Much has been written by many eminent designers and physiotherapists about sitting correctly.
In my experience it comes down to what works for you. Everyone is an individual with their own shapes and needs. If you understand the mechanics of sitting then you have a good chance of choosing the right chair.
Research on seating is primarily for the work environment, probably driven by employers taking responsibility for your health and well being. You may be consulted, but your options are usually limited. If you are looking for your own chair in your own office, then the same principles apply, but you have a wide personal choice.
Knees below hips is a priority for a work chair. Elbows at about the same height, or a little above hands gives a comfortable position for using the key board. Flexibility of the pelvis allows a variation in the curvature of the spine. It also gives a sense of working the pelvic floor while sitting. Sharing weight between feet, thighs, sitting bones and back varies depending on whether you are leaning forward or backward. Something to be able to do easily for yourself.
If the back has a convex surface, it also provides support when leaning back. Oh that lovely feel of stretching your spine away from the habitual slump.
Think of these stones; care is required to keep things working properly.
A convex seat with a firm pad allows you choice in all of these aspects of sitting. The image below shows how it all works for the Attentive chair. Positioned here in a neutral position with weight supported almost equally between feet, legs and sitting bones.
Don’t forget – colour is important too.
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Attentive is a collection of furniture designed for an active lifestyle.
We have busy periods of our life; always daily, mostly weekly and often for a whole month. We sometimes wonder why the chairs we sit on seem to envelop and stop us from just getting on with it.
The Attentive chair is good for times like this. While you are focused on the job, it supports you, keeps your core working while you’re not even thinking about it. Lean backwards and the back touches you just where you want it. Feels good to stretch yourself. In a consultant’s clinic, around a working table, in a hotel lobby. Places where you don’t want the chair to swallow you up and where everyone needs to concentrate.
The Attentive range allows this to happen and is also slender and discrete in a public place. It has something of the mid 20th century feel about it but definitely belongs to the 21st century lifestyle.
This collection came from the entrepreneurial spirit of an engineer who accepted the challenge of making a chair. The project started as an exploration of what could be done with laminates, without losing that solid wood feel. Out of the experimentation came a chair with a convex seat, a convex back and a unique method of upholstery capture. Key to the economics of the collection was CNC machining which could cut complex curves and curved recesses easily and quickly.
The connection between designer and manufacturer is always critical. In this case the manufacturer was prepared to work with the designer to improve the chair both on the cost side and for the skills of his team. He has an operation which prioritises the contribution of each team member and fosters an open relationship throughout the company. Here the designer was able to meet the director and makers and talk through ways in which the manufacturing processes could be improved.
Here is an example of how a UK based operation provides a successful outcome. A clear understanding of the design and its context by everyone involved, enabled the final product to be greater than the sum of its parts.
It is now a collection with tables and stools to partner the chair. The tables provide that same function, uncluttered with stretcher rails and bulky drawers and with space for putting a laptop or tablet out of sight. The standing table enhances that dynamic interaction but without the need for a chair.
Manufactured in Britain from European ash. The chairs are made in a small factory in Coventry and the tables by a small family firm in Suffolk. All committed to the value of UK made products.
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Jonathan Rose Design is showing at Flock Fringe this year in partnership with Belinda Rose Weave and Buchanan Food. On show is a new collection of Christmas Textiles, the Attentive Collection of furniture and some tempting treats from Buchanan Food, all at the Colour Bothy, Hirn.
Flock Fringe is a new idea. It expands the reach of Flock to people working nearby in their own studios. Two venues are participating: The Colour Bothy and Heckleburn.
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This year the Scottish Furniture Makers Association annual show is being held at Custom Lane, Leith. I will be showing my Attentive chairs and stools in partnership with 17 other independent furniture makers from the association.
Sat 4th – Sun 12th November
Janie Morris, Anna Nichols, Angus Richardson, Digby Morrow, Adrian McCurdy, Max McCance, Micheala Huber, George Potter, Daniel Lacey, Jonathan Pang, Stephen Finch, Chris Scotland, Gavin Robertson, Alan Dalgety, Angus Ross, Ross Samson and Simon Whatley
Here are some pictures of the show
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A letter in the paper today is a tribute to lateral thinking during important moments of world history. As Gerry Adams and Ian Paisley were getting ready to face the press, a small problem arose – where do they sit in relation to each other?
These words share the diplomatic solution.
I wonder if the Brexit talks will be needing Segment 1?
