For New offices ‘Coolness’ is the word to excite media interest for both the company and the Architect/Designer. Most firms aspire to project this cutting edge image. A 2T chair answers this exactly and in addition reduces LBP and increases productivity by lessened stress and morbidity.
THE RELEVANCE OF THE 2t (3M, 4M) concept
The 2T & it’s 4M derivative exactly matches the requirements for the office of the future and ticks all the relevant factors :-
Remediates each & every adverse effect of the upright work position responsible for musculo-skeletal discomfort which include backache, LBP, and more serious spinal breakdown. Based on the scientific bio-medical research, A unique full solution.☛ The SCIENCE and ☛ 2T optimal seating→.
Maximises comfort. This depends on the ergonomics and NOT on short term opinion. Fully correct ergonomics = maximum comfort. ☛COMFORT→
Provides dynamic MOVEMENT under the control of the user. Affects health & comfort and also has a rehabilitation use ☛EXERCISE & movement→. ☛ The unstable TRANSITIONAL MODE. It’s importance. →
Reduces manufacturing costs. Correct design avoids expansive confusing adjustments ☛ADJUSTMENTS? →.
Allows INDEPENDENT DESIGN. A concept only. Provides a template for optimising design. Subsidiary factors include relevance to the modern and future office environment, cost, brand image and user targeting. ☛2T and optimal seating. →.
Evolves easily into a deskless WORKSTATION. ☛OFFICE WORK-STATIONS →
A PARADIGM shift. The way ahead?
- I have always recognised the historical role played by architects in chair design.
- Recently I have realised that they play an important part in development as they are able to dictate requirements for projects.
- It becomes important to know if the work chairs conform to all the above points. With this knowledge there should be no excuse to provide potentially harmful sub-optimal models.
- Health impacts productivity and should be a prime consideration in office design. Ergonomics and office stress. →
- Architects can hardly be expected to be experts on ‘ergonomics’ (preferred the more scientific term ‘biomechanics’).
- They rely on specialist advice and should know what questions to ask. So who to ask?
- Chair manufacturers. Interested only in running the company, sales, etc. No fully optimised model yet exists.
- Designers. With a design team, become responsible for development of new models. Few, if any, have full overall understanding of medical issues, spinal biomechanics and anatomy and this results in misconceptions.
- Office Managers. Responsible for purchases, rely on lists derived from suppliers and manufacturers hype. Often misconceived!
- This work is intended to help correct these deficiencies from at least a bio-medical viewpoint and is therefore relevant to architects as a help to ask the right questions.
- And perhaps design the fully optimised work chair. The field is open!
- It is most important to avoid →Familiarity bias.
- I have to admit, that, as a doctor, the frequent views of large offices shown by the BBC and others, supposedly showing the wonders of a hub layout, only excite in me “OMG! That’s a factory for manufacturing Backache!” Sorry. HAS.
Poor seating is a major stressor resulting in reduced performance and absenteeism. (Ergonomics and office stress.→ ) At present I know of no chair in the market that fully remediates this. New seating concepts are coming forward which will not only revolution seating but also impact on office design. In a few decades a chair set before a desk, and arranged in straight lines will be perceived as not only dated but hopelessly inefficient. There is an increasing interest in this direction (WORK-CHAIRS, a new breed with a reclined mode. ) Also see Mindjet which with much hype describes GlaxoSmithKline’s purposed “deskless office”.(below).
The designers of this layout obviously did not have the benefit of having seen this work. The Jukes concept of 2001 seem to be superior and were tested in the field.
The staff seem to keep moving. which is one component for a healthy work style and necessary here with the conventional seating shown. But compare the hub groupings with the suggestion by Cambridge students in → OFFICE WORK-STATIONS
A magnificent venue is no substitute for correct ergonomics. Work seems to be done on miserable chairs set at tables. This is adequate, but somewhat Spartan, for meetings but not for prolonged work.
The 2T concept, whether the 3M or 4M versions, are the front runners here as the only system that is fully ergonomically optimised for prolonged sitting (☛The Full Solution→) and also allows a better floor arrangement.
The only problem is that no such chair exists yet in the market.
