Own the problem, and define it as deeply as you can. Bill Stumpf echoed this mantra on every project he took on for Herman Miller, but perhaps never more completely than with the groundbreaking Aeron Chair. Working with Don Chadwick, Stumpf began thinking about what a chair ought to do for you by consulting people who spend a lot of time in chairs—older people in retirement centers. When Stumpf and Chadwick took what they learned and applied it to work seating, they started a revolution in ergonomics.
Every material, every mechanism on Aeron advances the art and science of seating. As the first office chair in which fabric and foam were replaced with a breathable, woven suspension membrane—its innovative Pellicle seat and back—Aeron distributes your weight evenly, eliminating pressure points and heat buildup.
Aeron’s functionality shows through, contributing to a distinctive look that invites you to sit and experience the chair for yourself. From the transparency of the Pellicle suspension to the chair’s curvilinearity, Aeron was designed around people, creating an aesthetic all its own. It’s no wonder the chair was added to the permanent collection of the Museum of Modern Art even before the first one was sold.
The innovative design and performance of the Aeron Chair extends to a full family of seating, including work stools and side chairs.
We wanted a totally new kind of chair. So we turned to the two designers who had produced the groundbreaking Equa chair and asked them to start with a clean slate and no assumptions. A bold challenge!
“It was a matter of deliberate design to create a ‘new signature shape’ for the Aeron chair,” says designer Bill Stumpf. “Competitive ergonomic chairs became look-alikes.” Differentiation was a huge part of the Aeron design strategy, and it remains one of, if not the most, critical aspects of Aeron's success.
“The human form has no straight lines; it is biomorphic. We designed the chair to be, above all, biomorphic, or curvilinear, as a metaphor of human form in the visual as well as the tactile sense. There is not one straight line to be found on an Aeron chair.”