Why did Rodin put his thinker on a rock?
From time to time, critics of interior design have been heard to cry ‘All the world needs is another design for a chair’. Is this a sarcastic remark? Is it fair? Or are they just saying it to sound interesting? Do we need more designs for chairs and, even if we don’t actually need them for survival, aren’t we allowed a little amusement?
You can sit on a rock. If you are lucky, you might be able to find a position that is almost comfortable. The chances are you won’t. Rocks do not yield. It’s in their nature to be strong and lumpy. Which explains that, despite the multitude and readily availableness of rocks, people had the presence of mind to invent chairs. It seems obvious to us that a chair is going to be more comfortable than a rock. However, as we all know, things are never quite that simple. Just as shoes are more comfortable than walking barefoot, you do need a pair that fits you to get the maximum benefit. So it is with chairs. The more people a chair suits, the more similar it becomes to a flip flop or sandal. Offering protection from the ground, but not much else. The better the fit a pair of shoes are for you, the less likely they will suit someone else. And this is also very true of chairs. Surprisingly, the tolerances are comparable too. A tiny difference makes a large difference
Try it and see
So it is normal for you to try out a few chairs before deciding which one is best for you. Unless you are extremely distracted. Is that why the thinker is perched on a rock? Is this what Rodin was trying to express? The man is so lost in thought that he doesn’t even concern himself with finding a comfortable place to sit. That is not a good place to be. Mind you, Rodin put him there.
So there you have it, I believe that as people evolve they will need new chairs. Perhaps critics of new designs are trying to say something else. Rest assured, I will let you know if I work out what that is.
In the meantime, if you need to sit and think it is nice to have a choice of chairs. Which will you choose, a rocker perhaps?