The Herman Miller Aeron Chair is one of the most famed and distinctive chairs ever introduced into the world of office furniture. Before the Aeron, the chair that you sat on at your desk was merely a cushion covered in fabric; it acted not as a partner but as a necessary item, a place to rest the body. It was not designed to motivate, to impress, or empower. It was designed to work, and it didn’t work particularly well … especially before the idea of ergonomics as a very serious science began to emerge.
The Aeron changed all of that.
When Designers Bill Stumpf and Don Chadwick were designing the Aeron Chair, they were thinking about what hadn’t been done before and what ultimately made individuals want to sit in a chair. They were very in touch with the idea that in order for a piece of furniture to solidify itself in the minds of consumers, it had to instill passion and a sense of belonging whenever somebody sat in it. That is what the Aeron did, and continues to do, to this day. It is a chair that boosts self-esteem. It is a chair that gives its occupant a heightened sense of productivity and comfort, a willingness to live boldly and confidently, and a presence that speaks of sophistication and poise. It is the Herman Miller Aeron Chair.
A chair like the Aeron has not gone unnoticed. With a rich history that speaks boldly of innovation and accomplishment, the Aeron Chair was bound to win some awards along the way, and that is exactly what has happened. Winning over 10 different internationally recognized awards, this chair was proven by its admirers to be nothing short of a sweeping success. It’s a chair that was driven by a market devoted to the best of the best, a cultural artifact that became an industry idol in a matter of months. The Aeron Chair is a part of the permanent collection at the Museum of Modern Art, was commended in a book written by world-famous author and cultural commentator Malcolm Gladwell as being a chair that made people “explain (their) feelings about unfamiliar things.” As a chair that is way ahead of its time in ergonomics and design, the Aeron did this and more. The Aeron Chair also won the International Plastics Consumer Product Design Award from the Society of Plastics Engineers in 1998. There have been no surprises with this chair. It has been on the hearts and minds of the furniture consumer since its inception, and it has been steadily winning awards since.
What follows is a short list of just a few of the awards and recognitions the Herman Miller Aeron Chair has won in its storied career.
1. Aeron Work Stool wins Attendees’ Choice Award from the National Ergonomics Conference and Exposition (2006)
The National Ergonomics Conference and Exposition (ErgoExpo) in Las Vegas – the largest ergonomics event in America – is one of the best-attended and most respected ergonomics events in the United States. In 2006, the attendees of the ErgoExpo recognized the Aeron Stool as being the most popular and ergonomically correct stool at the entire conference – 12 years after the Aeron Chair was designed. The attendees of this festival are widely representative of almost every industry, including manufacturing, offices, industrial facilities, call centers, healthcare and pharmaceutical facilities, laboratory environments, assembly, construction, 24/7 operations, uncontrolled environments, and virtual workplaces. They all couldn’t help but recognize the Aeron as being the most efficient, ergonomically correct chair on the market.
2. Aeron Chair named one of “Design’s Greatest Hits” in Your Company magazine (1999)
Your Company magazine changed names in November of 1999 to Fortune Small Business magazine, but the focus of the publication before the name change was still the same. The Aeron was recognized by all audiences as the most desirable chair on the market for both small and large businesses. The award offered by Your Company proves that.
3. “Designs of the Decade” Gold Winner in Office Furniture category, from the Industrial Designers Society of America & Business Week magazine (1999)
The International Designers Society of America (IDSA) and Business Week are two organizations that have devoted a significant amount of time to examining the inner workings of different organizations, products, and individuals so that they may be able to – without dispute – identify the best practices in industrial design.
“The Industrial Designers Society of America (IDSA) is the world’s oldest and largest member-driven society for product design, industrial design, interaction design, human factors, ergonomics, design research, design management, universal design and related design fields.”
Needless to say, they are an organization of prestige. The Gold Winner in the Office Furniture category is usually representative of the absolute best piece of furniture that can be found in any office setting, whether it be chair, desk, lamp, or wastebasket. In 1999, the Aeron Chair stole the hearts of the jury selected by the IDSA, completely outstripping all competition.
4. International Plastics Consumer Product Design Award from the Society of Plastics Engineers (1998)
This award truly proves that the Aeron captured not just the attention of designers and CEOs, but also of engineers and blue collar workers. The Aeron isn’t just a beautiful chair (though it is beautiful); it is a thouroughly scientific achievement. The mediums used in this piece of furniture re-shaped the spectrum for furniture materials, particularly from a plastics standpoint. The Pellicle mesh used for the weight-bearing fabric stretched across the metal frame is comprised of very advanced woven fibers that provide comfort, support, and do more than just accommodate a sitter. The composition of this fabric actively intercedes for the health of the individual who sits in it longer than he should. Science became a factor in the furniture comfort equation in a whole new way when the Aeron came along – so much so that an organization dedicated to plastics and tech was unafraid to identify this chair as being an exceptional piece of furniture, no matter the environment.