Wednesday, October 15, 2014

The Evolution of Office Chairs

Your chair has a long history. Most never think about it, but like all great inventions, there was a time when the common office chair wasn't so common as it is today. However, the dawn of the industrial age brought about a huge need for new and improved seating; seating mobile and versatile enough to hold up to the demands of the workplace! In today's article, we'll explore the history of trend setting office chairs from the 50s all the way up to now. Enjoy!


1950s Office1950s Office Chair

Looking at pictures from the busy 50s, you may recognize a lot of the task chairs in the photos… as drafting chairs. Actually, the chairs of the 1950s workforce looked much like the minimalist metal drafting chairs we are used to today. However, this design was very poor for those spending all day at a desk or typewriter. Most had little back support, if any, and nearly all common office chairs were armless. Little padding served to cushion the users on these vintage metal chairs. This would ultimately deem them impractical for office use, but with simplistic design and durability in tow, these classic office drafting chairs still find a place in studios, and other rigorous work environments!


1960s Office Chair1960s Office

Chairs in the 60s were not so much more advanced in design than those of the 50s, but anyone sitting in a chair all day could tell you cushions go a long way! The landmark invention chairs of the 60s brought to the party were the widespread use of cushioned seats. Back support also began to become more substantial in these later models, so users could benefit more fully from backrests. Of course, visual appeal also made it big in the 60s. To this day, office chairs with vintage style still remain super popular!


1970s Office1970s Office Chair
The 70s is the age most people start to think of as "retro," and with all the cool vintage chairs out nowadays, we can surely thank the 70s for their style! The office chairs of this groovy era were not only more stylish than those of the past, but they were also more functional. 70s chairs had much more cushion for users and larger backrests for superior comfort. Armrests were finally beginning to make it on the scene, as well as the luxury material everyone is after - leather! The 70s were big on smooth vinyl and brown leather office chairs, and even after four decades, this cool retro style still hasn't faded away. Today, 70s styled retro chairs with modern features are a favorite of interior designers the world over!


1980s Office Chair1980s Office

Enter the digital age! The 1980s is largely where the offices of the past finally begin to resemble the offices of today more closely. The rise of the digital era brought about a greater need for more comfortable chairs as more and more employees were spending longer hours seated at their computers. Today's computer users can thank the 1980s for the basic design of their ergonomic computer and task chairs, which have become the most prevalent chairs in virtually every office. These early modern chairs boasted comfortable designs, cushions, backrests, armrests, and even some of the first ergonomic features like tilt and height adjustment! 

1990s - Today!

Modern Open OfficeGlobal Vion Weight Sensing Chair

Finally, we're in the home stretch! A lot has happened to the office world between the 90s and today, but one thing is for sure, innovation has never looked better! The 90s was the start of the office world as we know it today, with computers, phones, and other high tech equipment becoming mainstream. These past few eras have seen the rise (and fall) of cubicles, cellphones, laptops, tablets, and a whole host of other indispensable work technology. But one need has never changed: the need for office chairs. 

The 90s began a race between manufacturers to provide the ideal seat for office workers. Chairs got more comfortable, more ergonomic, and streamlined for use in every environment imaginable. Today, modern chairs for conference use, guests, receptionists, executives, interns and trainees, and computer users all boast sophisticated designs geared for every task. Adjustable ergonomic features enhance workplace versatility and improve office comfort. Thanks to the combined efforts of previous eras, the chairs of today have never looked (or felt) better!

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