I am a chair person. I started buying designers chairs when I was 20 and started collecting British and Italian design pieces. I have a thing for chair and I am very picky with chairs. I can find a dozen of things to critique on almost any new designs. Chair design is an art form. I took this picture at Roppongi Hills (Tokyo), the chair is named "Chair that disappears in the rain" by Tokujin Yoshioka. It was made from a massive block of glass of astronomical observatory quality. Imagine what the chair looks under the rain. It is a street art and anyone can sit on it. It is great piece of street art.
In the old days, chairs were made of wood and the nature of the material and woodworking techniques pretty much dictated the basic shape of chairs. Over time some chairs and seats evolved as ergonomics playing a larger role. Humans are adapting to the chairs as well design are catering different human needs. We spend more and more time in front of a computer or TV and this lifestyle has lead to deterioration in posture and physical strength and many people now habitually slump. Chairs and seats are not designed to cater for this collapsed posture, which is making is worse. That brings up the question of ‘what is a good chair?”
Although more attention is paid to design and ergonomics than ever before, new chairs are everywhere, at the office, at home, in public transport, at schools etc. Sometimes uncomfortable chairs cab ne a healthy thing. And sitting is a very cultural thing. Take an example of how people in India versus people in Italy or Japan, the are many distinctive differences. We don’t sit the same way at all.
A young Indian designer Darshan Nerkar (a design student at the Indian Institute of Technology's Industrial Design Centre) developed a culture-specific chair as one of his school projects. After observing Indian-specific sitting styles by having people sit in a "study rig" mockup, Darshan revised his design into ...a stand alone single seat chair made up of stainless steel pipe structure with bent plywood for the base and woven jute for the backrest. A special support at arms level along with a specially contoured polyurethane foam seat is also provided to fulfill the requirements of the Indian sitting postures. His design would help to reposition the Indian sitting style furniture as it is suitable for the day-to-day activities and fits in contemporary interiors.
Designers need to think how cultural elements can inspire innovation. They need tol explore inter-related levels to explore the challenge of multi-cultural design in relation to people's needs in diverse contexts: Internationalization; accommodating multiple languages; localization; and embracing user needs in the context of their cultural values. Our design process needs to be multi-disciplinarity and interdisciplinarity, it is the transdisciplinary character of design; and subcultures, hybrid identities, and global assemblages that create design excellence.