The Beauty of Fit: Proportion and Anthropometry in Chair Design
Kelly, Caroline Laure
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The goal of this study is to create a method for designers to reconcile the critical functional and aesthetic requirements in chair design. This paper presents a brief history of the design of chairs, an overview of historical types of proportional systems, a discussion of anthropometry and the technical requirements of chair design. The body of the study involves the affects of the application of anthropometric measurement to the proportions of two Modernist chairs; the Zig Zag chair by Gerrit Reitveld and the Grand Confort or LC2 chair by Le Corbusier, Perriand and Jeanneret. Changes to the proportions of the chairs will be proposed in an attempt to fit a variety of people, including outliers in the population. The findings of the study indicate that the chairs resulting from the anthropometric changes are not considered beautiful or well proportioned when they contradict the structural logic of the original design. By determining a hierarchy of functional requirements and understanding the anthropometric values associated with it, a designer can develop the products aesthetics and test them during the design process using this method.