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The 2t BASE.



Some options for the 2T base

Screenshot 2019-09-17 at 18.10.52


This basic prototype at Cambridge shows the carcass/shell mounted on the base with a tilt hinge at the level of the fulcrum.   The base is a standard 5 star.   Greater stability when reclined would be improved if the back 2 legs were extended.   This suggests that the rotation of 360° would need to be reduced to about 60° in the anterior direction.

The post Hospital beds shows a number of beds each with a base of great complexity.

Screenshot 2019-09-26 at 15.16.44  Screenshot 2019-09-26 at 17.42.17  AnkitAnkit

Screenshot 2019-09-27 at 17.16.22The Ankit model has a simpler base.  It is possible to incorporate a hinge mechanism onto this sort of 4 wheel base to support the functional carcass.    Screenshot 2019-09-29 at 17.04.48

  • For this
  • The hinge would be at the apex of the base.
  • The hinge could be mounted at the fulcrum
  • or at the front edge of the seat-pan.
  • Damping is required to avoid a jolt at the end of range.
  • The base can be narrower or wider than the carcass.
  • The latter is more stable.
  • Consider :-
    • The mounting of the arm-rests, if any.
    • A shelf, shelves.
    • side restraints for a hospital bed.






To design a hospital bed to a new concept a knowledge of existing thinking is helpful, with a quick Google search.

  • A 2T version would be a major advance on most of them in cost, versatility and comfort.
  • Simple and inexpensive
  • Allows user movement
  • Incorporates the emergency Trendelenberg position.
  • Allows a more user friendly position for cervical traction.
  • Allows the patient to lie fully flat horizontal.
  • Lying on side, prone or in the recovery position is possible.  The slight ‘iliac’ support would be lying above the pelvic brim and limit slippage if the head end is lowered.  The slightly elevated legs aids venous return.    It can be addressed by increasing the seat/back-rest angle or having these components hinged (an added expense).

Return to ← Hospital Applications

Screenshot 2019-09-25 at 12.07.26A simple hospital bed.   

Retails at £340.


  • A home bed with a backrest and some contouring. Screenshot 2019-09-25 at 11.57.09




  • ‘Xb Hospital Bed Profiling Nursing Bed Patient Bed Care Bed Multi Function Electric Smart Home Care Bed Manual Adjustable ‘    from £2,616.97.    The hype states :-
  • Backrest and Leg Lifting: Adjust bed to a comfortable position to meet amusement, dining, Screenshot 2019-09-25 at 12.01.17reading and cleaning.
  • Leg up & Leg Down: Relax patients legs, promote legs blood circulation, preventing varicose veins and easily for legs’ daily care.
  • Backrest Lifting: Patients can sit up and do some daily life activities easily, lessening nursing burden for both patients and nurses.
  • Easy full body lift for nursing and working.


  • Looking at these beds, a few ideas emerge to comply with a 2T version.
  • The bed-end would become a variable foot-rest enabling exercise of Screenshot 2019-09-25 at 12.06.04the calf,
  • The side restraints could be added at will.
  • The short base wheels would be back at the level of the end of the seat-pan.  (Tipping might occur if someone should sit distal to this point).
  • This allows the bed to be transformed into a wheel-chair.
  • Screenshot 2019-09-25 at 12.00.23Adjustable head-rest, foot-rest and leg-raise would be integral.
  • The Trendelenberg position available for emergency use.



Screenshot 2019-09-25 at 12.31.01At Last!   A brave effort going some way towards the 2T concept.  It looks awkward, over-engineered  and is anything but simple.






Ankit Polyweave Industry provide vast range of best quality hospital bed and other hospital equipment in India.

Expensive, complicated compared to a 2T model.

Screenshot 2019-09-26 at 15.16.44Another example.   The ICU Electric economy model GM7002.   Instead of a simple 2T tilt the carcass is moved forward to achieve a wheelchair mode.

Screenshot 2019-09-26 at 17.42.17HILL-ROM TotalCare Sport 2 P1900M

Electric Hospital bed.  Asking Price :$5,995.00 USD.   At least it has an upright mode.


Screenshot 2019-09-27 at 14.46.18The carcass/shell of this model is near correct, except for poor contouring.   A 2T version would be simpler.   Note that the front wheels of the support are below the front edge of the seat-pan which allows a wheel-chair mode.  This has been made awkward by the undue depth of the seat.   Check with the advised dimensions of the 2T version to see how this could be improved.  Could a visitor sitting on the leg-rest tip the whole bed?   Unlikely, I think.

Screenshot 2019-09-25 at 11.59.49It can be seen that a 2T version has the potential to be a major advance on most of these in cost, versatility and comfort. 



