Chair

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Typical Western wooden chair

A chair is a piece of furniture for sitting, consisting of a seat, a back, and sometimes arm rests, commonly for use by one person. Chairs also often have legs to support the seat raised above the floor. Without back and arm rests it is called a stool. A chair for more than one person is a couch, sofa, settee, loveseat (two-seater without arm rest in between) or bench. A separate footrest for a chair is known as an ottoman, hassock or poof. A chair mounted in a vehicle or in a theatre is simply called a seat. Chairs as furniture are typically not attached to the floor and so can be moved.

The back often does not extend all the way to the seat to allow for ventilation. Likewise, the back and sometimes the seat are made of porous materials or have holes drilled in them for decoration and ventilation.

The back may extend above the height of the head. There may be separate headrests. Headrests for seats in vehicles are important for preventing whiplash injuries to the neck when the vehicle is involved in a rear-end collision.

See history of the chair for an extended look at chairs from antiquity to the modern day.

Design and ergonomics

This unusual rocking chair is made of rough wood to give it an old-fashioned look.

Chair design considers intended usage, ergonomics (how comfortable it is for the occupant), as well as non-ergonomic functional requirements such as size, stackability, foldability, weight, durability, stain resistance and artistic design. Intended usage determines the desired seating position. "Task chairs", or any chair intended for people to work at a desk or table, including dining chairs, can only recline very slightly; otherwise the occupant is too far away from the desk or table. Dental chairs are necessarily reclined. Easy chairs for watching television or movies are somewhere in between depending on the height of the screen.

Ergonomic designs distributes the weight of the occupant to various parts of the body. A seat that is higher results in dangling feet and increased pressure on the underside of the knees ("popliteal fold"). It may also result in no weight on the feet which means more weight elsewhere. A lower seat may shift too much weight to the "seat bones" ("ischial tuberosities").

A reclining seat and back will shift weight to the occupant's back. This may be more comfortable for some in reducing weight on the seat area, but may be problematic for others who have bad backs. In general, if the occupant is suppose to sit for a long time, weight needs to be taken off the seat area and thus "easy" chairs intended for long periods of sitting are generally at least slightly reclined. However, reclining may not be suitable for chairs intended for work or eating at table.

The back of the chair will support some of the weight of the occupant, reducing the weight on other parts of the body. In general, backrests come in three heights: Lower back backrests support only the lumbar region. Shoulder height backrests support the entire back and shoulders. Headrests support the head as well and are important in vehicles for preventing "whiplash" neck injuries in rear-end collisions where the head is jerked back suddenly. Reclining chairs typically have at least shoulder height backrests to shift weight to the shoulders instead of just the lower back.

Some chairs have foot rests. A stool or other simple chair may have a simple straight or curved bar near the bottom for the sitter to place his/her feet on.

A kneeling chair adds an additional body part, the knees, to support the weight of the body. A sit-stand chair distributes most of the weight of the occupant to the feet.

Many chairs are padded or have cushions. Padding can be on the seat of the chair only, on the seat and back, or also on any arm rests and/or foot rest the chair may have. Padding will not shift the weight to different parts of the body (unless the chair is so soft that the shape is altered). However, padding does distribute the weight by increasing the area of contact between the chair and the body. A hard wood chair feels hard because the contact point between the occupant and the chair is small. The same body weight over a smaller area means greater pressure on that area. Spreading the area reduces the pressure at any given point. In lieu of padding, flexible materials, such as wicker, may be used instead with similar effects of distributing the weight. Since most of the body weight is supported in the back of the seat, padding there should be firmer than the front of the seat which only has the weight of the legs to support. Chairs that have padding that is the same density front and back will feel soft in the back area and hard to the underside of the knees.

There may be cases where padding is not desirable. For example, in hot climates, padding with fabric or plastic covers is often uncomfortable against the skin. Where padding is not desirable, contouring may be used instead. A contoured seat pan attempts to distribute weight without padding. By matching the shape of the occupant's buttocks, weight is distributed and pressure at any given point is reduced.

Actual chair dimensions are determined by measurements of the human body or anthropometric measurements. Individuals may be measured for a custom chair. Anthropometric statistics may be gathered for mass produced chairs. The two most relevant anthropometric measurement for chair design is the popliteal height and buttock popliteal length.

For someone seated, the popliteal height is the distance from the underside of the foot to the underside of the thigh at the knees. It is sometimes called the "stool height". (The term "sitting height" is reserved for the height to the top of the head when seated.) For American men, the median popliteal height is 16.3 inches and for American women it is 15.0 inches[1]. The popliteal height, after adjusting for heels, clothing and other issues is used to determine the height of the chair seat. Mass produced chairs are typically 17 inches high.

