Design and Development

It doesn't look like any chair you've ever seen. It doesn't feel like any chair you've ever sat in. Designed to perform as an extension of the human anatomy, the Aeron chair echoes the body's movements and anticipates its needs like a pair of comfortable and expertly fitted jogging shoes.

How Herman Miller developed a chair that isn't just another chair

Aeron back design

Aeron is a revolutionary seating solution, based on two decades of research into how people sit, the activities they perform and how to provide healthy support for people of all shapes and sizes. During development of the chair, Herman Miller consulted with orthopaedic surgeons, ergonomists, physiotherapists, bio-mechanical engineers and customers. The designers brought over 20 years of chair research experience to the project.

Aeron arm design

Research confirmed that work and workers have changed. More people use computers and there are less reasons to move about. There are more women, generally smaller; and there are larger and taller people. The designers realised that office chairs hadn't kept pace with these changes and that a new approach to seating was needed.

Aeron control design

Designers Don Chadwick and Bill Stumpf began their design process with a clean slate, with no assumptions about form or material but with some strong convictions about what a chair ought to do for a person. The design that fulfilled these criteria didn't look like any other office chair. It wasn't upholstered. It wasn't padded. It was dimensioned in three models that looked exactly alike and that had nothing to do with their users' job titles.

Aeron leg design

It was tested for comfort with scores of users, pitting it against the best work chairs available. Leading ergonomists and orthopaedic surgeons evaluated the chair's fit and motion, and the benefit and ease of its adjustments. Anthropometric studies calculated everything from popliteal height to forearm length on as many people as possible. Pressure testing and thermal testing determined the weight distribution and heat- and moisture-dissipating qualities of the material that forms the chair's seat and back.

The results of these tests and the opinions of these experts were used to refine and validate the design. But the real confirmation that this was the chair everyone was looking for was the way people smiled when they sat in it.

Aeron and Herman Miller are registered trademarks of Herman Miller Ltd.