Hitherto  the concern of this work has been only for ‘ergonomic’ work-chairs.   Chairs for Screen Shot 2018-11-24 at 10.29.33the home have been rather ignored as their ergonomics are unimportant compared to chairs required for prolonged work.    Since looking at chairs from a  bio-mechanics viewpoint,  almost all show a total disregard, or oblivion, to even basic concerns for spinal well being.   Designers are obviously ignorant of these factors although comfort also depends on them.   However there should be no excuse for designing a chair that is liable to give spinal dysfunction, or can be categorised as ‘A machine for making Backache’.    The boundaries between contract and home furniture  are decreasing and the division may be disappearing entirely. 

Christopher Bellew wrote in his daily blog “I was a guest at luncheon in a London club and fell into conversation with an affable member in the bar after lunch. His name is Dr Henry Sanford.   After some general chit-chat we digressed to his working life.   After a life time in Orthopaedics, he told me that his patients with backache would ask him to recommend a chair that would not make their problem worse.   I have a suspicion that his invention owes much to his observation of recumbent members of his club after lunch. The Savile would be an admirable name for a chair …”

Screen Shot 2018-11-07 at 18.49.09 It can be seen that the typical club chair makes no pretension to ergonomic concerns.   They are irrelevant as the chairs are not intended for prolonged use and only have  to look comfortable.

Screen Shot 2018-11-16 at 16.10.31The aged Intervertebral Disc. (IVD→)  and the lengthened seat-pan allows a slouched posture which is not seriously adverse.

Easy chairs in the home

Much the same applies to chairs in the home which are not intended to be work-chairs.   Recliners are for home use and probably used by those who sit, or even sleep, for long periods.  As they have features similar to the 2T (3M) concept they have been considered separately.   Will people buy recliners when a cheaper and better designed dual purpose chair comes on the market?  This may also be particularly relevant to the growing ‘gamer’ market. (Recliners→).

Screen Shot 2018-11-07 at 21.35.38The ‘Saddle Chair’ by Timothy  Oulton, at his fantastic new premises in the old Bluebird workshop in the Kings Road, caught my eye.   It is almost reclined Screen Shot 2018-09-22 at 15.05.21with no other concern for ergonomics.  Still on an equestrian theme, Mandal advocated a Forward Tilted Seat.   With a FTS and the back rest with pelvic support this would become an interesting ergonomic chair and the improved ergonomics would also add to the comfort.   The other chairs on show look comfortable and are mostly heavily upholstered.   I am told that this is a good selling point – “After all, they can always Screen Shot 2018-11-24 at 10.29.33use a strategically placed cushion” but would probably be avoided by anyone liable to backache, who would know better.   If the upholstery was of denser foam at the level of the iliac (Pelvic) crest the appearance would be the same but pelvic support would result. ( BACKRESTS. Pelvic support v. Lumbar.→).

The Eames Chair.
  Yes.  This seems to be the best easy home chair.   I have ignored it, not being a work-chair, but it does have some 2T features, a reclined mode and leg support, which accounts for it’s comfort.   For me, It is not an ‘Object of Desire‘.   I do not like it being in two bits Screen Shot 2018-11-27 at 13.07.03when there is a one- piece solution which could be more elegant, simpler and to the contemporary taste using the 2T (3M) concept.   Being more ergonomically compliant it would also be even more comfortable.

Roorkee chairs

For the ‘cool’ uncluttered look a simpler chair is possible.   The old Roorkhee campaign chair which had some ergonomic advantages has many modern derivatives. Roorkee chairsSome of these advantages having been lost in translation.   It is chairs of this sort that are popular with Interior designers although the ergonomic advantages vary. Roorkee chairs have spawned a number of modern designs including Klint’s Safari Chair and also by Marcel Breuer (the Wassily chair), Le Corbusier (the Basculant Chair), Wilhelm Bofinger (the Farmer’s Chair) and Vico Magistretti (the Armchair 905).
Roorkee derivatives

Roorkee chairs are campaign chairs with marvelous design  used in the Army from 1898 to WW2, ‘officers , for the use of’.     Screen Shot 2018-11-20 at 09.35.06The pair from my Uncle Jack (Berrington) during the South African Boer War (c. 1902) was lost in transit so he indented for two more.  The original pair reappeared and now I have all four.  Here is his Brother in Law, my Uncle Gilbert and his sister (Aunt Alice Berrington) sitting in Roorkee chairs in about 1950.   He is in a reclined position and the bottom edge of the tilted back rest gives some pelvic support, and this unexpected ergonomic efficiency is why officers may have found it so comfortable.   Hers has an additional headrest which would allow a sleep mode.
Developed by the Indian Army Corps of Engineers in Roorkee, India, the Roorkee chair is lightweight at about 10 lbs., and breaks down quickly to be stored in a 9″ x 36″ canvas bag.   The ingenuity of the design lies not only in its ease-of-assembly and dis-assembly, but the very act of sitting in the chair reinforces its structure.  The seat canvas is slung between front and rear crossbars and pulls them towards each other, tightening the side rails in their mortises with the legs.

