Product Guide, photographed for Architect Magazine, 14 June 2011.

 

Credit: Mike Morgan

Size, material, and function have long determined an office chair’s role in the workplace. But design consultant Jonathan Olivares couldn’t find a resource that documented the chair’s individual parts, so he wrote one himself. A Taxonomy of Office Chairs has sections on the headrests, backrests, lumbar supports, and floor contacts of more than 130 designs. Inclusion in the book required the chair to have introduced at least one innovative feature in its day, and the resulting taxonomy reveals as much about the evolution of the modern office as it does about the office chair’s changing construct, matching modern materials to workers’ needs to develop increasingly ergonomic designs. • $39.95; Phaidon Press, May 2011 • $49.95; MIT Press, March 2011