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Structure and Function of Chairs

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King JT

on 9 October 2013

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Transcript of Structure and Function of Chairs

Structure and Function of Chairs
Function of Chairs
a chair's main function is to provide comfort and support,
Structure of Chairs

A piece of furniture consisting of a seat, legs, back, and often arms, designed to accommodate one person.
Although the chair seems like such a simple object, many people thoroughly research into them to determine the PERFECT CHAIR

Types of Chairs around today…
Stool Armchair
Sofa/Couch/Bench Recliner

What is a chair?
As the majority of jobs in the UK these days are heavily based or reliant upon technology, much research into optimal chairs and how to use them is abundant, as the following table shows

Let's not forget the most important use for chairs...
Possible origin of the chair!
History of the chair
Archaeological evidence and sculptural relics at Neanderthal sites suggest that chairs and bench-like structures emerged during the stone age!

In Ancient Cultures
China - chairs were rarely used, they were considered utilitarian and remain unchanged!

Egypt - chairs were used as thrones! Most famous being the ornate throne of Pharaoh Tutenkhamen

Greece - evolution of chair designs resulted in sophisticated furniture. Famous Greek chairs include the Klismos chair

Rome - chairs were made of marble, along with metal and stone. Some designs were similar to that of Greek chairs
Medieval Chairs!
Those in power sat on Curule chairs -->

Chairs had draperies and cushions to emphasize the importance of the occupant (Gosnell, 2004)

<-- folding chairs evolved into X-chairs or Pincer chairs.

By Renaissance, chairs became much lighter and sophisticated. For example, the Saabelle (Jewel and Abate, 2001)

Throne of Maximian in the cathedral of Ravena

Chair of St. Augustine, one of the oldest Cathedra

Chair of King Dagobert in Louvre
Examples of Famous Chairs
What do we really need them for?
<-- therefore, any surface that fulfills these criteria may be considered a chair!
Most chairs designs provide
practical functions -->
<-- Some chairs' function is simply aesthetic intricacy
environment-specific designs have produced multifunctional chairs! -->
as society has changed over the ages, chairs have evolved in both structure and function, from the basic stool to the revolving and adjustable office chair.
Chairs aren't just for sitting on anymore, they are art! A sculpture by Steve Mann had retractable spikes designed to record your time spent sitting, and had a credit card reader attached to the side, ready to charge the user! This piece of art could be the an expression of how use of chairs is in high demand.
The structure of a chair depends on its function. Throughout history, chairs have had countless functions, leading to countless structural designs; from extremely comfortable loungers, to the extremely uncomfortable, electric chair!
with modern technology, everything we need is no more than a click away, which means that we don't have to get up as often. A recent study by Herman Millers researches found that 93% of all office work is done whilst sitting down!
"it is the seat that allows us to sit in the chair, and it is the act of sitting, the functional component allowed by the structure, that makes a chair, a chair."
Chris Maser
Crantz, Galen: 1998. The Chair: Rethinking Culture, Body, and Design. New York, NY: W. W. Norton &Company.

de Dampierre, Florence: 2006. Chairs: A History. New York, NY: Abrams.

Gosnell, Marianna: “Everybody Take a Seat.” Smithsonian Magazine. July 2004.

Jewell, Elizabeth J. and Frank Abate: eds. 2001. The New Oxford American Dictionary. New York, NY: Oxford University Press.

Chris Maser and Carol A. Pollio: Resolving Environmental Conflicts, Nature's Inviolate Principles: 4, March 2010

All images from google images

The general structure of a chair has four legs, back support and a raised surface to sit on. All chairs that are designed for the mass market must meet the following standard criteria as laid out by the Business and Institutional Furniture Manufacturers Association; chair strength of 150 lbs, leg strength of 75 lbs and a seat strength of 225 lbs.
However; chairs come in all different shapes and sizes for the convenience of the user, the structures of chairs vary depending on the particular function and purpose.
Task chairs or any chair intended for people to work at a desk or table, including dining chairs, can only recline very slightly; otherwise the occupant is too far away from the desk or table. Dental chairs are necessarily reclined. Easy chairs for watching television or movies are somewhere in between depending on the height of the screen.
Couches and sofas are classified as armchairs, which poses arm rests for the comfort of the user, whereas a stool has a completely different structure and made of different material, it's tall and narrow wooden structure is designed for seating at a bar or counter.
Beanbags on the other hand can be composed of various different materials, from polystyrene beads, to cord or cotton, and is low of the ground, whilst a chaise lounge Is an upholstered sofa in the shape of a chair that is long enough to support the legs.
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