Screen Shot 2018-11-10 at 14.05.18

My Roorkee chair, disassembled.  Shows the backrest.  The original canvas was lighter in colour, replaced here with army tent canvas.   The front strap may have been added later, and broke when being assembled today (17/Nov/2018, not bad after over 100 years).    Assembling needs some expertise which batmen (soldier servants) must have learned quickly.  How it can be done is shown, using a modern version at .   Also it requires expertise to get the parts into such a small canvas IMG_20181117_144333731bag.  The original bag 90 x 23 cm.

The ergonomics, I discovered, are good.   Leaning backward results in rotation of the backrest with a slight extension force on the thoracic spine and  extension of the lumbar spine.   This comes close to the 2T CONCEPT  and accounts for it’s recognised comfort.

Screen Shot 2018-11-18 at 11.12.44


p5 in reclined modeCompare the position of the user when sitting in a 2T prototype showing an optimal work position.

Core 77 has an account and show a number of archive photographs of the chair being used including one  of Gen. Earl Alexander, sitting in a Roorkee chair beside Churchill,  in a less comfortable upholstered (no correct back support) arm chair, who would have known Roorkee chairs well from his time serving in the 4th Hussars.   Screen Shot 2018-11-20 at 09.23.19


The FUTURE is going the 4M way

From a wierd concept in 1998 to become disruptive in 2017?

The ‘Deskless Chair’ derived from the ergonomic importance of a reclined work position, is morphing into the ‘Workstation’. This should reduce the incidence of LBP and other health issues.

In 1903 Ford’s ‘Horseless Carriage’ had morphed into the Model T, capable of 20 horsepower In 1908.  This, at least, solved the “great horse manure crisis of 1894” when it was suggested that London’s streets would be clogged in 9 feet of horse manure in 50 years. It’s descendants are, in turn, being disrupted by ‘the driverless car’.

Screen Shot 2018-11-24 at 17.43.29Disruptive technologies have to prove themselves first. They do so by working on the same infrastructure as the incumbent leaders. Cars had to run on the same streets as horses. Dial-up internet connections in the late 1990s used the copper in the phone networks.  (Dan Denning Publisher, Southbank Investment Research ).   So, work-stations have to use existing office spaces before becoming universal.

We are seeing a number of ‘OFFICE WORK-STATIONS→’ type models which include a reclined work mode and so are superior to the present (2016) upright conventional  models.  The models shown here are a step in the right direction but are not 2T compliant and appear to ignore the science and are based on engineering.    They do not invite a great uptake, in spite of extensive PR.  WORK-CHAIRS, a new breed with a reclined mode →

The simple upright office chair

This has improved.    Although not 2T sophisticated the designers of the following may have seen my posts.  This advert arrived in my post today (27/11/2019).Screenshot 2019-11-27 at 17.53.02

At least there is an apology for pelvic support and a headrest.

For further reading, see ☛

←Return to  ☛ 2T CONCEPT a full solution


Screen Shot 2017-05-20 at 11.14.27

This highly innovative chair was introduced to me by it’s designer,Thomas Stroman, the Founder of Stroman Design.   He wrote to me “I am an architect by training, but having experienced back surgery, my focus has been on ergonomic seating design for human-computer interaction.  Over the past three years I have designed, prototyped and patented the Chotto® ( chair + ottoman ) .  It is a uniquely human-centric and recumbent seating / task-seating / standup desk that positions the body
into close proximity to the neutral body posture that is produced in microgravity.”  “I believe  this field of study is increasingly important and needs to be pursued given the scope of benefits it can provide those who must sit by choice or physical condition. I would also like extend an open invitation to you to evaluate my prototypes if you are ever in NYC.    Regards,  “

An excellent objective and a very interesting product.  At first glance I might be excused for thinking that it looked as if it were self mobile with caterpillar tracks.  Perhaps an exciting concept for the future.    I wrote back (May 19, 2017)

Dear Tom    I have had another look at your web page​  At first sight, I admit, I thought the Chatto to be OTT.  But on second thoughts, some might find it attractive, including me, to charge around an open plan office floor in a mini-tank.  But I can see it excites ‘familiarity bias’.  I can see no reason why it cannot be modified to take advantage of the 2T ergonomic optimisation.   This would be a huge selling point.  Even the Chinese put ‘health’ as their top design requirement  Unlike our chair manufacturers who put ‘comfort’.  (See ).Screen Shot 2017-05-20 at 11.11.16
In the early model, above, I was worried about the apparent calf compression that has the potential for DVT.  “An optional footrest elevates the legs and feet while an immediately mobile, nested and freely rotating task tray provides a universal surface for eating, reading, writing, or digital interaction. This same tray can be repositioned within the optional rear support brackets for use with the pivoting display interface / standup desk ( PDI ).  The PDI is based on design research that favors a human-centered interface that literally revolves around the seated, tension-free and fully supported Screen Shot 2017-05-20 at 11.07.26user.  If paired with a laptop, the PDI can also be used as a dual-screen interface in both the seated or standing position.  With the PDI in the default standup desk position, the Chotto simultaneously accommodates both a standing and seated user – all within a small 15 s.f. footprint.”