For someone seated, the buttock popliteal length is the horizontal distance from the back most part of the buttocks to the back of the lower leg. This anthropometric measurement is used to determine the seat depth. Mass produced chairs are typically 38-43 cm deep.

Additional anthropometric measurements may be relevant to designing a chair. Hip breadth is used for chair width and armrest width. Elbow rest height is used to determine the height of the armrests. The buttock-knee length is used to determine "leg room" between rows of chairs. "Seat pitch" is the distance between rows of seats. In some airplanes and stadiums the seat pitch is so small that there is sometimes there is no leg room for the average person.

For adjustable chairs, the aforementioned principles are applied in adjusting the chair to the individual occupant.

Arm rests

Traditional Japanese chair with zabuton and separate armrest Bus shelter with seats with arm rests in between

A chair may or may not have armrests. If so, armrests will support part of the body weight through the arms if the arms are resting on the armrests. Armrests further have the function of making entry and exit from the chair easier (but from the side it becomes more difficult). Armrests should support the forearm and not the sensitive elbow area. Hence in some chair designs, the armrest is not continuous to the chair back, but is missing in the elbow area.

A couch, bench, or other arrangement of seats next to each other may have arm rest at the sides and/or arm rests in between. The latter may be provided for comfort, but also for privacy e.g. in public transport and other public places, and to prevent lying on the bench or coach. Arm rests prevent or complicate both desired and undesired proximity. A loveseat in particular, has no arm rest in between.

See also seats in movie theaters, and pictures of benches with and without arm rests.

Chair seats

A bench is long enough for several people to sit on

Chair seats vary widely in construction and may or may not match construction of the chair's back. Some systems include: Solid center seats where a solid material forms the chair seat.

  • Solid wood, may or may not be shaped to human contours.
  • Wood slats, often seen on outdoor chairs
  • Padded leather, generally a flat wood base covered in padding and contained in soft leather
  • Stuffed fabric, similar to padded leather
  • Metal seats of solid or open design
  • Molded plastic
  • Stone, often marble

Open center seats where a soft material is attached to the tops of chair legs or between stretchers to form the seat.

  • Wicker, woven to provide a surface with give to it
  • Leather, may be tooled with a design
  • Fabric, simple covering without support
  • Tape, wide fabric tape woven into seat, seen in lawn chairs and some old chairs
  • Caning, woven from rush, reed, rawhide, heavy paper, strong grasses, cattails to form the seat, often in elaborate patterns
  • Splint, ash, oak or hickory strips are woven
  • Metal, Metal mesh or wire woven to form seat

Standards and specifications

Design considerations for chairs have been codified into standards. ISO 9241-5:1988[2], "Ergonomic requirements for office work with visual display terminals (VDTs) -- Part 5: Workstation layout and postural requirements " is the most common one for modern chair design.

There are multiple specific standards for different types of chairs. Dental chairs are specified by ISO 6875. Bean bag chairs are specified by ANSI standard ASTM F1912-98[3]. ISO 7174 specifies stability of rocking and tilting chairs. ASTM F1858-98 specifies lawn chairs. ASTM E1822-02b defines the combustibility of chairs when they are stacked.

The Business and Institutional Furniture Manufacturer's Association (BIFMA) defines BIFMA X5.1 for testing of commercial-grade chairs. It specifies things like[4]:

  • chair backstrength of 150 pounds (68 kg)
  • chair stability if weight is transferred completely to the front or back legs
  • leg strength of 75 pounds (34 kg) applied one inch (25 mm) from the bottom of the leg
  • seat strength of 225 pounds (102 kg) dropped from six inches (150 mm) above the seat
  • seat cycle strength of 100,000 repetitions of 125 pounds (57 kg) dropped from 2 inches (50 mm) above the seat

The specification further defines heavier "proof" loads that chairs must withstand. Under these higher loads, the chair may be damaged, but it must not fail catastrophically.

Large institutions that make bulk purchases will reference these standards within their own even more detailed criteria for purchase [5]. Governments will often issue standards for purchases by government agencies (e.g. Canada's Canadian General Standards Board CAN/CGSB 44.15M [6] on "Straight Stacking Chair, Steel").

Accessories

In place of a built-in footrest, some chairs come with a matching ottoman. An ottoman is a short stool to be used as a footrest but can sometimes be used as a stool. If matched to a glider, the ottoman may be mounted on swing arms so that the ottoman rocks back and forth with the main glider.

