I’m quoted in the September 25 issue of New York Magazine about my thoughts on the Aeron chair. Because, you know, I’m an expert and all.
It may not be clear from the article, but I’m really not among those who find the Aeron to be the world champion of chairs. In fact, although I sit on one all day long at Behavior, I actually prefer simpler, armless chairs and constantly wish there was a way to remove the arms from my Aeron.
My favorite chair, the one I sit on in my home studio, is Vitra’s Meda Chair, pictured here. While the Meda chair has some similarities to the Aeron — the mesh back, most obviously — it lacks the sleek XR-71 Blackbird-meets-H.R. Giger biomorphic curves of the Aeron. It’s basically made of two simple planes: one curved with a stretchy mesh and one flat with a thin layer of padding. But somehow it suits my aesthetic — and my body — far better.
As ergonomic as the Aeron is, it is designed for only one sitting position, i.e., sitting up straight as the ergonomists and our mothers have always told us we’re supposed to. A friend said today that the only thing missing is a seat belt to complete the Aeron’s strict posture-enforcement. My Meda Chair, however, in its simplicity permits me to sit the way I want to: to cross one or both of my legs, to sit on the chair sideways, to lean back pretty darn far, to throw my arm over the back of the chair. Encouraging good posture is great and all, but sometimes I want to express myself in the way I’m sitting, and dammit the Aeron just won’t let me do that.