Also the user is very happy but looks trapped.   How does she get out?   Leg support is unecessary as it is provided by the long bones of the leg but a foot rest is essential, padded support for the heels, for prolonged work but not for the upright mode.

Screen Shot 2017-05-20 at 11.08.23Dear Tom.     Looking at your diagrams, I would make the following points from the bio-medical viewpoint :-
  • You have a good reclined work position.  But the Chair /body shape interface requires  iliac support at 20 cms above the seat pan. This is important for spinal wellbeing.   (See  bottom half).
  • You have correctly spotted that good design encompasses most body shapes and sizes.  Adjustment is only needed at the extremities, neck and legs.   (See ).
  • I like the way your computer screen adjusts to whichever mode.
  • For full 2T compliance I make a point for the intermediate ranges to be unstable for additional health benefits.  Of course, this is not basic (See & ).
  • On further thought, I do not think that a lordotic concave support for the kyphotic/convex thoracic spine, as described in the 2T is strictly required.  The thoracic joints are stable being splinted by the ribs.  Only rotation movement occurs at this spinal level.
    Your configuration depends on the convex shape of the wheel circumference and this can support the fairly solid thorax, providing that it is accompanied by neck/head support in the reclined mode.  You will be glad to hear that I have tested this while having my bath.  In the UK we have prolonged baths and so can think great thoughts.  The iliac support, lower down at the lumbar-sacral junction is very important but can be effected by padding as you have suggested,

Another architects chair

Screen Shot 2017-05-20 at 13.48.22Architects have a tradition for designing good furniture. Aaron Chetwynd did this 2T sketch for me. It is deliberately ‘office chair’ looking to reduce ‘familiarity bias’.   It is not intended to be a work-station.

Screen Shot 2017-05-20 at 13.37.15

The leg/foot-rest design is important and is wrong in the Aaron view above. There is no need for a leg rest as this is effected by the strong long bones of the leg (Lower end of the femur & lower leg tib/fib).  However this brings point pressure onto the heels which I found to be painful over time and needs to be well padded.  I think your design shows this except the pressure seems to be at the ankles.  This may need further consideration. Also it needs adjustment for leg length.  Pressure on the calf muscles should be avoided as it may limit venous return and cause Deep Vein Thrombosis.
New point
Screen Shot 2017-05-22 at 17.22.25



About the Chotto:

Aetiology of LBP.

LBP. Cause (Aetiology).

The causes of LBP are multifactorial  and ill understood.    It is suggested (Adam et al.2002)  that  there is a need to integrate the evidence from genetics, biomechanics, biochemistry, cell biology and psychology to construct a comprehensive model.

Twin studies suggest that only 70% of the UK population is liable to LBP (Spector 1999). Other twin studies strongly emphasise the genetic factor in the aetiology of LBP  (Battie et al., 2002).   Genetics are not a cause of LBP but a risk factor acting through, possibly, spinal configuration or components of the disc composition.

Psycho-social factors, regarded as an important in the large increase in the last 20 years (Waddell 1996), is  more a response rather than a cause, resulting increases reporting.     Anecdotal evidence from patients with chronic LBP should not be ignored.  Although usually unaware of any causative incident, they are fully aware of what makes their symptoms better or worse.

The prevalence and incidence of LBP in populations that do not use Western style upright chairs but other ‘natural’ styles of sitting. which are culturally determined, is very low or nil, suggesting an adverse effect of the use of Western style upright chairs.    In Japan, this increases as elements of the population adopt Western chairs (Schlemper 1987).

Nutrition, environment and lifestyle may all play a part in the aetiology of LBP, but the only new factors that might account for the present epidemic is lack of exercise and a sedentary Western lifestyle.    Driving, office work, computers and TV,  the modern worker spends an increasing amount of time in a chair.

Epidemiological studies of  backache prevalence.

The literature on epidemiological evidence is extensive but, in relation to aetiology, confusing due to uncertainties and imprecision in describing reliably the condition that is under review.  Low back ‘trouble’ extends from LBP of psycho-genic origin to a midline IVD protrusion causing a corda equina syndrome, which is a surgical emergency.  Meta-analysis of systematic reviews, useful for evidence based therapeutics, have to be viewed with caution in extrapolating to clinical conditions. (Furfan et al 2001).  I have often seen wrong conclusions in my own field.