Nobody sits at its head, everyone has a direct view of everyone else, and of course it is top quality solid timber.
I’m looking forward to the call, David and Theresa! And of course I have a collection of chairs, as many as you need.
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Here we are for real – lots of interest in the simple lines and how the chairs support you for the activities you enjoy or need to do. Here are some visitors doing just that.
There’s a lots of stress in building a stand at LDF – but of course Sitting Firm is here to help. Sara loves her job. Not sure about it myself.
Jonathan Rose Design will be on Stand L02, 1st Floor Hall T3-C and the stand should look like this. Come and have a chat, see what’s on offer.
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here are some pictures from the show.
working out how best to arrange things
this corner looks about right – the red chair hides that ugly plug socket but we can’t do much about the ceiling piping. These pieces can be used to try out before they are purchased.
this side shows the prices and each piece on a plinth – not to be sat in!
Here is a most discerning visitor. She appreciate the design and functionality. Modern living at its most candid.
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The full collection of tables, chairs and a stool are showing at Custom Lane Gallery for the first time. Hope you get a chance to see them before they are shown at London Design Fair, Truman Brewery stand L02, 21st to 24th September.
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In the craft world, manufacturing is often associated with a personal detachment from the material being worked. Manufacturing is efficient, reduces the price of each unit and makes the item accessible to a wider market. But it is not made by craftsmen.
Dundee Design Festival promoted a different perspective. Industrial tools and processes connect to the individual maker.
Silo Studio shared their passion for production processes and how it led to developing a new material for furniture. Polystyrene looks an unlikely starting point. Delving deeply into the source material and challenging some industrial practice Attua Aparicio and Oscar Lessing came up with not so expanded polystyrene. It can be moulded and formed into rails and posts, just what is required for furniture.
Table made from ‘Not So Expanded Polystyrene’
‘Not So Expanded Polystyrene’ material
This process of enquiry led to other projects. Plastic keys from redundant keyboards could form colourful surfaces for tables. Especially interesting to the manufacturer of those keyboards at this time of global overload. Understanding the materials and who could have an interest in using them is part of finding a bridge between crafts and industry.
Attua and Oscar use Jesmonite to make bowls. This is an acrylic/plaster of paris mix which sets to a hard material which can be polished. Attua and Oscar demonstrated the skilled use of colour and an understanding of the properties of the unset material to make appealing patterns.
One strand of the craft debate is about the connection between the hand and the eye. Critical to personal success is an intuitive understanding of the process. At Dundee we saw that idea built upon. Here are some examples.
CHALK specialises in designing and creating beautiful decorative plasterwork. They use traditional techniques in the restoration of historic interiors undertaking minor repairs to the complete reinstatement of original designs
a classical urn in a contemporary setting
GLITHERO are British designer Tim Simpson and Dutch designer Sarah van Gameren, who met and studied at the Royal College of Art. From their studio in London they create product, furniture, and time-based installations that give birth to unique and wonderful products. The work is presented in a broad spectrum of media, but follows a consistent conceptual path; to capture and present the beauty in the moment things are made.
digitised organ music woven on a Jacquard loom
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damask tablecloth depicting a Jacquard weaving book
It has been a fulfilling 15 months since my last post.
The main event has been the exhibition ‘After the Storm‘ , held in the John Hope Gateway Gallery of the Royal Botanic Gardens in Edinburgh. 12 cabinet makers from the Scottish Furniture Makers Association designed and made furniture using timber from the gardens blown down in 2012 by Cyclone Andrea. Oak, cedar, maple and chestnut formed the most usable wood. With the support of Forestry Commission Scotland, RBGE and members of SFMA, the exhibition became a celebration of creative talent.
Here is an image of the piece I collaborated on with Gavin Robertson – Gavin the experienced maker and me the designer. Always an interesting interchange when two creative people work together for common purpose. I hope we will have the opportunity to do this again.
Tsunami chart cabinet made from cedar and yew
Many people experience the rising of water, albeit gently but inexorable, over the parapets designed to protect.
The exhibition closes on 28th May.
A book written to complement the event is available in the shop. It explores ecological change, resilience and renewal in the context of Cyclone Andrea and has pictures of the furniture.
In addition to the exhibition, a bench for the gardens has been sponsored by the MS society (Edinburgh and the Lothians) and made by Angus Ross. It is to be a place of reflection and a destination for visitors. The MS Society were particularly supportive of this project because people who have the condition have had to make major adjustments to their life and adapt to new expectations.
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