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The evolution of HON’s Ignition seating line

History hasn’t been revealing in who invented the first chair, but it was likely back in the Neolithic Period. Stone tools allowed our ancestors to take some of the first steps towards developing furniture by chiseling away a bench out of a larger rock.

Chair Blog 1

A modern interpretation of the klismos chair. Photo credit: 1stdibs.com.

Around the time of the Egyptian pharaohs, chairs were status symbols. Common folk sat on stools while those of royalty or elite status sat in chairs with backs and arms. From the inception of the words chair and throne, there has seemingly been a difference. Chair can be traced back to the Greeks and means ‘to sit down’, whereas throne comes from an Indo-European base for ‘hold’ or ‘support’ (Jewell & Abate, 2001). As has been interpreted, the discrepancy in the two meanings shows how chairs are for anyone to sit in while the throne supported the elite.

In the 5th century B.C., the Greeks invented one of the most depicted chairs in all of antiquity, the klismos chair. The light-weight chair with curved legs is seen on many painted pieces of pottery, stone carvings, and other artworks. While elegant, without further structural support the legs can spread apart and eventually crack or break when someone sits down on the seat (Crantz, 1998).

Chair Blog 2

The throne of King Louis XIV of France. Public domain.

After a period of relative stagnation, chairs and thrones resumed their larger role in society in the Renaissance. They became refined, highly decorated, and comfortable. These places to sit became pieces of art, adorned with gold, silver, and precious stones (de Dampierre, 2006). Different types of chairs were starting to be widely used. Those who could afford them now had separate dining chairs, side chairs, armchairs, and other specific-use seating.

Today, as our lives become less about threshing and more about checking email, there are seating styles that are more practical and ergonomic for our hours in front of a computer. The classic task chairs are now designed to be comfortable and adjustable in a multitude of ways. There are different options for perching, for learning, and sitting at conference tables.

Chair Blog 3

The HON Ignition 2.0 task chair is an example of 21st century functionality. It provides a breathable mesh back, adjustable arms, lumbar support, and a synchronized tilt that allows the user to adjust the chair to meet his or her needs.

The rest of this post is a quote from Witold Rybczynski, the author of Now I Sit Me Down. It shows how a difference in seating habits can result in a wide variety of cultural norms.

“If you sit on floor mats, you are likely to develop an etiquette that requires removing footwear before entering the home. You are also more likely to wear sandals or slippers rather than laced-up shoes, and loose clothing that enables you to squat or sit cross-legged. Floor-sitters tend not to use tall wardrobes—it is more convenient to store things in chests and low cabinets closer to floor level. People who sit on mats are more likely to sleep on mats, too, just as chair-sitters are more likely to sleep in beds. Chair-sitting societies develop a variety of furniture such as dining tables, dressing tables, coffee tables, desks, and sideboards. Sitting on the floor also affects architecture: walking around the house in bare feet or socks demands smooth floors—no splinters—preferably warm wood rather than stone; places to sit are likely to be covered with soft mats or woven carpets; tall windowsills and very tall ceilings hold less appeal. Lastly, posture has direct physical effects. A lifetime of sitting unsupported on the floor develops muscles not required for chair-sitting, which is why chair-sitters, unaccustomed to sitting cross-legged, soon become uncomfortable in that position. And vice versa.” 

As you can see, humans have had a long history with the chair. From chiseled benches and wood-carved stools to task seating with ergonomic designs, we have come a long way.

Make sure that you aren’t left in the stone age and check out the new HON seating options at hon.com.

References

Crantz, G. (1998). The Chair: Rethinking Culture, Body, and Design. New York: W. W. Norton & Company.

de Dampierre, F. (2006). Chairs: A History. New York: Abrams.

Friedman, U. (2016, August 30). A Global History of Sitting Down. Retrieved from The Atlantic: https://www.theatlantic.com/international/archive/2016/08/chairs-history-witold-rybczynski/497657/

Jewell, E. J., & Abate, F. (2001). The New Oxford American Dictionary. New York: Oxford University Press.

Rybczynski, W. (2016). Now I sit me down: from klismos to plastic chair: a natural history. New York: Farrar, Straus and Giroux.

 

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It’s the remix to Ignition,
you know HON’s on a mission
to keep you rollin’ at work
and have all your coworkers wishin’
their chairs were made here at HON.
That’s how we get things done.
Seating is evolving, baby, your workday’s about to get fun…

Ok, I had to! But even the most perfect parody song doesn’t tell the full story of the evolution of Ignition.  As HON’s best-selling seating line, it seemed an impossible feat to find even one way to make it better (let alone over 10, but who is counting?). But HON knew that, if the workplace was evolving, its furniture needed to evolve with it.

1336-1351-1003_Hon Ignition_Open area_1Ignition was first introduced in 2009 as an all-in-one seating solution to provide the perfect fit for every body type, work style and office activity. HON recognized that personalized comfort energizes a workforce, and this idea quickly sparked new designs that ignited a movement toward a host of ergonomic and aesthetic enhancements to help you work better.

