Piero Lissoni on Comfort...

From the Fritz Hansen Magazine article - the promo/lifestyle mag that came packaged with this month’s Metropolis:

FH: What is your view on comfort?
PL: My pieces are uncomfortable pieces (Lissoni says with a teasing twinkle in his eye). Everyone always talks comfort and practicality. I don’t. I design uncomfortable chairs, because then you have to move and modify your body and I like that. They are interactive pieces, and once you’ve sat on such and uncomfortable chair, you never forget the name of the designer.

OK Core, discuss.


If I design an uncomfotable chair, nobody buys it and I have to design another. I’d prefer his gig. Nice work if you can get it.

i bet he designs comfortable headrests to accomodate his inflated ego.

I just read the article. Wow, what a load of crap. I am so annoyed with that “they have our souls inside” a wine glass… crap. I can’t even finish writing.

douche bags like that make me excited to be leaving furniture design.

KFJ, did you go to Kendall? Why are you getting out of furniture?

yeah, i went to kendall.

the company i work for is having “cash flow” problems and isn’t sure how long they can stay afloat. i interviewed with a large (LARGE) corporation for a design /marketing job (without getting into too much detail). it went well. the director i talked to just moved from grand rapids so that was an interesting twist. we knew some of the same people.

i like working for design firms, but cripes the stability drives me crazy! i’m going back to corporate. gotta learn some new skills and i want to get a masters degree in marketing. i also refuse to return to the north. i like the southeast. my wife likes the southeast (yeah, i got married about a month ago), i have a home here and i like the city. furniture is still unstable and i’m tired of the industry.

wish me luck!

what is a chair the 23 hours/day its not being used?

your mother.

sheesh. that’s a great design school question. in the real world, ignoring the comfort aspect is a copout.

lets leave our mothers out of this.

Are you saying that every chair that is to be designed should be researched to the level of, for instance, the Aeron chair?

I think the quote from Lissoni is more about being cheeky for the sake of the interview. So what. I’m not immediately familiar with his work but the chairs I found after a quick web search appear to be simple lounge chairs. Not examples of exhaustive ergonomic research. More akin to ambient lighting vs. task lighting. Hell, is an upside down bucket a chair? I think it IS possible to design a chair within a general envelope of already established measurements and proportions. I think what is going to draw us to a chair is more than just comfort. Emotional connections to style, materials and form also must be factored in. Oh wait that’s part of marketing isn’t it? Be sure to check your soul at the door as you exit marketing school.

well said pdog

enjoy your uncomfortable furniture. it will look great in your home. i’ll be sure to come back after my sychophantic lifestyle is complete so i can stroke your ego and sing praises of the emotional responses it invokes.

everything has a balance. leave comfort for the design and it’s sculptural, leave design for the comfaort and it’s institutional.

i think your design paradigm is pretty ordinary. isn’t that what we all try to do anyways? perhaps your wording puts a new spin on an old idea?

perhaps if you understood marketing better, you would see there is room for improvement with design parameter integrated from the inception, hmm? attack the problem from a different angle? given your rehashed, stale perspectives, i should have already known you couldn’t see that.

and that never happens in the real world…

everything has a balance. leave comfort for the design and it’s sculptural, leave design for the comfaort and it’s institutional.

why? some people live in gaudy excess and like to have sculptural, uncomfortable, useless furniture…

why should that bother anyone? of course there is room for some improvement, but isn’t there ALWAYS?

doesn’t bother me. my clients don’t want it, never have. when you get some experience under your belt reconsider what you’ve typed.

in the real world, ignoring the comfort aspect is a copout.

I agree with Jesus here.

Design is about working with constraints. And IMO, if you’re a furniture designer, being able to sit in your chair long enough to read an article about yourself is the #1 constraint…

Briefly looking over some of this guys chairs, none of them took my breath away. So if they’re unfortable too, F$@K em’. Plus I saw no reason why they couldn’t have been designed to be cofortable and still retain a similar form.

Yes… copout

what is a chair the 23 hours/day its not being used?

This is an interesting question though as well…

I guess there might as well be useless chairs out there, it makes the Aeron chair, and Eames chairs that much better…

Let’s go back to the lighting analogy. Do we want all of our lamps to be designed purely for task lighting? Does that make ambient lighting “useless”? Is the atmosphere and beauty created by a “mood lamp” insignificant, or does it offer emotional comfort, regardless of whether you can read by it? From the first klismos chair, furniture has always been about much more than addressing purely physical comfort - this is nothing new.

Surely Jesus your clients are not representative of the ENTIRE seating market - they come to you for something specific, which apparently you provide very well. This doesn’t mean that every other kind of seating is worthless.

That said, a comfortable (and aesthetically pleasing) chair is one of the most difficult things to design, and every aspiring furniture designer should attempt it.

i understand what you are saying. it is the conundrum of this area of design, isn’t it? however, being industrial designers, we have obligations to our clients’ business and their goals (bottom line). in my experience, the closest i have come to ignoring comfort for the sake of aesthetic is club furniture. yes, there is a need for it, but it is a small, small niche with a tremendously short PLC. i think the longevity of many funiture designs are sucessful because of their balance of aesthetic AND comfort.

also, from my experience, i have had the extreme fortune of working for herman miller and small firms. the research and innovation HM spends afford its designers the luxury of concentrating on the aesthetic. unfortunately, it is quite expensive the information is closely guarded. the problem i have with the designer in question is the arrogance (ignorance?) and ego. this can sell your style for only such a certain amount of time.

as your experience grows, you may struggle to find a balance between idealism and pragmatism. personally i feel the better balance you accomplish, the more longevity your career will afford. insert cliche about stars burning twice as bright lasting half as long here. anyone has the potential to be a rockstar for a day, but the superstars have longevity. how will you attain your longevity?