Bill Stumpf

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Bill Stumpf

William Eugene "Bill" Stumpf (March 1, 1936 - August 30, 2006) was a designer for Herman Miller who helped design the Aeron and Ergon chairs. Stumpf’s battle really began in the 1960s. "Everything goes back to those days at the University of Wisconsin–Madison," he said, referring to the postgraduate years he spent studying and teaching at the university’s Environmental Design Center. "Everything was about freeing up the body, designing away constraints." It was there where Stumpf, working with specialists in orthopedic and vascular medicine, conducted extensive research into the ways people sit—and the ways they should sit. In 1974, Herman Miller commissioned him to apply his research to office seating. Two years later, the Ergon chair was introduced. "I work best when I’m pushed to the edge," he said, "when I’m at the point where my pride is subdued, where I’m an innocent again. Herman Miller knows how to push me that way, mainly because the company still believes — years after D. J. DePree first told me — that good design isn’t just good business, it’s a moral obligation. Now that’s pressure." [edit]



Bill Stumpf

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