The right chair, the most ergonomic sitting position and perfect lighting. All these things contribute to making millions of people’s workday better every day. We explore the different ways Danish design companies are making their products better.
The Danish design brand Nordic Appeal, who designs and manufactures accessories for Apple computers, stated last year in an interview with DANISH™ that the ergonomics of a laptop computer are compromised when compared to an old desktop computer that utilises a separate screen and a moveable keyboard and mouse.
In the old desktop days, you could move the screen independently and place the keyboard and mouse where it suited you best. Nowadays, with laptops all-over, users are forced to use a computer with a fixed screen and keyboard unless they opt for a separate screen or mouse. Therefore, founders of Nordic Appeal, Martin Bay and Louisa Rosendal, set out to create better ergonomic conditions for Mac users.
“…A laptop has to be easy to carry around. It has to be as small as possible, and have a nice design that pleases the eye. These things make the laptop shrink in a way that makes the keyboard and screen sit very close to each other; therefore, you are forced to bend your body a little in order to get maximum use of the screen. It is just not very ergonomic to use,” says Bay.
To fix the ergonomic issues, Nordic Appeal has in the past launched products such as the MacBook Stand, which is a curved piece of plywood that puts the user in a better writing position, and the Display Stand that lifts the user’s iMac or Cinema Display for a better viewing position. More products are currently in the pipeline, but Bay and Rosendal cannot reveal their upcoming Apple accessories.
New ergonomic learning chair
At the American design exposition NeoCon 2015, the Danish furniture brand HOWE introduced a new collaborative chair concept called SixE Learn, while also winning silver in the prestigious ‘Best of NeoCon’ in ‘Education solutions’. The concept behind SixE Learn is to facilitate active learning environments with a focus on mobility and collaboration.
SixE Learn delivers an approach that provides personal ‘at hand’ storage in an ‘all-in-one’ chair. In addition to a simple bag hanger/coat hanger solution, there is built-in storage within the work surface itself. Here students can store paperwork, or a laptop or tablet, keeping everything easily accessible at their fingertips. The personal work surface has an integrated tablet stand, which frees up space on the work surface.
The name SixE, which actually means ‘six Es’, derives from the following alliteration: Great Ergonomics, strong Environmental credentials, Efficiency, Economic sound, Ease of use and Elegance.
The swivel base allows for mobility and effortless shifting between configurations during a lesson. The work surface can be positioned behind the chair when not in use or on the left or right of the user to suit the student’s preference, which also benefits communication when team working.
“We design and manufacture chairs that you sit on for a long time during lessons, conferences and meetings, and that is why our chairs’ ergonomics are so important to us. Since it is a central part of our DNA, our design briefs comprise loads of information about ergonomics when a new product has to be developed. That is the first step. Afterwards, we have a long collaboration with the designer, where ergonomics, functionality and aesthetics are our main focus points,” says Mads Holm Rabjerg, Product Development Manager at HOWE.
Making the light just right
The Danish lighting manufacturer Louis Poulsen cares about creating the best lighting conditions for its customers. Known for producing classics such as the Artichoke lamp designed by late Danish designer Poul Henningsen, Louis Poulsen always has a strong focus on putting the right light together. The hardest thing to create is not the physical design, but the actual experience of great light.
“Today, where LED is an integrated part of the product, there are loads of technological considerations and matters that you have to think-through and implement in the core of the product. We have to comply with our lighting philosophy in regards to the description of function, comfort and atmosphere, and at the same we have to ensure that the energy consumption is minimal – both in terms of energy savings, but also in terms of emission of heat. There are a lot of things that have to come together before we can launch a product,” says Claus Østergaard, International Marketing Director at Louis Poulsen.
The international lighting manufacturer has from the beginning been known for its strict and uncompromising product philosophy that is grounded in simplicity. No excess design features are permitted, and perhaps that is why architects all over the world have made Louis Poulsen a specialist’s choice for architectural lighting.