my first chair project, aka, my grad project, is not about making just any chair.
The brief is about one of the least personal, least stylish, most personality lacking chairs; the conference chair.
Of course there are some bright exceptions, like the stacking Eames chairs that were and are still used in conferences and do the job in great style.
But these chairs, for example, and even more so the older, fiber glass ones by Herman Miller, much nicer and robust as they are, they are also very heavy.
Personally, i beleve that beauty is a functioanality- and one of most importance indeed- that may sometimes overrule other functionalities an object may or may not have. Nonetheless, the people working in conference centers or conference organizing companies will probably disagree. And in their case, i must admit wrong.
When last summer i saw a single worker trying to put into place what looked like more than a couple of hundred chairs for a lecture, in a warm and humid London, and in a notorious London college of art for that matter, i though that design should be able to do something for him.
And then i chose this project. I do not know whether i am actually going to make a change in this particular individual's life. But within this project, i shall try to come closer to him and his needs, to understand him, and to take him above all, into consideration.
part one: i did some math
And after choosing my project, i run a schedule and a structure for it, so as to know what i m doing in every step. From previews experience i found that a structureless thesis research..well you might as well kill your self here and now, to put it gently.
And this is the rough structure. Not sure you can sit on it, but you can definately work it:
-Brief history of chairs
-Brief history of public speaking
The preparation of the conference room: the people, the tools, the needs and the limits
-on the field
The people; needs and comfort
-the workers: sum up of the previous findings and the opinion of the ergonimist.
-the attendants: the ergonomics of the conference chair.
The chair: The chairs on the market, the materials, the styles and the prices
From the folding fan to the folded satellite; the structures that make things fit.
The problems in a jar: all the inteligence gathered is put to place to form a structured design methodology
This is my first chair
-reflection on the outcomes
Well, all that in an academic packaging i guess. And since i like to do, rather than to read, i started from the 2nd chapter in the list.
part two: i did some research
From research it appears that workers usually need to work late. They may need to prepare a whole room for as many as 300 people on their own, even though during the observation it took more than an hour to 4 people to prepare a room for one hundred.
The workers in conference-organizing hotels need to be wearing a suit while working. The chairs' legs are worn because of stacking and fabric covered chairs are a constant cleaning problem.
Stacked chair packs are too high and to heavy for workers to safely move on their own, and tools are used to make sure that all the chairs will be positioned in a perfectly straight line.
Many more outcomes concerning the ways, the problems and the limitations, are found in the in the pdf file below.
Non greek speakers , check out the pictures placed in a file full of weird signs..The graphic towards the end is a floorplan, showcasing emergency exits.
If interested in any of the chapters and their content, me or my project, keep coming back!
If perticularly interested in some of the chapters but cant read them, please let me know. I wiil consider translating parts that i find relevant to your interests.