A study by the US Department of Health and Human Resources (NIOSH 1997) reviewed a number of factors and the general conclusions seem to suggest that the evidence was contradictory and confusing. There was an emphasis on non-physical psycho-social factors and heavy load handling.   Much of the research into the causation of spinal breakdown has concentrated on violent or inappropriate spinal usage afflicting manual workers today and hominins in prehistory (See Origins of lumbar vulnerability→).

In a Swedish review (Linton, van Tulder.2001) of controlled trials of preventive interventions for back pain problems only exercise gave evidence of relatively moderate significance perhaps suggesting that sitting has no influence on LBP.   The divergence of the  clinical and other evidence from that of some epidemiological studies suggests that the methodology of the latter should be reassessed rather than an immediate conclusion that seating plays no part in the symptomatology of LBP.

Invisibility is possibly due to  the universality of the upright sitting posture on chairs becoming  a part of the human condition in Western orientated populations, so that it fails to become apparent to recognition in systematic reviews.  This impacts on research, where musculo-skeletal funding is minuscule, in spite of the economic, which is about £13billion annually in the UK, and personal cost .

VR and sitting

Global blue chip companies are throwing their weight into VR development (hardware and software),  Mark Zuckerberg believes “this kind of immersive, augmented reality will become a part of daily life for billions of people”.

Roto VR chair

Andrew Lockley (→   ) discussed this (3/o3/2017) with Eliott Myers from Roto VR, which is a small, innovative firm with designs on the related accessories market.  He claims that “Roto enhances the seated experience with haptic feedback so dramatically you feel like you’re really there, in another world. Once you’ve tried Roto, VR feels empty without it.  With Roto, you can add our Table accessory, so you can drive around 360 degrees with a steering wheel (and pedals). Roto also has “rumble shakers” which can be affixed to the underside and back of the chair for added sensations. It’s like 4D on steroids. Actually we should call it 360D!”

Sounds exciting!

But not if the chair is liable to induce backache (LBP) on prolonged use. Their picture (  ) shows an upright chair with their concomitant disadvantages and with it’s extra, probably excellent, VR additions.

A huge opportunity

VR and sitting, if prolonged, will be relevant to chair design. It would not be difficult to redesign this chair to take advantages of the 2T or 4M concepts and so correct it’s seemingly obvious, from the pictures,  ergonomic deficiencies  This would have the additional advantage that the firm would have the basis for an ergonomic optimised office work chair that would jump ahead of the field.

If you are in the mood have a look at ☛ →


Screen Shot 2017-03-07 at 17.59.30From Gorman JD. MA (Cantab.) (Mechanical Sciences) MI.Mech.E (Member of Institution of Mechanical Engineers). MMCA (Member of the McTimoney Chiropractic Association) on 7/March 2017.

Yes I agree that a typical office chair and the typical office chair slump is wrong. Certainly semi reclined  position is one solution. I have rather given up trying to predict how the sitting world (the world of Homo Sedens) will evolve. It is certainly slow in recognising the problem which would be the first step.   This chair looks to me like a cheap after-market car seat. The computer people probably have no interest in the chair/seat so gave it no thought so long as it looked fairly high tech.     john g.

Screen Shot 2017-03-07 at 17.59.30Reply from Dr HA Sanford MA MB BChir (Cantab) D Phys Med (Lond).

You are probably right.   Then, I am not an expert on car seating like yourself.   Henry

Screen Shot 2017-03-07 at 17.59.30Comment from Dr HA Sanford

Virtual Reality (VR) is taking me back to ‘The Brave New World’ of Aldous Huxley (1932) which I read at school.   He described a dystopic utopian hierarchical society that kept control with consumerism, drugs (Soma) and VR (Feelies).  Work was done by robots and everyone was free to relax and enjoy promiscuous sex. Sounds similar to what may happen now.

This work was superceded by ‘1984′ by George Orwell, who was at my Prep school some 20 years before me, and hated it.  We all did but did not go into print so viciously.  ’1984’ faced the more immediate threat of Marxism which has now intellectually collapsed due to it’s internal contradictions and misunderstanding of the human condition.   So we are now back with ‘Brave New World’.   It does not sound too bad but actually is a form of slavery.  Those who objected, wanting to think, were regarded as barbarians and exiled.    To Iceland (as far as I can remember).  I used to run an annual course there (See the photographs in HOW WE SIT NOW→.)  The people are wonderful and it is very pleasant (in summer).

So, VR, here we come!    HAS

The end of sitting?

Sitting Is Deadly. Could Banning Chairs Help?