A chair cover is a temporary fabric cover for a side chair. They are typically rented for formal events such as wedding receptions to increase the attractiveness of the chairs and decor. The chair covers may come with decorative chair ties, a ribbon to be tied as a bow behind the chair. Covers for sofas and couches are also available for homes with small children and pets. In the second half of 20th century, some people used custom clear plastic covers for expensive sofas and chairs to protect them.

Chair pads are cushions for chairs. Some are decorative. In cars, they may be used to increase the height of the driver. Orthopedic backrests provide support for the back. Obus Forme is a major brand in this category and helped develop this market niche. Car seats sometimes have built-in and adjustable lumbar supports.

Chair mats are plastic mats meant to cover carpet. This allows chairs on wheels to roll easily over the carpet and it protects the carpet. They come in various shapes, some specifically sized to fit partially under a desk.

Remote control bags can be draped over the arm of easy chairs or sofas and used to hold remote controls. They are counter-weighted so as to not slide off the arms under the weight of the remote control.

English phrases relating to chairs

A movie or a story is said to keep you on the edge of your chair, if it is suspenseful and engaging.

If you nearly fell off your chair, it was because you were very surprised.

Activities that are likely to be made insignificant or undone by some future event are said to be like rearranging the deckchairs on the Titanic.

When English-speaking philosophers talk about the material world as opposed to ideas, their phrase is tables and chairs.


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When English-speaking philosophers talk about the material world as opposed to ideas, their phrase is tables and chairs. The idea is that housing, shopping, office space, and leisure facilities are all provided within walking distance of each other, thus reducing the demand for road-space and also improving the efficiency and effectiveness of mass transit. Activities that are likely to be made insignificant or undone by some future event are said to be like rearranging the deckchairs on the Titanic. However, there is a growing movement in North America called "New Urbanism" that calls for a return to traditional city planning methods where mixed-use zoning allows people to walk from one type of land-use to another. If you nearly fell off your chair, it was because you were very surprised. Modern anti-urban attitudes are to be found in America in the form of a planning profession that continues to develop land on a low-density suburban basis, where access to amenities, work and shopping is provided almost exclusively by car rather than on foot. A movie or a story is said to keep you on the edge of your chair, if it is suspenseful and engaging. have begotten a depravity of morals, a dependence and corruption, which renders them an undesirable accession to a country whose morals are sound." the American City Beautiful architecture movement of the late 1800s was a reaction to preceived urban decay and sought to provide stately civic buildings and boulevards to inspire civic pride in the motley residents of the urban core.

They are counter-weighted so as to not slide off the arms under the weight of the remote control. The United States, in particular, suffers from a culture of anti-urbanism that some say dates back as far as Thomas Jefferson who wrote that "The mobs of great cities add just so much to the support of pure government as sores do to the strength of the human body." On the businessmen who brought manufacturing industry into cities and hence increased the population density necessary to supply the workforce, he wrote "the manufactures of the great cities.. Remote control bags can be draped over the arm of easy chairs or sofas and used to hold remote controls. In the developing world this is also often true, as economic modernization brings poor newcomers from the countryside to build haphazardly at the edge of current settlement (see favelas). They come in various shapes, some specifically sized to fit partially under a desk. For instance, in Paris, the inner city is the richest part of the metropolitan area, where housing is the most expensive, and where elites and high-income individuals dwell. This allows chairs on wheels to roll easily over the carpet and it protects the carpet. In fact, with the gentrification of some formerly run-down central city areas the reverse connotation can apply - in Australia the term "outer suburban" applied to a person implies a lack of sophistication.

Chair mats are plastic mats meant to cover carpet. These connotations are less common in other Western countries, as deprived areas are located in varying parts of other Western cities. Car seats sometimes have built-in and adjustable lumbar supports. In the United States, United Kingdom and Republic of Ireland, the term "inner city" is sometimes used with the connotation of being an area, perhaps a ghetto, where people are less educated and wealthy and where there is more crime. Obus Forme is a major brand in this category and helped develop this market niche. Main article: Inner city. Orthopedic backrests provide support for the back. The impact of cities on places elsewhere, be it hinterlands or places far away, is considered in the notion of city footprinting (ecological footprint).

In cars, they may be used to increase the height of the driver. Garbage and sewage are two major problems for cities, as is air pollution coming from internal combustion engines (see public transport). Some are decorative. Additionally towns can cause significant downstream weather effects. Chair pads are cushions for chairs. Conversely, because these effects make cities warmer (urban heat shield or urban heat islands) than the surrounding area, tornadoes tend to go around cities. In the second half of 20th century, some people used custom clear plastic covers for expensive sofas and chairs to protect them. As a result, city weather is often windier and cloudier than the weather in the surrounding countryside.

