- Ergonomics and sustainability. Interview with designer Todd Bracher
In the greenest spot in the Brera district - RE:CHARGE Café - that also involved FranklinTill, the London-based studio that specialises in colours and trends - we chatted to American designer Todd Bracher, Creative Director of Humanscale, one of the major players in the field of ergonomic furniture design.
Todd Bracher is well aware of how important it is for the working environment to observe and meet the needs of people and their biological rhythms, and not the other way around, adopting the hashtag #DesignForHumans. This is how he explains his approach to the design of the new Trea chair, which doesn't need to be adjusted to suit the user's body but exploits the weight of the person to automatically adapt to them. A design solution with fine formal elegance made using only three parts. The response to a dynamic working world, where people swap their desks for a table in a café, one like the emblematic RE:CHARGE Café.
For the sustainable aspects of their production, Humanscale responds with a label, like a clothes label that specifies a list of the “ingredients” selected for their durability and for how easy it is to recycle the materials used. These include aluminium, one of the easiest materials to recycle without the need for toxic chrome-plating, there are no chemical agents like formaldehyde - a hazardous indoor polluter - or even stain prevention treatments of the textiles that are chemical substances, which spread by contact with users.
And the plastic is sourced from the Oceans. Humanscale has been working in the area of environmental protection for years, collecting and using plastic from the huge islands or "garbage patches" in the oceans, which pose a massive threat to marine fauna (read The Ocean Cleanup and Mermaids Hate Plastic).
Todd Bracher explains how important these actions really are because the ergonomic office furniture industry is actually a big business.
As part of his design research, Bracher also delves into our circadian rhythm, exploring the impact of light on our lives, which have become increasingly removed from natural rhythms by artificial light and flexible times.
Visitors at the Fuorisalone still have until Sunday to try out the chairs and the glare-free Vessel lights in a "rejuvenating" space that serves shots of green, against a backdrop of green walls and breathing clean, fragrant air inside and out.
Project: Humanscale with Todd Bracher
Via Solferino 18, Milan (Italy)
open 4-9 April from 7 am to 2 am
Images: courtesy of Humanscale - Andrew Habeck