Why personalization? The ability to personalize Ignition 2.0 is how we deliver your perfect fit. Take advantage of 4 new custom controls, stabilize your back with an easy-to-adjust lumbar support, or modify the quick-adjust back to adapt to your specific needs and preferences. Choose between a Black frame and the new Titanium option, then pick from an expanded fabric selection to coordinate with an existing office aesthetic or just show off your personal style.

Why comfort? Ignition 2.0. was designed to comfortably, flexibly, dynamically move you to change the world. Tailored to your body, new molded seat foam invites you to sit in your chair, rather than on it. The enhanced back design now includes ilira®-stretch mesh that flexes in every direction to create a soft, responsive feel and target support where it’s needed most – no matter what your workday brings.

Ignition StudioStill looking for more reasons to love Ignition 2.0?

Let me hear you whoot, whoot, because we’ll give it to you cheap, cheap!

(Last song reference, I promise!) A knocked down (KD) version of the task chair with patent-pending Quick Connect arms is also available, offering slimmer packaging and allowing Ignition 2.0 to reach a lower price point than ever before.

And last, but not least. When you buy Ignition chairs, you’re not just buying inspired practical solutions – you’re buying quality, American designed, engineered and assembled furniture backed by a lifetime warranty and a network of dealers.

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Visit the spotlight page at hon.com/ignition to learn more, or follow the story on social media using the hashtag #Ignitionhasevolved.

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When it comes to sitting, HON is taking a stand for greater comfort and productivity. It has been a year since we launched the high performance task seating line, Solve, and we are excited to introduce even more features to this versatile solution. Here are three more ways to put the power of customization in your hands with Solve:

HON Solve Seating has expanded1. Whether you want to match your brand aesthetic or just pick your favorite color, make a design statement with the new Titanium frame.

Solve seating now offers a Titanium frame

2. One of Solve’s three back options, ilira®-stretch, is a knit fabric that uses your own weight to create a softer, more personal fit. If comfortability wasn’t enough, we’ve added new color options, including recently launched Navy, Charcoal and Chai. This responsive mesh back is also available in Fog and the traditional Black.

HON has added new mesh back color options to Solve

3. More options mean more control over your chair and how you work. Now you can choose from fixed arms, height- and width-adjustable arms, or 4D arms that adjust in all directions to enjoy truly customized support.

Solve now offers new Fixed or 4D arms

State of the art ReActiv™ Back technology. Three back options. Adjustable arms. Optional lumbar support. Advanced ergonomic tilt control. Backed by HON’s Full Lifetime Warranty. There are so many reasons why Solve is the answer for comfort and versatility.

Want to learn more about how the latest Solve expansion can help you keep up with evolving work styles and environments? Visit the Solve spotlight page on hon.com

Flock® has been providing fun, modular, and collaborative seating and table solutions since its introduction in 2012.  The Flock Mini Ottomans are especially popular, bringing casual charm and added functionality to any workplace. As the name suggestions, the Flock Mini’s small scale fits anywhere and its fun design makes it easy to reconfigure, too.

Thanks to Flock’s latest expansion, customers now have 2 more reasons to “Flock” to a collaborative space (these were a hit at NeoCon 2016!):

Flock Mini Ottomans Are On the Move with Casters!

Flock’s 30+ models allow you to create a particular meeting space and then quickly rearrange for the next meeting.  Watch this short Flock animation to see what I mean.

Now, you can add casters to your mini ottomans for more mobility, making it easier than ever to customize and reconfigure your modular collaborative workspace.

HON Flock Minis Are Now on the Move with Casters

Flock Mini Ottomans Are So Much More Than a Foot Rest.

Keeping in mind the shrinking footprint in today’s office spaces, HON creates versatile solutions that help you maximize space.  The latest addition to Flock brings a new level of practical functionality to your work area, allowing you them to serve as both a table and a seat.

HON Flock Minis are now available with laminate toppers

To learn more about these new additions or the full Flock soft seating line, please visit the spotlight page at hon.com/flock.

Who said comfort and productivity can’t coexist? Say hello to HON’s new welcome furniture collection, Grove™ – where connectivity and comfort come naturally.

New Grove Soft Seating from HON

It doesn’t take research to tell us that we’re happier when we’re comfortable. We do our best when we feel relaxed and supported. Grove is the right choice when it comes to wanting a versatile lounge designed to help you greet, meet, focus, relax and accomplish more. Whether you’re looking to bring people together or respect their personal space, Grove is the natural choice.

Thick, comfy cushions. A place to put your feet up, huddle up and power up. Remind you of home? Grove supports today’s agile workforce with a change-of-pace lounge that delivers the comfort people crave.  Take a break from the workstation or grab a latte with a colleague. Grove gives people choice over how and where they work, which helps lead to a happier, more creative culture.

The design draws a crowd. The legs turn heads. The dual fabric makes a bold statement. As attractive as it is, the natural beauty of Grove soft seating is rivaled only by its flexibility. There are four sizes and multiple styles to choose from. Accessories that support connectivity and collaboration. It’s why Grove has the look you’re going for, and the comfort and versatility people have been waiting for.