Covers for sofas and couches are also available for homes with small children and pets. This is due to the large clustering of hard surfaces that heat up in sunlight and that channel rainwater into underground ducts. The chair covers may come with decorative chair ties, a ribbon to be tied as a bow behind the chair. Modern cities are known for creating their own microclimates. They are typically rented for formal events such as wedding receptions to increase the attractiveness of the chairs and decor. The interplay of these three elements, Kanter argued, means that good cities are not planned but managed. A chair cover is a temporary fabric cover for a side chair. To be successful, a city needs to have good thinkers (concepts), good makers (competence) or good traders (connections).

If matched to a glider, the ottoman may be mounted on swing arms so that the ottoman rocks back and forth with the main glider. In 1995, Kanter argued that successful cities can be identified by three elements. An ottoman is a short stool to be used as a footrest but can sometimes be used as a stool. Additionally, it has been questioned whether the city itself can be regarded as an actor. In place of a built-in footrest, some chairs come with a matching ottoman. For example, cities like Rome and Mecca are powerful in religious and historical terms. Canada's Canadian General Standards Board CAN/CGSB 44.15M [6] on "Straight Stacking Chair, Steel"). The term global city is heavily influenced by economic factors and, thus, may not account for locales that are otherwise significant.

Governments will often issue standards for purchases by government agencies (e.g. Critics of the notion point to the different realms of power. Large institutions that make bulk purchases will reference these standards within their own even more detailed criteria for purchase [5]. 3 (1982): 319). Under these higher loads, the chair may be damaged, but it must not fail catastrophically. Following this view of cities, it is possible to rank the world's cities hierarchically (John Friedmann and Goetz Wolff, "World City Formation: An Agenda for Research and Action," International Journal of Urban and Regional Research, 6, no. The specification further defines heavier "proof" loads that chairs must withstand. This makes the city itself more powerful in terms that it can influence what is happening around the world.

It specifies things like[4]:. The city is seen as a container where skills and resources are concentrated: the better able a city is to concentrate its skills and resources, the more successful and powerful the city. The Business and Institutional Furniture Manufacturer's Association (BIFMA) defines BIFMA X5.1 for testing of commercial-grade chairs. The notion of global cities is rooted in the concentration of power and capabilities within all cities. ASTM E1822-02b defines the combustibility of chairs when they are stacked. The four traditional global or world cities are London, New York, Paris and Tokyo, but other cities now have importances approaching these four and are also referred to as global cities. ASTM F1858-98 specifies lawn chairs. Global cities, according to Sassen, have more in common with each other than with other cities in their host nations.

ISO 7174 specifies stability of rocking and tilting chairs. Whereas "megacity" refers to any city of enormous size, a global city is one of enormous power or influence. Bean bag chairs are specified by ANSI standard ASTM F1912-98[3]. The term "global city", as opposed to megacity, was coined by Saskia Sassen in a seminal 1991 work. Dental chairs are specified by ISO 6875. A global city, also known as a world city, is a prominent centre of trade, banking, finance, innovations, and markets. There are multiple specific standards for different types of chairs. Static universal bodies are replaced by multidimensional networks, allowing for fluidity and dynamism.

ISO 9241-5:1988[2], "Ergonomic requirements for office work with visual display terminals (VDTs) -- Part 5: Workstation layout and postural requirements " is the most common one for modern chair design. Rather than attempting to eradicate such tensions and contradictions in the theoretical framework, modern urban thinking – influenced by poststructuralist thought – accounts for both sides. Design considerations for chairs have been codified into standards. Division and connection come hand in hand. Open center seats where a soft material is attached to the tops of chair legs or between stretchers to form the seat. At the same time, their history offers opportunities to identify with or likewise exclude. Some systems include: Solid center seats where a solid material forms the chair seat. As they immigrate, the newcomers bring along their histories, bringing new networks or enforcing existing ones.

Chair seats vary widely in construction and may or may not match construction of the chair's back. The networks concentrated in the core of the city attract immigrants. See also seats in movie theaters, and pictures of benches with and without arm rests. Immigration illustrates this interconnection of external networks and internal divisions well. A loveseat in particular, has no arm rest in between. Divisions and connections in every city are intertwined, and only by considering both aspects of spatial thinking the complexity of cities is approachable. Arm rests prevent or complicate both desired and undesired proximity. Internal divisions are caused by external links, while at the same time connections to the outside open up the possibility of new social divisions.

in public transport and other public places, and to prevent lying on the bench or coach. Neither the internal differentiations nor the connections and networks of a place on their own define a city. The latter may be provided for comfort, but also for privacy e.g. New encounters are ongoing processes where social relations and differences are constantly negotiated and shaped, reflecting the unequal power involved. A couch, bench, or other arrangement of seats next to each other may have arm rest at the sides and/or arm rests in between. Heterogeneous they are because of the dynamism of cities. Hence in some chair designs, the armrest is not continuous to the chair back, but is missing in the elbow area. Hybrid they are as the connections which link places are bilateral, involving giving and taking in both directions.

