Jonathan Olivares

A Taxonomy of Office Chairs

Article: A Taxonomy of Office Chairs

For designers, the chair is the ultimate object. Designer Ross Lovegrove puts it well. “Chairs,” he says, “are an infinite source of potential to explore material, structure, technology and form…all related to the human body and its elevation.” But given its status, Jonathan Olivares, who heads a design consultancy in Boston, was surprised that he was unable to find an objective reference manual on the subject. Books about chairs are popular, to be sure, but they’re skewed towards the author’s own personal tastes. So Olivares decided to write the book himself, an unbiased compendium that designers could refer to in order to get the whole history, not just one person’s historical preferences.