Tuesday, May 01, 2012


But admirable efforts have been made, though with only limited success. A number of Scandinavian designers have designed ball chairs, kneeling chairs, and chairs that encourage sitting in several different positions. These are improvements but not total fixes. They also frequently don’t work properly at common table heights and their unconventional appearances make them unacceptable in most workplaces.
After decades of trying, perhaps it’s time to admit that there is no way to win.
If chairs are such a dumb idea, how did we get stuck with them? Why does our culture demand that we spend most of every day sitting on objects that hurt us? What the hell happened?
It should be no surprise to readers of Jacobin that the answer lies in class politics. Chairs are about status, power, and control. That’s why we like them. Ask any furniture historian about the origins of the chair and they’ll gleefully tell you that it all started with the throne.
Against Chairs

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