Armrests should support the forearm and not the sensitive elbow area. As places of meeting histories, cities are hybrid and heterogeneous. Armrests further have the function of making entry and exit from the chair easier (but from the side it becomes more difficult). This internal differentiation is linked to the external connections of a city. If so, armrests will support part of the body weight through the arms if the arms are resting on the armrests. Another important aspect of modern urban thinking is looking at the divisions within a city. A chair may or may not have armrests. It is this openness to new connections that makes cities both attractive and to a certain degree unpredictable.

For adjustable chairs, the aforementioned principles are applied in adjusting the chair to the individual occupant. Urban social movements are a direct result of this possibility of making new connections. In some airplanes and stadiums the seat pitch is so small that there is sometimes there is no leg room for the average person. At the same time, this concentration of people means the introduction of new networks, such as social links, increasing the creation of new possibilities within cities. "Seat pitch" is the distance between rows of seats. As various networks spatially run together in a confined area, people gather in cities. The buttock-knee length is used to determine "leg room" between rows of chairs. It is the access to certain networks that attracts people.

Elbow rest height is used to determine the height of the armrests. The concentration of networks in cities can be used as an explanation of urbanization. Hip breadth is used for chair width and armrest width. Within a short time, connections to Madrid became more important than connections to the former centre Tenochtitlán. Additional anthropometric measurements may be relevant to designing a chair. This has to do with the changing importance of connections and is maybe best illustrated with the arrival of Spanish colonizers in America. Mass produced chairs are typically 38-43 cm deep. Looking at networks, it becomes possible to explain the rise and fall of cities.

This anthropometric measurement is used to determine the seat depth. The notion of a city footprint reflects the idea that a city on its own is not sustainable: it depends on produce from its surroundings, it needs trade links and other connections for economic viability. For someone seated, the buttock popliteal length is the horizontal distance from the back most part of the buttocks to the back of the lower leg. Such networks, however, do not only link cities with cities, but also a city to its surroundings. Mass produced chairs are typically 17 inches high. Arguably this concentration of networks creates a unique feeling of a place. The popliteal height, after adjusting for heels, clothing and other issues is used to determine the height of the chair seat. These networks overlap and are concentrated in cities.

(The term "sitting height" is reserved for the height to the top of the head when seated.) For American men, the median popliteal height is 16.3 inches and for American women it is 15.0 inches[1]. So while London and Tokyo are economically linked through stock markets, Graz and Stockholm are linked via the Cultural Capital of Europe. It is sometimes called the "stool height". Rather than treating all cities the same, places are seen as interconnected through networks of culture, economics, trade or history. For someone seated, the popliteal height is the distance from the underside of the foot to the underside of the thigh at the knees. Such connections allow one to understand the unique character of a place. The two most relevant anthropometric measurement for chair design is the popliteal height and buttock popliteal length. One important aspect of spatial thinking is looking at the connections of a city.

Anthropometric statistics may be gathered for mass produced chairs. Using such spatial thinking, it is possible to understand various aspects for which the traditional approach did not provide an adequate explanation. Individuals may be measured for a custom chair. It focuses largely upon connections and internal divisions which helps create a better understanding of the dynamics of cities. Actual chair dimensions are determined by measurements of the human body or anthropometric measurements. As a modern approach to cities, urban thinking analyzes various issues that arise in urban areas. By matching the shape of the occupant's buttocks, weight is distributed and pressure at any given point is reduced. In most cases, however, the continuous urbanization popularly thought of as the city extends well beyond the boundaries of the core incorporated city.

A contoured seat pan attempts to distribute weight without padding. The largest municipality, Chongqing, is approximately the same size as the state of Indiana and contains much more rural territory than continuous urbanization. Where padding is not desirable, contouring may be used instead. There is a substantial variation in municipalities around the world. For example, in hot climates, padding with fabric or plastic covers is often uncomfortable against the skin. The term city can be used to mean either an area of contiguous urbanization or a particular municipality (an area within the political borders of an incorporated municipality). There may be cases where padding is not desirable. The notion of city rhythms has been introduced to highlight the different aspects of city life...