Here are just a few more reasons why we love Grove:

First Impressions.
How you greet a guest speaks volumes.  Offering comfort, connectivity, and convenience is step one towards making a great impression.

Make a great first impression with Grove soft seating from HON

Take Five. Or Ten.
Enjoy your favorite cup of joe.  Take a quick break with a friend.  Get a quick change in scenery and stay productive away from the workstation.

Take a break with new Grove soft seating from HON

Never Double Booked.
Getting the conference room when you need it can be like winning the lottery.  Grove settings with tablet arms and table top surfaces make it a win-win.  It’s like having a conference space whenever you need it!

Collaborate comfortable with new Grove soft seating from HON

Limitless Options.
Grove is available in 1-seat, 2-seat, 2-seat with integrated table and 3-seat, all with the choice of two arm styles or without arms, as well as two polymer leg options or eight hardwood finish options.

Make a statement with Grove when selecting from hundreds of high-quality HON fabrics or dress it up with dual fabric options for limitless design options!

For more information on Grove visit hon.com/grove.

We all know the story of Goldilocks and the Three Bears.  Just like Goldie sought to find her perfect fit before getting comfortable, it’s the same story when it comes to office furniture. Employees are safer, better supported and generally happier contributors when ergonomics are taken into consideration.  To meet the individual needs of a variety of users, HON designed Solve, a versatile seating solution that’s sure to be a happy ending for everybody.  Every body. Here’s a “taste” of the three unique back options for the Solve seating line that are bound to help you find the fit that’s “just right” for you:

Solve with ilira®-Stretch Mesh Back
In October of 2015, The Solve mesh back option was introduced.  At first sit, you’ll notice something different about this mesh right away, with a level of comfort and support that is a step above the standard, run of the mill mesh.  The patented ilira®-stretch mesh is knit, not woven, and moves in 4 ways to provide multi-directional support.  You might recognize it from our other HON seating favorites, such as Nucleus®, Ceres® or the Endorse® Collection. Consider this the ‘soft’ solution that helps regulate body temperature when you’re hard at work.

Solve ilira-stretch mesh back from The HON Company

Solve with ReActiv™ Back
Let’s give a warm welcome to the ReActiv™ back!  This is a brand new back material for HON that provides a unique support style.  The ReActiv back is a hexagonal pattern of Thermoplastic Elastomer (TPE) featuring intersecting nodes that act independently and provide the best of both worlds – the rigidity of a standard back with the breathability of mesh.  Not to mention the interesting design aesthetic it adds to the workplace. I personally consider this the ‘just right’ solution.

Solve ReActiv Back from HON

Solve with Upholstered ReActiv™ Back
Also a newcomer to the Solve line, the Upholstered ReActiv back isn’t your ordinary upholstery method.  We’ve used the Reactiv back as the base with a layer of foam and your choice of six Compass fabric colorways. The unique quality of this Solve back model is that it provides the user with maximum support while still regulating body temperature through the ventilated back.  I consider this the ‘firm’ solution.

Solve Upholstered ReActiv Back Model from The HON Company

One of the highlights of this flexible seating line is that it can be easily customized to meet the individual needs of each user. To find which Solve back option fits you “just right”, I encourage everyone to take a test drive for themselves.  Once you do, I’m sure you’ll find your search for a universal task seating solution…SOLVED!  Find your local HON dealer here and then let us know – which is your favorite?

For more information, please visit the Solve spotlight page on hon.com or view the Solve brochure.

Today’s workers are becoming more mobile, increasing the need for a seating solution that can support them as they transition between individual and collaborative work environments. Solve task chairs were designed to intuitively adapt to each user’s body and movement to provide all day comfort and support as the way we work continues to evolve. For those of you that are struggling with your typical “everyday” office chair… let us SOLVE your problem!

Solve Seating Statement of Line

To provide the high level of personalization required to meet the ergonomic and functional needs of a variety of users throughout your space, Solve task chairs and stools feature 3 unique back materials, three ergonomic controls, and an optional adjustable lumbar support and arms. Additional features, such as the seat glide and waterfall seat edge, enhance natural movement and increase leg circulation. The synchronized seat and back move in harmony with the user to provide continuous comfort that can be customized, allowing people to work anywhere from individual workstations to private offices, training areas to meeting rooms.

Solve seating with ilira-stretch mesh back

The beauty of Solve is reflected in the design statement it makes for any organization. The new streamlined, geometric ReActiv™ back boasts an interesting hexagonal pattern and is available in two classic colors, Charcoal or Platinum. The upholstered ReActiv back showcases 6 colors from our new Compass fabric, and with the seat available in hundreds of HON fabric selections you have the ability to mix and match for a dual-fabric look! The soft ilira®-stretch mesh back is available in Black to coordinate with virtually any aesthetic.

Solve Seating with ReActiv Back

Backed by HON’s Full Lifetime Warranty, the Solve family of chairs offers the flexibility to support an entire space as well as the durability to last for years to come. The applications really are endless! Whatever your workplace need, let Solve be the solution.

For more information, visit the Solve spotlight page on hon.com.

Solve Seating with Upholstered ReActiv Back

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