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June 13, 2010


Jen Waller

Nice post. I now find myself wishing each chair came with it's own power supply so that students could charge their laptops! 

I'm going to take minor exception to the title of your post though. Good instructors have already changed the way they teach, and they encourage this kind of flexibility. Its so necessary to allow for different learning styles and collaborative learning. I rather think it is the furniture evolving to meet the needs of students and instructors instead of the other way around. In other words, "How teaching (or learning) changed the way Steelcase designs chairs!" 


Thanks for comment. I'll cover in the interview, but basically the observed teaching and found the limitations with current classroom arrangements... There was a gap between how teachers wanted to teach and the tools they had to work with. So they applied design-thinking to build a chart that could enable the activities that instructors wanted.


It may be that the future of classroom design isn't a seat at all. See http://bit.ly/cWVjg1


Bell-- I don't know about standing for a 3 hour class!


Well there are lots of classes running less than 3 hours. But he's got that covered - there are inflatable balls you can sit on if you need to give your legs a rest. Either that or he's really interesting and you never want to sit down.


I like that the swivel seat means that there is no "right handed" or "left handed" chair. There's cost savings in there.

As for sitting on exercise balls, someone in my office does that from time to time. I've never tried it myself. Maybe if I come in early and no one is looking...


How big a person can sit in those units? A pregnant woman? An obese person? A really tall man? I think these look great and useful, but I always wonder about the problems with fixed desk/chair combination. And there are probably other accessibility issues, too.


Kaijsa. I believe they did a lot of testing. The current market of classroom chairs are horrible, but they tried to develop a chair that is more open to various body types, as well as sitting style (sloucher, rocker, edge of seat) and the personal workspace / tablet is very mobile. I don't recall if it goes up and down, but I never felt like it was intrusive. Thanks for reading. Hope to get some of my interview up tonight.

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