Peter Bessey (he did the CADs for me) sent me this link,

My initial reaction was that this was way OTT.  On second thoughts I realised that I had been saying something similar since 1998. As a consultant in Muscle-skeletal (Orthopaedic) medicine my interest was to remediate the factors that could lead to spinal breakdown.  Later, my general medical practice long past, I realised that there were also general medical adverse, potentially terminal,  effects.  It was mentioned under ‘Sitting Disease’ in    Chair DESIGNERS & Low Lumbar Backache

My own view is that sitting at work is not dead but should be transformed into a workstation incorporating the 2T (or 4M) concept.   Sit/Sand systems are also a help.   HAS 18/2/2017.

The End of Sitting 

 Summary of the work by RAAAF.    This is an installation 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.

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?

The RAAAF installations The End of Sitting, which debuted in 2014, and Breaking Habits, opening at the Mondriaan Fund for Visual Arts in Amsterdam February 16, present chair-free environments that encourage people to get up and move. As Erik Rietveld puts it, “As long as there are chairs present, people will sit in them habitually.”

The End of Sitting – Cut Out marks the beginning of an experimental trial phase, exploring the possibilities for a radical change in the way we work in 2025. This project is a follow-up of theScreen Shot 2017-02-20 at 18.47.09 architectural art instalation made in Looiersgracht 60, Amsterdam by RAAAF. It is cut out of the landscape of standing affordances and includes the most successful positions for supported standing. It allows visitors to stand, lean, hang or lay down while interacting, reading or working. The visitor is both participant and spectator. This travelling exhibition allows everyone to experience the future of the standing office.

Slideshow Credits: 01 / Photo: Jan Kempenaers via RAAAF; 02 / Photo: Jan Kempenaers via RAAAF; 03 / Photo: Jan Kempenaers via RAAAF; 04 / Photo: Ricky Rijkenberg via RAAAF; 05 /Photo: Ricky Rijkenberg via RAAAF;

The concept seems to be that of a Sit & Stand complex.  See Sit Stand & stools →.   Even an office of this sort may have environment adverse effects for the health of staff.  See →

Screen Shot 2018-10-17 at 14.23.33

The global future?

The future may be much better, or worse,  than most people think. It’s going to “arrive” sooner than they imagine.

Ray Kurzweil – explains  “Now back to the future: it’s widely misunderstood. Our forebears expected the future to be pretty much like their present, which had been pretty much like their past. Although exponential trends did exist a thousand years ago, they were at that very early stage where an exponential trend is so flat that it looks like no trend at all. So their lack of expectations was largely fulfilled. … An analysis of the history of technology shows that technological change is exponential, contrary to the common-sense “intuitive linear” view. So we won’t experience 100 years of progress in the 21st century — it will be more like 20,000 years of progress (at today’s rate). The “returns,” such as chip speed and cost-effectiveness, also increase exponentially. There’s even exponential growth in the rate of exponential growth.”

Michael Bess, professor of history at Vanderbilt University in the United States, opines  “There will be some fantastic benefits from these technologies, and some really potentially cataclysmic dangers. The idea is to go slow, because we need to be careful. We need to give ourselves time to adapt to the power that these changes are going to exert on our life as individuals and in society as a whole. .. Within the wealthy countries, it could exacerbate the rift between the rich and the poor. On a global scale, it’s going to be even worse. I become worried that over time, if there are several generations of enhancements that have gone forward and that rift keeps widening, you will see a fragmentation of the species based on whether they have been able to get access to these things or not.”

The Third Industrial Revolution.

David Brown, entrepreneur, angel investor and the creator of the blockbuster drug Viagra, suggests that  we are living through what he calls the Third Industrial Revolution. His theory is that each revolution is driven by a combination of three things:

  1. a new energy source, 1, coal, 2.oil, 3. ?solar..
  2. a new means of communication. 1. steam-powered printing press 2.the telegraph 3. ?the internet.
  3. and a new source of finance. 1. the stock exchange. 2. the limited company 3. ? peer-to-peer lending and other internet-driven forms of finance.

 … What’s the definition of a bank? It lends money to a broad customer base. These internet companies have massive customer bases – a billion customers with no infrastructure costs – and they’ve got money. Apple’s got $200 billion in cash. Banks are bust! It just takes one step now: for Apple and Google to start lending, and they are then replacing the current banking system.

Genetic editing

We’re talking about memory in the way early computer developers (really early – think 1940s) had to find ways of turning information into a signal that could be read, understood and stored by a machine. In a similar vein, researchers have found a way of getting the DNA in your cells to record certain information that can then be read back later.

Medically, that information is basic: we can record “events”, like whether any inflammation occurred, as well as for how long it lasted and how severe it was. But the ultimate goal of the research is to get our DNA to store more complex information about the progression of an illness or the performance of a drug.

As Timothy Lu, associate professor of electrical engineering and computer science, and of biological engineering, put it: “To enable a deeper understanding of biology, we engineered human cells that are able to report on their own history based on genetically encoded recorders.” 

