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Are You Sitting Comfortably? A Symposium on Body Conscious Design.

I recently chaired this symposium hosted by the Faculty of Design at NCAD. Keynote speaker, Professor Galen Cranz, author of the seminal book The Chair: Rethinking Culture, Body & Design, shared her views on the world of Body Conscious Design and what this means for the design of our schools, workplaces and homes in the 21st century.

Galen is a relentless campaigner for innovation in design and the appropriate consideration of human behaviour and culture in the design process. Relating much of the modern era’s rampant back pain to an increasingly sedentary lifestyle spent in conventional seating, she goes beyond traditional ergonomic theory to formulate new design principles that challenge the way we think and live.

Also on the bill was Levent Caglar, head of the Ergonomic division in FIRA and author of European standards for office and school furniture. Levent spoke about a new Design Guidelines publication. The symposium also featured short talks from Dublin based designers Simon Dennehy and Ben Harris, and I spoke about the ongoing Task Furniture in Education project. The event was well attended, and is intended to be the first of a series of events addressing Body Conscious Design.

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