← Relevant to the development of a 4M office station and this model was developed as a project by a group of undergraduates at Cambridge. → OFFICE WORK-STATIONS . The new ‘millenial’ generation is less influenced by ‘familiarity bias’.
The ALTMARK Chair which has both a reclined and upright mode which puts it ahead of the market. But fails with 4M requirements to make it full bio-mechanically correct, particularly in the 2T intermediate mode. See WORK-CHAIRS, a new breed with a reclined mode.→
Peer Bessey wrote to me “Desks are rather a thing of the past – Dickensian even. They evolved as tables with storage developed, alongside chairs. The whole combination seems a way of reducing/avoiding the need for floor sitting or squatting and a means to provide a convenient standing/sitting presentation of objects for working with at an ergonomically higher level. They were there to support and present paper documents and the like. Hardware, since then, was largely developed to be used with/on them and has evolved through typewriters and similar devices to today’s electronics. Once that demand for physical documents has been reduced and even eliminated by ‘paperless’ office tech., then there is once more a blank page to draw on.”
It is already happening! The boundaries between contract and home furniture are decreasing and the division may be disappearing entirely. The 4M workstation will be particularly relevant to the coming AI, VR & MR developments.
Management Perceptions. (2006)
It is a view at the best end of the management spectrum, in the USA, that highly paid, expert workers should have optimum working conditions to provide maximum productivity. Anything less would be economic foolishness. This is hardly the view held by many UK firms which employ a highly paid workforce in an environment which reduces their productivity by a measurable percentage. This is accentuated in the control room environment which operate on a full time basis and where mistakes can lead to a catastrophe. This has been honourably recognised by such firms as Transco, C&W and some police forces which have been careful to optimise the environment in such premises. The offices of companies like Google, Skype and Facebook, are like a playground with innovative furniture which would have looked outrageous ten years ago. This could include the 2T concept that I introduced in 1998. It is now begining to look quite ordinary although designers still lose out, have difficulty in recognising the underlying bio-mechanical essentials. →Familiarity bias .
The OFFICE OF THE FUTURE (and maybe ‘near future’).
2018. Sam Volkering – futurist and financial advisor – “In the last 50-odd years robotics has replaced a lot of labour-intensive roles. You see it a lot in manufacturing now: manufacturing plants use a lot of stationary robotics. … automated systems are starting to eat their way into middle-class jobs. You’ve got robo-advisors providing financial recommendations based on a huge amount of data input. That’s going to create more creative, highly skilled jobs, and jobs that perhaps don’t exist today that no one can predict. It’s going to be a shift of what we know as work. You might end up with three or four jobs on the go. There’s no such thing as a career anymore. You end up with several jobs as your work – micro-work.
That’s going to mean a shift of where people go physically to work, and how they interact and communicate with each other on a daily basis. Work is such an important part of our social fabric that when there’s a big shift in what it looks like, it’s going to create a lot of ancillary fluctuations in infrastructure: where we go, energy usage in various locations, etc. … It’s going to put a strain on economies, because they’re not going to be able to handle these people out of work, and there’s going to be a shortage of people needed for the high-skilled jobs that this change is going to create.”
(Quoted via Nick O’Connor (Publisher, Exponential Investor and recently published in his book … .
If interested, a personal view of the future can be seen at The Global Future? →… Largely based on the research of Nick O’Connor. .
For another view – Should chairs be banned? See The end of sitting? →
Suggested by the interdisciplinary Dutch studio RAAAF (Rietveld Architecture-Art-Affordances) and lies at the crossroads of architecture, visual art and philosophy. In our society almost the entirety of our surroundings have been designed for sitting. Evidence from medical research suggests that prolonged sitting results in serious health deficits. These are so widely studied and well-documented that they’re impossible to ignore and show that sitting increases lower back pain, slows our metabolisms, and shortens our life-spans, amongst other things. Not even daily exercise is enough to offset the damage.
Redesigning the workplace environment and home might manipulate an impact on sedentary behavior. Their installations are mostly conceptual. But they bring up an interesting idea: What if chairs were eliminated altogether? Is that even possible? And would that solve work and societal sitting problems or just open up the door to new problems?