Chairs that have padding that is the same density front and back will feel soft in the back area and hard to the underside of the knees. This also reflects a shift away from one single history of the powerful élites (often referred to as city élites) to a multidimensional perception of history. Since most of the body weight is supported in the back of the seat, padding there should be firmer than the front of the seat which only has the weight of the legs to support. The city of an aristocrat will surely differ from that of a slave. In lieu of padding, flexible materials, such as wicker, may be used instead with similar effects of distributing the weight. Finally, viewing cities as a single body misses modern conceptions that there is more than one story to a place. Spreading the area reduces the pressure at any given point. Lewis Mumford argued in 1937 for a social dimension, describing cities as geographical plexuses.

The same body weight over a smaller area means greater pressure on that area. It is unclear why one place is regarded as a city while another one is not. A hard wood chair feels hard because the contact point between the occupant and the chair is small. Fourthly, the traditional approach failed to define what makes a city. However, padding does distribute the weight by increasing the area of contact between the chair and the body. Some thinkers argue that a history ignoring connections is necessary incomplete. Padding will not shift the weight to different parts of the body (unless the chair is so soft that the shape is altered). It implies that history, culture and connections of a place do not influence a place, which is questionable.

Padding can be on the seat of the chair only, on the seat and back, or also on any arm rests and/or foot rest the chair may have. Thirdly, the disconnected view of cities is problematic. Many chairs are padded or have cushions. There seemed no need to follow the changes of one city, but instead attention was turned to another exemplar. A sit-stand chair distributes most of the weight of the occupant to the feet. Secondly, there was no real explanation when and how changes occurred, how another stage in the line of development was achieved. A kneeling chair adds an additional body part, the knees, to support the weight of the body. It was believed that every city in the world could be compared with a past stage in the history of one European city.

A stool or other simple chair may have a simple straight or curved bar near the bottom for the sitter to place his/her feet on. Firstly, leaving the latest stage aside, it was completely eurocentric. Some chairs have foot rests. Despite its wide acceptance this traditional approach to cities had serious shortcomings. Reclining chairs typically have at least shoulder height backrests to shift weight to the shoulders instead of just the lower back. In spite of apparent shortcomings, this approach is still very commonplace in respected and popular publications. Headrests support the head as well and are important in vehicles for preventing "whiplash" neck injuries in rear-end collisions where the head is jerked back suddenly. This leads to a theoretical framework with little connection to real cities, but these were simply seen as less clear examples.

Shoulder height backrests support the entire back and shoulders. Such an approach regarded a city as a single static entity, which could be studied disconnected in time and space. In general, backrests come in three heights: Lower back backrests support only the lumbar region. Step by step from Athens onwards to Venice and London, Los Angeles seemed to be the ultimate stage of a postmodern city. The back of the chair will support some of the weight of the occupant, reducing the weight on other parts of the body. For each stage an exemplar was identified. However, reclining may not be suitable for chairs intended for work or eating at table. Starting with the Greek city-state, this linear approach placed each city somewhere, and it was believed that it was only a matter of time until the next stage along the prescript path of advancement was reached.

In general, if the occupant is suppose to sit for a long time, weight needs to be taken off the seat area and thus "easy" chairs intended for long periods of sitting are generally at least slightly reclined. Until recently cities were almost exclusively viewed as part of a single, linear line of development. This may be more comfortable for some in reducing weight on the seat area, but may be problematic for others who have bad backs. None of these characteristics alone is enough to make a place a city. A reclining seat and back will shift weight to the occupant's back. Three characteristics have been identified as defining a city: the number of people to area (density), the networks of the city, as well as a particular way of life. A lower seat may shift too much weight to the "seat bones" ("ischial tuberosities"). Influenced by post-structuralist thinking a new approach was born: using spatial thinking it is possible to not only fill the gaps, but indeed replace the old completely.

It may also result in no weight on the feet which means more weight elsewhere. As this approach falls short of explaining a number of aspects of city life, such as the diversity between cities, new ways have been sought. A seat that is higher results in dangling feet and increased pressure on the underside of the knees ("popliteal fold"). A universal linear approach to cities has been in place and accepted for a long time. Ergonomic designs distributes the weight of the occupant to various parts of the body. Today the world's population is about half urban, with millions still streaming annually into the growing cities of Asia, Africa and Latin America. Easy chairs for watching television or movies are somewhere in between depending on the height of the screen. In the Great Depression of the 1930s cities were hard hit by unemployment, especially those with a base in heavy industry.

