Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Earth Day...Plant a Tree

Think™ about the difference you’ll make. Plant a tree for Earth Day without even leaving your chair. Just order any new Think chair during the month of April, and Steelcase will plant a tree to help reforest areas devastated by the recent wildfires in southern California. Think is comfortable—It tracks the body’s natural movement and responds intuitively. And very sustainable—Think contains up to 37% recycled content, is 98% recyclable by weight, and only takes five minutes to disassemble. Think™ – Innovative, Comfortable, Responsible.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Kartell Componibili Storage

The Componibili Storage Unit, one of our newest additions to our selection of products from Kartell, was recently captured in the wild by one of our favorite blogs about design and modern furniture, Design-Milk.Kartell Componibili

It's pretty neat to see the product online and in our Studio, but nothing beats checking it out in its 'natural' habitat - being used in an actual home.

For more information, visit Smart Furniture today.

Monday, March 23, 2009

Design on Demand and Wordle

As we really enjoy our emphasis on Design on Demand, we were pleasantly assured of that through a neat site called wordle.net that generates what they like to call 'word clouds' - all from the text you provide. The word cloud emphasizes words that are more frequently used in the source text, and 'design' is definitely tops with Smart Furniture and this blog.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Express Checkout is Here!

Making shopping at Smart Furniture even easier, our new Express Checkout is now available for customers wanting to make a quick purchase without registering for an account. And with our new 365-day return policy that includes free return shipping, making a purchase at Smart Furniture has never been more simple hassle-free.

Aeron Chair® Receives MBDC Cradle to Cradle Silver Certification

Cradle to Cradle Certified

The Cradle to Cradle certification means that the Herman Miller® Aeron® Chair was evaluated on its environmentally-intelligent design.  Aeron® is constructed of environmentally safe and healthy materials, designed for material reutilization - such as recycling, and is assembled with 100% renewable energy.

 Aeron is made up of 64% recycled content and is 94% recyclable.  More information about MBDC's Cradle to Cradle certification is available on the MBDC website.

Aeron joins other MBDC Cradle to Cradle certified seating products: Mirra®, Celle®, Embody™ and Caper®.  The certificate is now available on HermanMiller.com.

Steelcase Cobi Chair Receives International Recognition

Steelcase Receives Red Dot Award in International Design Competition for Its cobi Chair Steelcase Inc. (NYSE:SCS - News), a global office environments manufacturer, announced today that it received a 2009 red dot award in the Product Design category for cobi(tm) -- a seating product designed to encourage collaboration in a group setting. The red dot award is an annual international communications and product design competition.

Designed by Luke Pearson and Tom Lloyd of the London-based PearsonLloyd, in collaboration with Steelcase Design Studio, cobi caters to a collaborative work environment and combines aesthetics with performance. The chair's design encourages users to move freely and minimizes fatigue by supporting a wide range of sitting postures with a weight-activated mechanism that automatically responds to a user's movement. It also features an elastomeric top edge that gives way when users drape an arm over the back of the chair -- common behavior when sitting in a chair for longer periods of time. Additionally, the seat pan flexes on three sides, allowing users to sit multiple ways in comfort. ``The red dot is a prestigious and competitive international award,'' said James Ludwig, Vice President of Global Design for Steelcase. ``Steelcase is honored that cobi is among its recipients. The chair is a great example of the fusion of behavioral insights, technical performance and compelling visual language.'' cobi is part a new category of collaborative seating created by Steelcase. The category was developed based on three key insights derived from observational research: -- Collaboration takes time; therefore collaborative seating should promote movement and be comfortable for long periods. -- Workers in collaborative spaces don't adjust their chairs, they adapt. So, adjustments should be automatic and/or intuitive. -- People change postures frequently when they collaborate so seating should support multiple postures. Steelcase has also submitted the product for Cradle-to-Cradle(r) certification by McDonough Braungart Design Chemistry, LLC. The red dot award program, formerly known as Design Innovations, is ranked among the largest design competitions worldwide. The competition is divided into three sections -- product design, communication design and design concept -- which are staged and awarded separately. The coveted trophy is the red dot, the international seal of quality for outstanding design. It is awarded to products which excel through their excellent design quality. Steelcase's cobi was selected from among more than 3,200 entries that were submitted from around the world.

The Cobi Chair will be available for purchase at SmartFurniture very soon.

Friday, March 13, 2009

Now On Sale: Trilogy and Pyramid Shelves

Two of Smart Furniture's most unique shelving designs, the Trilogy and Pyramid bookshelves, are now on sale for a limited time! Check them out and see what else is on sale today at Smart Furniture.

Monday, March 9, 2009

Smart Furniture's 3-Minute Embody Chair Smart Designer in the News

Since its introduction, the 3-Minute Embody Chair Smart Designer by Smart Furniture has caught the attention of many onlookers in the media. Nowhere else can you find a toll that gives you the ability to both customize and purchase an Embody Chair in three minutes or less, and people have taken notice. Read more or visit www.SmartFurniture.com today to customize your very own Embody Chair.