This breakthrough, like so many others, would not have been possible without CRISPR.

First off, what exactly is CRISPR?   It stands for Clustered Regularly Interspaced Short Palindromic Repeats. It’s sometimes referred to as CRISPR/Cas9. But what we call it isn’t half as interesting as the fact that it enables us to do something no civilisation before us has ever had the ability to do – to edit the genetic makeup of living things and remake ourselves the way we want to be.   It will go down in history as the most significant breakthrough of the century.

In the middle of the last (20th) century, Francis Crick and James Watson , at Cambridge, discovered the structure of DNA. Let’s call that the birth of modern genetic research. It was akin to us finding the instruction manual for the human body.   A half a century later in 2000 and the Human Genome Project decoded a genome for the very first time. That gave us the ability to read the instruction manual (or parts of it).

CRISPR enables us is to rewrite the book altogether – to cross out parts we don’t want, swap whole pages with those of another book, to create an entirely new book if we like. That’s a major shift. It changes our involvement from passive study and understanding of the subject, to active involvement, re-engineering things the way we want them to be.  It is an emerging technology. But its uses are multiplying seemingly by the day.  The doctor behind the experiment called it: “A landmark in the use of new gene engineering technology and the effects on this child have been staggering. “If replicated, it could represent a huge step forward in treating leukaemia and other cancers.”

“CRISPR is a geneticist’s dream come true,” said oncology expert and Novartis researcher Rob McDonald in a 2016 interview. “CRISPR enables us to do experiments that one could only dream of before.” In short, it enables scientists to look into thousands of genes related to cancer. The goal is to find a “kill switch” – the gene or genes that are vital to the survival of the cancer. Find this and you can engineer drugs that hit this target with precision.”  This has helped lead to a major project lead by the Novartis Institutes for BioMedical Research (NIBR) and the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard, known as the Cancer Cell Line Encyclopaedia. The goal is to turn genomic information of cancer data and tumour biology into more therapeutically useful information.

That tackles a disease that’s already developed in a patient. But what if we could remake our genetic profiles so that we were entirely immune to certain diseases?   In an attempt to create immunity against HIV by “cutting” the offending genetic material away UMass Medical School researchers are using CRISPR/Cas9.  “On the simplest level, we’re employing a very precise pair of scissors to go in and clip out all, or part of, the HIV genome and reattach the severed ends of the human genome,” said principal co-investigator Scot Wolfe, PhD, associate professor of molecular, cell & cancer biology. “If we could do that, the hope is that this would be a step on the road to getting a functional cure for HIV.”

The number of clinical uses of CRISPR – and gene editing more widely – is growing all the time. As well as cancer and HIV, researchers around the world have had preliminary success using CRISPR against cystic fibrosis and sickle cell anaemia.

There are more controversial uses, such as creating mosquitos that are genetically engineered to wipe out the rest of their species (by breeding with them only to have offspring that are incapable of breeding) in an effort to combat malaria and the Zika virus.

Superhumans and the Jetsons fallacy

The author Michael Bess put it that when we imagine the future, we envisage a world in which technology is many times more advanced, but humans are essentially the same as they are today. He calls it the “Jetsons fallacy”: based  on a TV show set in the year 2062. It became a household show. Everyone was watching it. And it depicted a world in the future where cars fly and people can be transported in pneumatic tubes and there are robots everywhere, but the people are exactly the same as the people of 1962.

Consider the other side of the debate? What about using these techniques to enhance healthy people, rather than treat or prevent disease?  Given the potential uses of CRISPR and other genetic editing techniques in the treatment or prevention of illness, it seems near certain that gene editing will become a major industry – and perhaps even a major part of life. It is easier to win the moral argument against altering the building blocks of life if you’ve developed a cure for cancer or heart disease. The benefits to humanity are obvious and immediate.

There’s been a line drawn in the sand between the two uses so far.   Marcy Darnovsky of the Centre for Genetics and Society (an organisation dedicated to looking at human biotechnologies from a social justice, human rights and public interest perspective), who put it like this: ‘When someone has a disease that’s threatening their life or their health, then yes, let’s try to treat them with gene therapy. But when it comes to modifying genes that we’re going to pass onto our children and to every cell in their bodies, and that’s irreversible, and that’s going to be passed on to all their offspring: that’s where we think the line has to be drawn’.

The line has been drawn many countries and by one international treaty – the Council of Europe treaty that the UK has not signed. The UK itself actually does have a national law against human germline modification, which is why Parliament had to vote on that mitochondrial manipulation technique.

Sarah Gray, of the American Association of Tissue Banks, made that same point in a more emotional, but no less relevant, way. Gray gave birth to a son with anencephaly and suffered seizures for six days until he died. As she told a National Academy of Sciences summit on gene editing, “If you have the skills and the knowledge to eliminate these diseases, then freakin’ do it.” 