Dental chairs are necessarily reclined. The growth of modern industry from the late 18th century onward led to massive urbanization and the rise of new great cities, first in Europe and then in other regions, as new opportunities brought huge numbers of migrants from rural communities into urban areas. "Task chairs", or any chair intended for people to work at a desk or table, including dining chairs, can only recline very slightly; otherwise the occupant is too far away from the desk or table. By the late 18th century, London had become the largest city in the world with a population of over 5 million, while Paris rivalled the well-developed regionally-traditional capital cities of Baghdad, Beijing, Istanbul and Kyoto. Intended usage determines the desired seating position. While the city-states, or poleis, of the Mediterranean and Baltic Sea languished from the 16th century, Europe's larger capitals benefited from the growth of commerce following the emergence of an Atlantic economy fuelled by the silver of Peru. Chair design considers intended usage, ergonomics (how comfortable it is for the occupant), as well as non-ergonomic functional requirements such as size, stackability, foldability, weight, durability, stain resistance and artistic design. A small city of the early modern period might contain as few as 10,000 inhabitants, a town far fewer still.

. Most towns remained far smaller places, so that in 1500 only some two dozen places in the world contained more than 100,000 inhabitants: as late as 1700 there were fewer than forty, a figure which would rise thereafter to 300 in 1900. See history of the chair for an extended look at chairs from antiquity to the modern day. Similar phenomena existed elsewhere, as in the case of Sakai, which enjoyed a considerable autonomy in late medieval Japan. Headrests for seats in vehicles are important for preventing whiplash injuries to the neck when the vehicle is involved in a rear-end collision. In exceptional cases like Venice, Genoa or Lübeck, cities themselves became powerful states, sometimes taking surrounding areas under their control or establishing extensive maritime empires. There may be separate headrests. medieval Germany and Italy) some cities had no other lord than the emperor.

The back may extend above the height of the head. In the Holy Roman Empire (i.e. Likewise, the back and sometimes the seat are made of porous materials or have holes drilled in them for decoration and ventilation. In Continental Europe cities with a legislature of their own weren't unheard of, the laws for towns as a rule other than for the countryside, the lord of a town often being another than for surrounding land. The back often does not extend all the way to the seat to allow for ventilation. City residence brought freedom from customary rural obligations to lord and community: "Stadtluft macht frei" ("City air makes you free") was a saying in Germany. Chairs as furniture are typically not attached to the floor and so can be moved. During the European Middle Ages, a town was as much a political entity as a collection of houses.

A chair mounted in a vehicle or in a theatre is simply called a seat. Most notably Baghdad, which second to Tertius Chandler became the first city to exceed a population of one million. A separate footrest for a chair is known as an ottoman, hassock or poof. Similar large administrative, commercial, industrial and ceremonial centres emerged in other areas. A chair for more than one person is a couch, sofa, settee, loveseat (two-seater without arm rest in between) or bench. Alexandria's population was also close to Rome's population at around the same time (in a census dated from 32 CE, Alexandria had 180,000 adult male citizens). Without back and arm rests it is called a stool. It is estimated that ancient Rome had a population of around 1 million people by the end of the last century BCE, which is considered the only city to reach that number until the Industrial Revolution.

Chairs also often have legs to support the seat raised above the floor. The growth of ancient and medieval empires led to ever greater capital cities and seats of provincial administration, with Pataliputra (in India), Changan (in China), ancient Rome, its eastern successor Constantinople (later Istanbul), and successive Chinese, Islamic, and Indian capitals approaching or exceeding the half-million population level. A chair is a piece of furniture for sitting, consisting of a seat, a back, and sometimes arm rests, commonly for use by one person. Harappa and Mohenjo-daro (in the Indus Valley Civilization) were the largest of these early cities, with a combined population of up to 150,000. seat cycle strength of 100,000 repetitions of 125 pounds (57 kg) dropped from 2 inches (50 mm) above the seat. Before this time it was rare for settlements to reach significant size, although there were exceptions such as Jericho, Çatalhöyük and Mehrgarh. seat strength of 225 pounds (102 kg) dropped from six inches (150 mm) above the seat. By this definition, the first towns we know of were located in Mesopotamia, such as Ur, and along the Nile, the Indus Valley Civilization and China.

leg strength of 75 pounds (34 kg) applied one inch (25 mm) from the bottom of the leg. Societies that live in cities are often called civilizations. chair stability if weight is transferred completely to the front or back legs. The first true towns are sometimes considered to be large settlements where the inhabitants were no longer simply farmers of the surrounding area, but began to take on specialized occupations, and where trade, food storage and power was centralized. chair backstrength of 150 pounds (68 kg). Towns and cities have a long history, although opinions vary on whether any particular ancient settlement can be considered to be a city. Metal, Metal mesh or wire woven to form seat. In cities like Amsterdam and Haarlem this pattern is still clearly visible.

