Hit & Run: Sexiest thing in the office
Wednesday 03 March 2010
Are you sitting comfortably? I am, which is a first for a lanky loafer with a dodgy back, fidgety disposition and a posture more brute than ballerina. For a week I have been carpet-testing an office chair hailed by its makers as a revolution in workplace seating. Not very exciting, as revolutions go, but office furniture rarely is. Yet millions of us spend more time on our swivels than anywhere else bar our beds (if we're lucky).
The Generation by Knoll, to use my futuristic perch's full name, looks more bridge-of-the-Enterprise than Slough Trading Estate. It's the most striking thing on five casters since Herman Miller's Aeron rolled into the offices of the mid-Nineties.
Most conspicuous is the Generation's webbed back, an innovation seen in Miller's original "it" chair. Moulded in a stretchy polymer, it supports my back like a hammock of tightly-woven rubber bands. My bottom half perches on a seat that flexes as I shift my weight. The movement makes the chair feel almost flimsy at first but that's almost the point. "People don't sit in the front-on task posture all the time," says Benjamin Pardo, head of design at New York-based Knoll. "Most chairs tell you how to sit but we wanted something passive yet supportive."
Knoll and its design partners, New Zealand-based Formway, filmed office workers to determine our movements. Their findings support a shift away from the typist's posture (back straight, knees at 90 degrees). "The idea is dynamic seating with support," says Levent Caglar, ergonomist at the Furniture Industry Research Association. "Your best posture is your next posture."
It's too early to say if my productivity has increased but I'm comfy (smugly so, my colleagues attest). Any way I shift I feel supported and my wrists are freed by the armrests, which come forward to cosset my elbows while I type. I'm sold. If Pardo wants his Generation back, he'll have to wrest it from my hands. Simon Usborne
Don't cut 6. Turn off Radio 1
I don't listen to 6Music much. I don't listen to Thought For The Day either. But both ought to exist under a BBC that's meant to be a public service broadcaster. 6Music supports up-and-coming acts unlike any other station; you only need read the #Save6Music hashtags on the tweets of young bands to see that.
An idea: cut Radio 1 instead. BBC radio's flagship is not the vessel that gave berths to The Evening Session and John Peel. It mostly caters to the mainstream demographic of commercial broadcasters. So kick Moyles to Capital, send Fearne to Virgin, give Gilles Peterson George Lamb's 6Music slot, and retain Steve Lamacq, Guy Garvey, Tom Robinson and Stuart Maconie. Or move 6Music to FM and rename it Radio 1. Then the BBC's music discovery duties would fall to DJs with good taste, not Vernon Kay. Tim Walker
- 1 Sabina Altynbekova, the girl branded 'too good looking' for volleyball, says social media obsession with her is a 'bit much'
- 2 Disney heiress Abigail disowns her share of family profits in West Bank company
- 3 Israel's propaganda machine is finally starting to misfire
- 4 Zayn Malik on Israel-Gaza: One Direction singer bombarded with Twitter death threats after posting #FreePalestine
- 5 'Hello mum, this is going to be hard for you to read ...'
Sally Farmiloe dead: Howards' Way actress, and former mistress of Jeffrey Archer, dies aged 60
Women in Turkey have a laugh in public at the deputy Prime Minister's expense
Sabina Altynbekova, the girl branded 'too good looking' for volleyball, says social media obsession with her is a 'bit much'
Disney heiress Abigail disowns her share of family profits in West Bank company
Australian model Robyn Lawley stages naked protest against huge coal mine seven times the size of Sydney Harbour
The secret report that helps Israel hide facts
Land for gas: Merkel and Putin discussed secret deal could end Ukraine crisis
Woman and two children killed by mob in riots over 'blasphemous' Facebook post in Pakistan
A day in the life of Vladimir Putin: The dictator in his labyrinth
Putin is 'thuggish, dishonest and reckless', says British ambassador to US
Richard Dawkins tweets: 'Date rape is bad, stranger rape is worse'
- < Previous
- Next >
£350 - £400 per annum + competitive: Orgtel: Project Manager (specializing in ...
£30000 - £34000 Per Annum 25 days holiday, Private healthcare: Clearwater Peop...
Unpaid: Cancer Research UK: If you’re a professional in project management, lo...
£85 - £140 per day: Randstad Education Cheshire: We require a teacher of Geogr...