When Herman Miller’s cutting-edge Aeron chair hit the market in 1994, everyone knew the iconic furniture manufacturer had once again reinvented an important aspect of the modern office. This became even clearer in the years that followed, evidenced by the chair’s sales numbers and frequent appearances in pop culture — including being added to the Museum of Modern Art’s permanent collection and appearing in an episode of The Simpsons (and serving as the throne for the Almighty). These days, mesh-back office chairs are everywhere, and Aeron is credited as being the first of its kind, thanks to an innovative design from inventors Bill Stumpf and Don Chadwick.
Interestingly, while most people would identify the Aeron as the symbol of a hip, tech-savvy generation of knowledge workers, what most don’t know is the untold story of how the chair was actually created out of a need to develop furniture for the elderly. How’s that for irony?
To say the chair is groundbreaking is an understatement. The last time we checked, no other chair in history has spawned its very own sport.
Happy 20th, Aeron!