Wednesday, August 24, 2005

The Cella Chair Design Story

The Cella chair began in the imagination of designer Jerome Caruso. He envisioned a highly engineered, intelligent seating surface composed of hundreds of small cells and loops that would support and respond to different areas of the body. To implement this vision, research focused on optimizing the chair's performance, particularly the patented Cellular Suspension.

To meet the project mandate that Cella be more comfortable than other chairs in its price segment, several research methodologies were used, including end-user evaluations, benchmarking, and expert-opinion research by ergonomists and biomechanical professionals from around the country.

From an ergonomics standpoint, Cella follows the lead of Herman Miller's Aeron and Mirra work chairs, with five ergonomics issues integral to the design all three:
- Size and fit. Anthropometric data from CAESAR (Civilian American and European Surface Anthropometry Resource) and other sources was used to ensure the chair fits different body shapes and sizes.
- Pelvic stabilization. The Cella backrest has Herman Miller's integrated, passive PostureFit contour.
- Kinematics. Herman Miller's proven Harmonic tilt mechanism was applied on Cella.
- Pressure distribution. Throughout Cella's development process, Herman Miller used its pressure-mapping capabilities to inform the design of the cellular size, flex regions, and contouring.
- Thermal comfort. Special temperature sensors, called thermocouples, were used to evaluate upholstery options and inform textile selection.

From an aesthetics standpoint, Cellular Suspension was designed to update and redefine the look of low- to mid-price work chairs, where thick foam-and-fabric seats and backs remain the norm. The color offering was created to support the chair's application flexibility and address important trends. Inspirations for the palette include:
- New architecture. The trend is toward darker, warmer tones in architecture and interior design.
- Nature. Rich, saturated tones for a timeless, classic look.
- Global influences. Colors that appeal to international customers.
- Design trends. Chairs are being specified to have a more neutral presence in office environments so they don't compete visually with other design elements.

With these trends as a guide, Cella's broad yet concise color selection goes beyond what is expected in the price range.

From an environmental standpoint, Cella was developed using Herman Miller's Design for Environment cradle-to-cradle protocol, which establishes strict standards for recyclability, safe content, easy disassembly, minimal packaging, and minimal waste. As a result, like all Herman Miller products, Cella fits into the company's vision of sustainable design.

bfi is an authorized Herman Miller Dealer servicing the NJ/NY area. For more information on the Herman Miller Cella Chair visit our Cella Chair page at:

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