Monday, March 2, 2009

Press Release: SmartFurniture.com Embody Chair Launch

SmartFurniture.com announced today the launch of the "3 Minute Embody®", a groundbreaking online feature that empowers customers to design and order their own custom Herman Miller Embody Chair in 3 minutes at http://www.smartfurniture.com/embody.
The launch of the 3 Minute Embody coincides with the global retail launch of the Herman Miller Embody Chair on March 2 to select retailers including SmartFurniture.com. This revolutionary design in office chairs took nearly seven years for Herman Miller to develop. The Herman Miller Embody Chair incorporates the research of dozens of physicians, ergonomic, biomechanical, vision, and physical therapy experts who assisted internationally renowned designers Jeff Weber and the late Bill Stumpf in the development of the first ever "health-positive chair".
"The Herman Miller Embody Chair is a remarkable innovation. We are pleased to introduce our new Smart Designer "3-Minute" technology simultaneously with the retail launch of the Embody Chair," said T. J. Gentle, President and CEO of SmartFurniture.com. "When Herman Miller first told us about the Embody Chair months ago, we immediately saw the opportunity to adapt our Smart Designer technology in a way that would empower our customers to design an Embody Chair on the web quickly and easily. We've kept it simple and fast, allowing anyone to design and order on the spot.""The Embody Chair offers groundbreaking features and utterly unique benefits in comfort and health, and SmartFurniture.com is proud to make it even more accessible to customers," added Stephen Culp, Smart Furniture Founder and Chairman. "The release of our online '3-Minute Embody' goes straight to what makes SmartFurniture.com different: Design on Demand, which allows SmartFurniture.com to bring custom design to a whole new market-- everyone."

Our Staff's Reaction to the new Embody Chair

Here at Smart Furniture we were lucky enough to be among the first to try out the new Embody Chair when we received our first model from Herman Miller. After reading initial press releases about it online and seeing pictures of its radically different design, we were eager to take a seat ourselves and see what it was all about. Here's what our staff had to say... TJ's thoughts... "Embody is one of the most innovative additions to the Herman Miller Lifework portfolio that I've seen. As part of the Herman Miller Lifework Portfolio, one of the most compelling features of the new Embody chair is that is really does seem designed to help you work better, and even think better. With the Embody, Herman Miller and designers BillStumpf and Jeff Weber have shifted focus from engineering to reduce negative effects on the person using the chair, to designing to increase positive effects on that person, like better thinking, focus, ideas, and "benefiting the mind." I learned, or let me say, was reminded, that people just don't tend to move much when they sit in a typical work chair, and part of the reason is that traditional chairs don't really allow free movement. The Embody appears to be designed to foster movement-- from big reclining movements to lateral leaning, to movements as small as breathing. Focusing the research of nearly 30 professionals such as MDs, PhDs, physical therapists, and ergonomics specialists, the Embody seems geared to adapt to the way we move, the way we sit, and operates on the premise that we are at our best (from work and other perspectives) when we are in motion. And the chair seems to let you move naturally-- that is, without having to think about what movements your chair will allow. The Embody also seems cleverly designed to accommodate people of nearly all sizes and postures. With elements like zone support, and a pixelated support system, the design of the Embody supports different work positions, breathing patterns, and the "postural equilibria" of different people. The result is increased circulation, decreased heart rate, and increased cognitive ability. Finally, the Embody appears to not only be friendly to the body, and mind, but also the earth, with materials that are 95% recyclable, manufactured in a Michigan plant powered from 100% green energy." Mark' thoughts... "The Embody Chair from Herman Miller is the most evolutionary office chair ever developed. It is the realization of form meeting function in an office chair. Created by the same design team that developed the groundbreaking Aeron chair 14 years ago, the Embody Chair is built of the concept of active sitting. This is the first chair that was designed for the 21st Century work force that spends the vast majority of its time at work in front of a computer monitor. A team of bio mechanics, engineers, and physicians spent five years studying how people sit and how they work, to determine the optimum design. The result of this effort is a thin profile chair that is a beautiful to look at as it is comfortable to use.

This chair is designed with an innovative pixilated support system that moves with the user, providing active support to thighs, hips, and back. Research conducted by Herman Miller has shown that people sitting in the Embody Chair experience a reduced heart rate and improved cognitive function as a result of the improved blood flow the chair produces. The unique design of the Embody Chair enables a single chair size to fit 98% of users, regardless of height or weight.

The 4-layer seat provides support without creating pressure points that cause muscle fatigue. The seat fabric is designed to breath, allowing air to circulate, preventing hot spots and reducing perspiration. The seat and back have no hard edges and give with the body as people move, bean, reach and stretch.

The Embody is truly the chair for anyone who wants to optimize their working comfort and productivity is today’s hectic, non-stop world."