Saturday, August 04, 2007

Le Derrière Féminin et La Chaise

In April of last year, David Holmes, a professor of psychology at Manchester Metropolitan University in England, developed a formula for the perfect posterior. Using the equation (s + c) x (b + f) / t - v, Holmes claimed, you could account for the appeal of any female bottom, factoring in its shape (s), circularity (c), bounce (b), firmness (f), texture (t), and pertness (v). He also came up with a formula for the male derrière, but the media took little note, sticking to the Kylie Minogue angle on the story...

“I am obsessed with chairs,” declares award-winning furniture designer Andrew Jones of Toronto, calling them the most challenging objects to design. “They are about the complexities of the body, but not just the physical ones,” he says. “Chairs are also about the psychophysical, where the touch and feel are as important.” Jones feels compelled to take a health-focused approach to design. “Chairs are terrible things,” he insists, citing problems such as back troubles, constricted circulation, and carpal tunnel syndrome as proof that people really aren’t built for sitting down. “We’re meant to move around,” he says. This and other ergonomic truths have worked their way into many of Jones’s designs. “I try to design chairs with shapes that support a person rather than hold them in one place, so that you can swivel your legs, pivot back, slouch forward, sit up straight. I like to allow for a lot of different possibilities.”...

...What makes a perfect chair? There is no single answer, just a slew of variables. The formula might look something like this: (h + i) x (f + e) x (r + v + b) / x, accounting for historical resonance, innovation, function, experimentation, and the reflective, visceral, and behavioural reactions to design. But the equation hinges, finally, on the perpetual X factor of our finest asset, the all-telling and most likely imperfect derrière.
Ah, oui.... From The Walrus (via 3QD).

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