Story: Industrial design

Bodyfurn chairs

Bodyfurn chairs

Hastings Boys' High School student Jay Barrett sits in a Bodyfurn chair, next to Hamish Whyte, owner of local furniture manufacturer Furnware. Furnware researched seating in schools. They discovered that uncomfortable chairs were affecting students' learning and commissioned industrial designer Murray Pilcher to find solutions to the problem. Extensive ergonomic analysis led to a new design that students found more comfortable, while teachers appreciated the increased attention span. As well as supplying New Zealand schools, the Hastings company also exports to Australia, Hong Kong, China, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, the UK, US and Canada.

Using this item

Hawke's Bay Today
Reference: 8 November 2011 (HBT114221-01)
Photograph by Paul Taylor

This item has been provided for private study purposes (such as school projects, family and local history research) and any published reproduction (print or electronic) may infringe copyright law. It is the responsibility of the user of any material to obtain clearance from the copyright holder.

All images & media in this story

How to cite this page:

Michael Smythe, 'Industrial design - Going global: the 2000s', Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand, (accessed 30 January 2023)

Story by Michael Smythe, published 22 Oct 2014