“For men who have to write a lot, and over prolonged periods, a desk at which they can work standing up is an indispensable piece of furniture for altering their posture and for maintaining their health”, opined Journal der Moden in May 1786. An age when, famously, only men wrote.
Yet advantageous and positive as standing to write was, prolonged standing could, as Journal der Moden notes, lead to tiredness.
A solution was however at hand for all who preferred working at a standing height desk over a prolonged period: a chair, “or a so called donkey … on which one sits as if on a saddle, and which must be just high enough that one can sit half-standing…”1
A half-standing sitting solution whose nickname can be readily derived from the proposed sitting position.
And a half-standing sitting solution that for all it is thoroughly familiar today, was novel, one could almost argue revolutionary, and even enlightened, in 1786…….
In all corners of the globe one finds objects of furniture which developed in response to local conditions, traditions and practices; vernacular objects without a formal author and which although, on account of?, arising from a very specific place and time can, invariably, both teach us a lot about the essentials of furniture and help explain furniture’s relationships with wider realities.
And objects we want to celebrate, starting with arguably, one of the best known examples of vernacular furniture: the Windsor chair.
It’s probably no exaggeration to claim that musicians have at best an ambivalent, truculent, openly confrontational relationship with the office. When not writing about being in love, not being in love, wanting to be in love, wanting to not be in love, etc, they can be found pouring scorn and ridicule on those who dutifully waste their days in offices when there is all that freedom to be enjoyed.
Thus one could imagine songs about office furniture being about as rare as occasions when Caílte mac Rónáin is unable to explain how a particular hill, valley or river in Ireland came by its name.
A Radio smow playlist devoted to office furniture and our complex relationship with such……
2016 being as it is a leap year, February 2016 is graced with an extra day, and the global design
Charles Eames is arguably the best known representative of post-war American design. His works are certainly the most commonly recognized
August 20th marks the 100th anniversary of the birth of Finnish architect/designer Eero Saarinen. Eero Saarinen had – in all