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Herman Miller launch new iconic chair - Embody

Wednesday 1 October 2008

The chair, which Herman Miller will produce in Holland, MI, has a newly designed three-layer seating that evenly distributes weight and a back that adjusts to mimic the curvature of the spine.

Perhaps the biggest difference you\'ll notice when sitting in an Embody chair is the back is narrower than most of what you see on the market today. The shape provides plenty of lumbar and thoracic support without restricting the shoulders, allowing a user to easily flex their upper body for greater comfort.

Designed by the late Bill Stumpf, the designer of the Aeron chair who died in 2006, and his business partner, Jeff Webber, Embody\'s controls are simpler and more intuitive to use.

Herman Miller\'s \'Embody\' chair
The chair is designed for workers who spend much of their time working at a computer and aims to better position a person at their work station for maximum comfort.

\"We have people in very incorrect postures, and then they try to adjust their technology to that,\" Barnes said. \"What we want is to get you neutral, and then adjust the technology.\"

Herman Miller even lays claim to Embody helping your health: The narrower back allows the chest cavity to open up so you to take in more oxygen while seated; and the seating eases stressful contact points, allowing for better blood circulation in your lower legs.

Herman Miller introduces Embody to the U.S. market this month, followed by Europe in January and Asia later in 2009.

Perhaps the one potential drawback to Embody is its list price.

Embody will list for $1,795, though you\'ll pay considerably less in a contract price. The Aeron chair, for example, lists for nearly $1,300, but you can find it selling at a contract price of about around $600.

Even with the contract discounts, Embody isn\'t cheap.

Herman Miller heard \"big time\" concerns about Aeron when it was introduced in 1994 at a price that was 15 percent to 20 percent more than anything else on the market, Embody Program Manager Bob Nyhuis said.

But performance ruled, he said, and Aeron went on to become an American classic and set a new price point for market acceptance.

Nyhuis believes Embody will, too, particularly among a target market of early adopters who \"always want the coolest thing, always want the latest chair, and they want the best.

\"We believe the market is ready for this chair, and the market is ready for this chair at this price point,\" Nyhuis said.

And as far as replacing the Aeron? No way, Nyhuis said.

\"There will always be a place for Aeron. It\'s iconic,\" he said. \"It\'s developed a life of its own.\"

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