the stool is available in two heights.
Foot support. The height-adjustable Fine-Tune
footring moves up and down with the seat pan; once properly adjusted,
it is always at the right position.
Visual compatibility. The work stool offers
the same finish and Pellicle choices as the work chair.
Herman Miller turned to designers Don Chadwick
and Bill Stumpf to design a totally new kind of chair. Chadwick's
and Stumpf's previous collaboration had produced the groundbreaking
The two designers began this development
process with a clean slate, with no assumptions about form or
material, but with some strong convictions about what a chair
ought to do for a person.
Ergonomically, it ought to do more than
just sit there. It should actively intercede for the health of
the person who sits in it longer than she should.
Functionally, it ought to move and adjust
as simply and naturally as possible. It should support a person
in any position he cares to assume, at any task his office job
Anthropometrically, it ought to be more
inclusive than its predecessors. It should do more than accommodate
small or large people; it should really fit them.
Environmentally, it ought to be benign.
It should be sparing of natural resources, durable and repairable,
designed for disassembly and recycling.
The design that fulfilled these criteria
met all expectations and shattered some of them. It wasn't upholstered.
It wasn't padded. It was dimensioned in three models that looked
exactly alike and that had nothing to do with their users' job
titles. It didn't look like any other office chair. And its revolutionary
concept incorporated more patentable ideas than any previous Herman
Miller research program.
"It was a matter of deliberate design
to create a 'new signature shape' for the Aeron chair," says
designer Bill Stumpf. "Competitive ergonomic chairs became
look-alikes. Differentiation was a huge part of the Aeron design
strategy, and it remains one of, if not the most, critical aspects
of Aeron's success.
"The human form has no straight lines,
it is biomorphic. We designed the chair to be above all biomorphic,
or curvilinear, as a metaphor of human form in the visual as well
as the tactile sense. There is not one straight line to be found
on an Aeron chair.
"The Pellicle was equally a deliberate
design strategy in that its transparency symbolizes the free flow
of air to the skin in the same way lace, window screens, and other
permeable membranes permit the flow of air or light or moisture.
The transparency of the chair as a visual element was in keeping
with the idea of transparent architecture and technology, which
Aeron pioneered in advance of Apple's transparent iMac computers.
Transparency is a major design movement. Its purpose is to make
technology less opaque, to communicate the inner workings of things,
and to make objects less intrusive in the environment. Aeron is
a non-intrusive chair."
The Aeron design was refined and validated
through research and experts' opinions:
- It was tested for comfort with scores
of users, pitting it against the best work chairs available.
- Leading ergonomists, orthopedic specialists,
and physical therapists evaluated the chair's fit and motion,
the benefit and ease of its adjustments.
- The design team conducted anthropometric
studies across the country, using a specially developed instrument
to calculate everything from popliteal height to forearm length.
- The research team did pressure mapping
and thermal testing to determine the weight distribution and heat-
and moisture-dissipating qualities of the Pellicle material on
the chair's seat and back.
- Field studies using a specially-designed
measuring device examined the relationship between sizes of people
and their preference for chair size (Dowell 1995b). Measurements
of 224 people--in a sample that was evenly distributed between
men and women and that closely reflected the distribution of the
U.S. population on most dimensions--found that of all the anthropometric
dimensions measured, height and weight had the strongest relationship
to chair size preference. The relationship is strong enough to
allow us to recommend one of the three chair sizes based on those
Although it reveals its aesthetic heritage
in lyrical shapes reminiscent of George Nelson designs, organic
forms that recall the work of Charles Eames, and a spare, athletic
aspect that brings to mind its designers' Equa chair, the Aeron
chair finally looks only like itself. Its unique form expresses
its purpose and use and the material composition of its parts
and the way they connect. The slightly transparent and reflective
nature of its surfaces gives it an airy quality. It becomes a
part of the person who uses it and the environment that surrounds
Made largely of recycled materials, the
Aeron chair is designed to last a long time, with parts that get
the most wear easily replaced and recycled. Just what you would
expect in a well thought-out design.