In 2014, Herman Miller tasked Don Chadwick with the impossible: improve what many consider to be a perfect product. The Aeron Chair, easily the most popular office chair ever created, had turned 20 years old, and it was time for a refresh. The chair wasn't in need of radical changes, but with improved manufacturing processes, more environmentally friendly materials, and general aesthetic changes over two decades, the door was open to re-think how the Aeron Chair could function in the 21st century. Having designed the chair back in the early 1990s, Don Chadwick reopened the schematics and got to work. The result of that two year process is the Aeron Chair, remastered.
When the original chair was designed, it was truly revolutionary. Don Chadwick and Bill Stumpf studied office workers for months, carefully noting how they interacted with their workspaces. What they found was extensive fidgeting, moving, and painful adjustments. Their goal quickly became apparent: create a chair that accommodates people's natural sitting positions while keeping them cool, blood flow at a maximum, and most of all, their backs fully supported. In order to accomplish this task, they developed new materials never used on an office chair before. The most important material that helped them accomplish this task is the proprietary Pellicle™ fabric, a weaved, mesh-like fabric with significant tensile strength and resiliency. This low-profile and incredibly strong fabric allowed them to create a radically modern chair that was unlike anything people had seen before. At the Aeron Chair's release, some even commented that it looked "alien-like!" Little did those detractors know that they were looking at a product that would change the landscape of thousands of offices across the world and change the way people thought about office chairs forever.
The newly remastered Aeron Chair picks up seamlessly where the Classic Aeron Chair left off. Still available in three unique sizes, A, B, and C, the chair boasts an inclusive design that no other office chair can claim. With its body-inclusiveness preseved, they started the Aeron Chair's remastering with the Pellicle™ fabric itself. The result is the all new 8Z Pellicle™ fabric, a revolutionary zonal sitting experience that disperses weight differently throughout its 8 sitting zones. Now, each body part is better supported to its needs, and the zones respond appropriately to the requirements of each unique sitter and position. This 8Z Pellicle™ fabric allowed Don Chadwick to remove the thigh-pad from the original Aeron, helping improve the sitters' circulation while simultaneously increasing the chair's eco-consciousness.
Another significant improvement lies in the all new PostureFit SL® technology. Tossing out the original butterfly-shaped PostureFit® support, they minimized the materials used and added to the support provided. SL, meaning Sacral-Lumbar, is specifically designed to target the two lower back zones that most need support: the sacrum and the lumbar! The PostureFit SL® is easier to adjust, features a much lower profile, and is incredibly supportive.
Along with those two major changes, the new Aeron Chair features other smaller upgrades over the Classic Aeron Chair. The tilt tension is easier and more responsive to adjustments. The Tilt Limiter is improved with a more tactile response and interactive knob under the seat of the chair. The forward seat angle is likewise easier to adjust, no longer requiring significant rocking like the Classic Aeron Chair. 4-d Adjustable arms are also a new arrival, meaning that the arms can be adjusted up, down, in, out, forward, and backwards. An easier to adjust mechanism provides a much more seamless height adjustment on the arms than the previous Aeron Chair. Overall, the chair is about 4 pounds lighter than the previous model, making it more sustainable and less reliant on plastic for construction.
While it seems impossible to improve upon perfection, Don Chadwick truly accomplished the feat. The Aeron Chair has improved upon the revolutionary design of the Classic Aeron Chair, creating a new product that's still extremely familiar. Like a classic rock album, there was no need to redesign the chair from the casters up. Rather, Herman Miller was able to preserve the famous silhouette, space-aged materials, and unsurpassed comfort to create a new chair that remastered the original design, allowing it to mature gracefully into the 21st century.