The Chair: Rethinking Culture, Body, and Design

The Chair: Rethinking Culture, Body, and Design

by Galen Cranz


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The Chair: Rethinking Culture, Body, and Design by Galen Cranz

Bringing together perspectives from different fields, Galen Cranz looks at the history of the chair and its social significance. From the angles of ergonomics and body-mind healing, she comes up with criteria on how to evaluate a chair for comfort and explores new design directions for chairs and interior design.

A fascinating look at one of our most common cultural artifacts, explaining the history, physiology, and politics of how and why we sit the way we do.
Perhaps no other artifact of our living habitat has had the enduring cultural significance of the ever-present chair, unconsciously yet forcefully shaping the social and physical dimensions of our lives. Tracing the varied history of the chair as we know it from its crudest beginnings in the Neolithic Age up through the modern ergonomic office, Galen Cranz uses anecdotes, literary references, and famous designs to document our ongoing love affair with the chair--despite its potentially harmful effects on our bodies. Cranz skillfully reveals how the chair's evolution in Western society has been governed not by a quest for comfort or practicality, but by the designation of status--between lord and subject, man and woman, boss and employee. Part social commentary, part design history, and part manifesto for a new way of living, this book brings a critical and delightfully astute eye to the place where we spend most of our waking lives.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780393046557
Publisher: Norton, W. W. & Company, Inc.
Publication date: 08/01/1998
Pages: 288
Product dimensions: 6.35(w) x 8.57(h) x 0.94(d)

About the Author

Galen Cranz is professor of architecture at the University of California at Berkeley.

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