Sunday Inspiration #35: Office Interiors by Herman Miller

Most of us, well… at least you and me… reading this article, spend our days earning our daily bread on our bottoms, at a desk doing some or other great job at a computer or pushing a pen or doing whatever. The point is we are sitting our lives away, not that we have a choice though. Many “Einstein’s” have come up with ideas such as moving the weight down to your knees, no more back rest or standing at a higher desk doing your work in a standing position, but… but… but, we all end up some or other time… on our bottoms, in front of a desk. Seems to me that’s what they were created for.

I must tell you this story. Not so many moons ago I had to, on a weekly basis, go to a client to do some regular website updates. Every Thursday morning I booked in at the studio which was very nicely furnished, painted with appropriate colors and with great designs as wall decorations. However, I don’t know who decided on the office furniture. To my taste it was a bit clinical, which is weird because I normally love a minimalistic style. The office desks were chrome with glass tops, big enough for a flat screen and keyboard with the PC itself neatly put away underneath, in a shelf. The depth was fine and the width I thought to be more appropriate for a smaller feminine type of species.

When it came to the chairs; it was a very delicate piece of perspex shaped in the form of an “L”, with a few “air holes” in the back. I was not sure if this was for air or aesthetic purposes… or maybe both. This piece of perspex was mounted on a round chrome disk, on a chrome pillar, running into three chrome legs. Each leg was mounted on a wheel and take note there was no arm rests. The first time I saw this, I thought to myself “When they decided on this, it was definitely for ladies and not for my “unique physic”.

One day at the office, I went to the bathroom and as I entered, my eye caught one of these delicate chairs in two pieces being put away in the shower. Oh darn… oh darn, red lights, but life went on and I did not inquire on who the unlucky person was, to afraid to embarrass the person. Long forgotten, one fine morning, I reported for duty as usual, got my coffee and took my place at the computer to do my duties. Everything went smooth until…, yeah you guessed it. Have you ever heard the snap of an “L” shaped perspex chair under the weight of a “unique physic”? My legs were folded underneath the chair and this resulted in me coming down on my knees like a brick from the sky… my knees hit the tile floor, and my chest hit the glass top of the chrome desk like you cannot imagine. Before anyone could enter the room to see what the origin of the snap was, I was back on my feet. Well, with sore knees and what felt like a fractured rib and a few good laughs we continued with our duties.

Bosses, interior designers and office personnel, when decorating your offices, please, please, please, we want to sit comfortably and we do need arm rests. We want to sit with our bottoms on a nice soft comfortable seat with our backs against a nice soft backrest. Wheels are essential and we promise… just before we fall asleep we will go to the kitchen to pour some more coffee. I have lined up 21 great examples of great office interiors from Imagine sitting down at one of these… I might just maybe forget to go and get s some coffee. I hope you find it inspirational!

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Pieter Els is a graphic designer at Inconcept Media, Jeffreys Bay. He kicked-off his career with extensive research and design of learning material for print, presentation and online learning. After a successful career in this field, he decided to turn back to his original choice he studied for and gain experience in both print and online design for the retail industry. After running his own studio for a while, he decided to join a team in a ever growing technological environment.