And, according to Galen Cranz, a Professor of Architecture at the University of California, Berkeley, such traditional chair designs just don’t cut. out to be miserably uncomfortable? Not an uncommon experience, as it turns out. The reason, if we read between the lines of Galen Cranz’s gently radical book. Galen Cranz was on last week’s episode of 99% Invisible, the radio Cranz published The Chair, Rethinking Culture, Body and Design in.

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Perhaps no other object of our daily environment has had the enduring cultural significance of the ever-present chair, unconsciously yet forcefully shaping the physical and social dimensions of our lives. With over ninety illustrations, this book traces the history of the chair as we know it from its crudest beginnings up through the modern office variety.

Drawing on anecd Perhaps no other object of our daily environment has had the enduring cultural significance of the ever-present chair, unconsciously yet forcefully shaping the physical and social dimensions of our lives. Drawing on anecdotes, literary references, and famous designs, Galen Cranz documents our ongoing love gqlen with the chair and how its evolution has been governed not by a quest for comfort or practicality, but by the designation of status.

Relating much of the modern era’s rampant back pain to an increasingly sedentary lifestyle spent in traditional seating, Cranz goes beyond traditional ergonomic theory ths formulate new design principles that challenge the way we think and live.

A farsighted and innovative approach to our most intimate habitat, this book offers guidelines that will assist readers in choosing a chair-and designing a lifestyle-that truly suits our bodies. Praise for The Chair: The Chair is a call to action. Pull up a comfortable chair-if you can find one-and read it.

Paperbackpages. Published January 17th by W. Norton Company first published August To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up. To ask other readers questions about The Galfnplease sign up.

Lists with This Book. Yalen 30, Holly rated it it was ok Shelves: Sounds odd to claim it with regard to a book about chairs, but I thought this book – originally published in – was dated. It’s also kind of crackpot academics: Something or someone led me to Mm, okay.


Aug 12, Susan rated it liked it. More classroom-oriented reading, to be used to get students to pay attention to what their bodies are actually doing, and to reflect critically on the relationship between embodiment, bodily practice, and the built environment. Long on description and lots of pictures make this not too heavy, fun while while still substantive; looks at mind-body interaction, ergonomics, social history.

Jun 25, mobot rated it really liked it Shelves: An important read for anyone interested in human-centered design, anatomical congruency, and general postural health.

Sep 28, Becky rated it really liked it. Parts of this book were more interesting than others. It explains why there doesn’t seem to be such a thing as a comfortable chair. Confirmed my prejudices; against soft squishy chairs, and for sitting the wrong way on carnz. Leaves much to consider in reworking my home office over the next few years.

One gripe; I wish people would stop using the fit and healthy young adults of another culture to “prove” that said culture’s habits are healthier than those of the West.

Okay, in cultures that Parts of this book were more interesting than others.

The Chair: Rethinking Culture, Body, and Design – Galen Cranz – Google Books

Okay, in cultures that don’t use chairs, the twentysomethings have fantastic posture. How does the average year-old look? Can they stand up from the floor without assistance? How much back pain do they experience? A compelling argument for furniture reform ought to include mention of different postures’ impact on the strength, comfort, and flexibility of the elderly, not just the young and middle-aged.

Mar 03, Jer rated it it was amazing Shelves: Can’t say enough about this book, other than we sit in chairs most of our lives and it is because of this fact, we never question it’s significance.

Screen/Print #54: Galen Cranz on Why We Need to Rethink the Chair

She briefly covers the history thank god this part is shortthen she goes into our anatomy and kinematics. I highly recommend this book to anyone who spends a lot of time on their ass You’ll never think of chairs in the same way, and hopefully it’ll make you rethink the way you use chairs in your daily life.

Mar 31, Kim rated it it was amazing.

It gqlen very difficult not to see chairs as extremely problematic after reading falen book. I know that probably doesn’t make sense, but one must read the book to really gqlen how the technology and ubiquitousness of the chair have profoundly–and negatively–affected our bodies. It’s a fascinating read, but one that leaves me frustrated, since it’s not like I can easily go and remove chairs from my life Sep 24, Ian rated it it was amazing.


I wanted to go home and immediately throw away all the chairs in my apartment. Cranz not only discusses the history of sitting and the chair and its relation to culture but is clearly a strong advocate for contemporary body conscious design.

And as you’ll find out, that’s much more than ergonomics. Nov 14, Hans Guttmann rated it really liked it. I’m often quoting from this book. Everyone has back pain.

Galen Cranz

Everyone in IT or addicted to Facebook has eye-strain. Chair’s are un-natural and usually bad for the back. This book changed my habits for the better. Aside from this practicality, it’s an interesting story. Feb 06, Niloy Mitra rated it liked it.

The book starts really strong with many interesting comments, observations, and suggestions. Overall I learned quite some useful information from the book. Dec 13, Daniela rated it really liked it. I finally have a copy. Feb 22, Susan rated it it was ok. This is an interesting book. I’m only partly into it, but I’d borrow th, not buy it. A little too much of the author’s opinion in it. Aug 03, Virginia Russell rated it really ccranz it Shelves: Nov 13, Wei Cho rated it really liked it Shelves: I’ve actually applied some of her recommendations in real life.

Doris rated it it was amazing Sep 08, Cheri H rated it really liked it Jan 07, Diane rated it really liked it Hte 06, Robin Davis rated it it was amazing Jul 13, Emily Brown rated it it was ok Jul 02, Beth Drake rated it it was ok Jun 21, Isabelle rated it really liked it Dec 02, Elizabeth rated it it was amazing Dec 09, Trkstr rated it really liked it Jul 22, cfanz George Katsoufis rated it really liked it Feb 10, Bjoern Hartmann rated it really liked it Jan 02, Luna rated it really liked it Mar 11, Madhu Priyanka rated it it was amazing Dec 20, Robert rated it it was amazing Dec 26, Saurabh Tewari rated it really liked it Jun 10, There are no discussion topics on this book yet.

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