As these technologies advance, they will make it possible to safely and effectively modify the DNA  of human embryos genetically. This is a choice we are going to have to make. Is this something we want to do or not? Because it’s going to become technologically and medically possible.

We have a technology that allows us to remake the world ourselves as we want – or think we want – it to be. The potential uses are virtually limitless. That creates a massive incentive to explore and push the limits of what we’re able to do.  How to use that power is going to be the most important story of the century.

The Artificial Intelligence Revolution has begun

A time in human history. when we eradicate killer diseases, add decades to the average human lifespan and when we master the art of creating machines capable of superintelligent levels of thought and skill, there’s one revolutionary breakthrough that’s going to be at the heart of almost everything that happens – the development of artificial intelligence (AI).

  • Energy technology: wind, tidal and PV generation, batteries and fuel cells.
  • Consumer technology such as smart appliances, plug-in electric vehicles and social networks.
  • Grid and operational technology – such as automated demand side response, microgrids and condition-based predictive maintenance
  • Information technology (IT) such as the Internet of Things, cloud, and big data.



Assistive technology

Robotics will actually improve our lives in a huge number of different ways.  It isn’t just the branch of technology that will ultimately put millions out of work as every job on the planet gets automated.  There are two categories

  1. Robotics that will assist us: to help us do things our bodies just can’t or won’t do. For instance, helping paraplegic people to walk again.  The Walk Again Project in Brazil announced that they’d helped eight paraplegic people to walk again using a combination of virtual reality, robotic exoskeletons and brain-computer interfaces.
  2. The second category is technology that enhances our abilities, using technology to help us do things we otherwise wouldn’t have been able to do. Robots are already in our factories, increasingly in our homes and providing us with entertainment.


In the 2nd category, while the vast majority of uses are peacefully mundane,  robots can be used as military tools.The USA’s Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) wants to have suits would allow soldiers to walk further, carry more equipment, offer protection from the elements and allow them to arrive less fatigued. It is easy to imagine this projected into, to me, inapproptiate superhuman soldier or killer robots.

Daewoo is experimenting with a powered suit for its shipyard workers that allows them to lift a 30kg piece of iron with ease. In a shipyard where that kind of activity is mundane, there are obvious advantages to pairing the sensitivity of a human with the brawn of a robot.

In the aftermath of the Fukushima nuclear disaster several Japanese robotics firms developed special exoskeleton suits to enable people to reach otherwise inaccessible places.

Sam Volkering – futurist and financial advisor – “

It’s going to effectively change the structure of social groups, in that our definition of work is currently: you get up, you go to work, spend your day at work, come home. 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. 

We’re now seeing a trend where robots or 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. So any kind of job that requires a bit of muscle power, or any reasonably repetitive work like bookkeeping – they’re just going to be replaced by automated systems or robotics. Things like self-driving cars – taxis, truck drivers, bus drivers – are not going to be needed, because why get a human to do a job that you can get a robot to do more safely, more reliably, and more consistently over a long period of time and at ultimately lesser cost?

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. It’s not going to be about getting up and going to the office, then going home. You might get up, go to a hub somewhere, interact with a bunch of people on one of your jobs. Then work from home for a couple of hours and then have to go to another community set. That’s going to create issues with transport and things like that. 

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. 

Screen Shot 2018-06-11 at 20.55.56People don’t like change, so that’s going to cause a lot of problems. You’re going to find a lot of people ending up out of work who haven’t had the foresight to reskill or retrain. 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.”

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  workchairs-a-new-breed-

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?

Ergonomics for DESIGNERS of work chairs

May I be so bold as to suggest that….

  •  Ergonomic chair design seems to have come to the end of the road without huge success in avoiding LBP.
  • A new fix is in order and can be effected by the 2T concept.   A ‘paradigm change’?
  • This can only be achieved by an understanding of the  biomechanics. It is hoped that this work may provide you with this, a resource describing the requirements for safe design.
  • By incorporating the points made in this work,  comfort and ergonomics of both the simplest and most advanced ‘ergonomic’ chairs  should be improved .
  • You must not be  misled by ‘comfort’, that treacherous guide  which only turns up truthfully when the bio-mechanics (ergonomics) are fully correct.  See ☛ Comfort→
  •  Remediating the ergonomics is more important. Comfort is improved the nearer a full remediation  is approached.  Full remediation = maximum comfort.
  • The correct search should be for the Hippocratic “Do no harm”.
  • Bio-mechanic adverse designs can be avoided.  Why? Mandal’s Homo sedensScreen Shot 2016-01-14 at 18.19.39
  • There is now no excuse for poorly designed chairs and the conventional mis-advice that is perpetuated.   ☛ Various chairs→
  • Some selling points to manufacturers and architects are added if required.
  • The comment of Kenichi Ohmae (below) is apposite.