Date The History of Chair Design (18th Century to Current) History is often loaded with evidence of human evolution from the earliest man to the present man. One of the major outstanding features of human evolution is concerning evolution of human posture…
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A chair refers to a structure, which is raised from the surface, is stable, and is commonly used by one person to sit (Dampierre 5). The actual and historic sense of the term chair is the fact that it is supported by mostly three or four legs and has a back. However, the chair can have a different shape depending on the chair’s specifications criteria. Even though it has been stated that a chair has a back, some form of chairs such as stool do not have a back. Chairs do have various designs depending on the culture and the surrounding environment. The chair design may have drilled holes for decoration, low gaps or back for ventilation, or may be made of porous materials (Greene 21). The history of chair is as old as the history of humankind; chairs have been used in many centuries. Although chair is of extreme simplicity and antiquity, for many years it was used more as an article or item of dignity and state especially among the kings. However, this has changed over time with chair becoming a structure of ordinary use. It is undisputable that chair design has evolved in terms of design and technology. Therefore, this discussion will focus on the history of chair design in particular reference from the 18th century to the current. To begin with, it is important to consider the essence of design in chair just like in any other article or structure. Chair design puts into consideration the intended purpose and usage of the chair, stackability, weight, stain resistance, foldability, artistic design, durability, and ergonomics, which emphasizes on how comfortable the occupant of the chair is. The seating position of the occupant is determined by the intended usage (Fiell 15-16). As such, there are various designs for intended usage. For instance, easy chairs are most suitable for entertainment activities such as watching movies or television, task chairs are designed for specific persons depending on the nature of their work. Therefore, the essence of chair design is to ensure that certain purposes are met in addition to facilitating that the occupant of the chair is comfortable. The logic behind ergonomic design is to ensure that the occupant’s weight is distributed to different parts of the body. Chair design should therefore be in such a way that it does not compromise the occupants comfort and performance of tasks. Factors such as the height of the seat are very important and needs to be considered during the designing of chair (Fiell 28). This is because a chair, which is higher, may lead to feet dangling thus increasing pressure on the knees’ underside. On the other hand, a lower chair may result to shifting of too much weight towards the seat bones. The period from 18th century to current has witnessed major innovations about chair designs. Wood workers played a very critical role in these innovations. The most notable one is Thomas Chippendale who even left his own design marks the history of chair. The chairs by Chippendale were designed artistically; legs, splats, and carved back pieces were proportioned well. Most of Chippendale’s chairs have either square legs or cabriole. Chippendale design dominated most of the 18th century. The design reflected the some of the English tastes of that time and incorporated Chinese, Gothic, and English motifs (Raizman 9). The cabriole leg was Chippendale’s signature form. The cabriole design mostly employed the Queen Anne- style. There are six different Chippendale style legs namely-
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