Splint, ash, oak or hickory strips are woven. Every city expansion would imply a new circle (canals + town walls). Caning, woven from rush, reed, rawhide, heavy paper, strong grasses, cattails to form the seat, often in elaborate patterns. Many Dutch cities are structured that way: a central square surrounded by a concentric canals. Tape, wide fabric tape woven into seat, seen in lawn chairs and some old chairs. Other forms may include a radial structure in which main roads converge on a central point, often the effect of successive growth over long time with concentric traces of town walls and citadels - recently supplemented by ring-roads that take traffic around the edge of a town. Fabric, simple covering without support. Good examples are the cities established in the south of France by various rulers and city expansions in old Dutch and Flemish cities.

Leather, may be tooled with a design. Also in Medieval times we see a preference for linear planning. Wicker, woven to provide a surface with give to it. This city even had its different districts, much like modern city planning today. Stone, often marble. One of the best examples around is the city of Priene. Molded plastic. The Greeks often gave their colonies around the Mediterranean a grid.

Metal seats of solid or open design. However, the grid has been used for a long time in history. Stuffed fabric, similar to padded leather. The grid pattern chosen was widely copied in the colonies of British North America [1]. Padded leather, generally a flat wood base covered in padding and contained in soft leather. The central diamond within a walled city with four gates was thought to be a good design for defence. Wood slats, often seen on outdoor chairs. Derry was the first ever planned city in Ireland, begun in 1613, with the walls being completed 5 years later in 1618.

Solid wood, may or may not be shaped to human contours. The most commonly seen pattern is the grid, almost a rule in parts of the United States, and used for thousands of years in China. Modern city planning has seen many different schemes for how a city should look. In contrast, planned cities founded after the advent of the automobile tend to have expansive boulevards impractical to navigate on foot. This quality is a legacy of earlier unplanned or organic development, and is often perceived by today's tourists to be picturesque.

Older European cities often have historically intact central areas where the streets are jumbled together, seemingly without a structural plan. Water transports on rivers and oceans were (and in most cases still are) cheaper and more efficient than road transport over long distances. Often cities will either be coastal and have a harbour or be situated near a river giving economic advantage. The geographies of cities, both physical and human, are diverse.

So if we were to count LA as a city in the UK definition, the population would only include that within the City of Los Angeles (1,000,000), or if we were to count Birmingham as a City in the US definition, it would include the whole metro borough as one city (2,600,000 approz). The actual City of LA has just under 1 million, and the greater area just over 3 and a half. Birmingham has a population of just over 1 million people as of 2005, with an urban area, Metro Borough of almost 3 million. In the UK, however, a City is a City, neighbouring Towns or Cities are not included within its limits.

These areas are counted as being part of LA in the US and defined as Greater Los Angeles. LA is defined as a City although it is infact a metro or Urban area as it includes separate Towns and Cities. For example, take America's second City (in terms of population) Los Angeles and the UK's second City Birmingham. Also, if you look at the definitions of a city between The UK and America in terms of size and population, the US count neighbouring Towns and Suburbs within the City limits whereas in the UK, the limits of a town or city are very precise.

The result are so-called villages with 20 and 30-story high-rises, like Westwood Village in Los Angeles. Strangely, even though Americans are well aware that "village" means something smaller than a town, the word has often been co-opted by enterprising developers to make their projects sound welcoming and friendly. In turn, many Americans often talk of "City Halls" when referring to town halls in quite small European towns and villages. Britons may be bemused by forms with fields headed, not Town and Postal code, but City and ZIP, even though the person needing to fill it in could be living in a city, a town without city status, or even a village or hamlet.

An interesting phenomenon in American English is the generalisation of the term city to all settlements. On the other hand, Gisborne in New Zealand is known as the first city to see the sun, despite being administered by a district council, not a city council. For instance the City of South Perth is part of the urban area known as Perth, commonly described as a city. In Australia and New Zealand, city is used to refer both to units of local government, and as a synonym for urban area.

This include the privilege to put up city walls, hold markets or set up a judicial court. A similar system existed in the medieval Low Countries where a landlord would grant settlements certain privileges (city rights) that settlements without city rights didn't have. (See the City status in the United Kingdom.) Preston became England's newest city in the year 2002 to mark the Queen's jubilee. David's in Wales, are quite small, and may not be known as cities in common parlance.

Some cathedral cities, for example St. In the United Kingdom, a city is a town which has been known as a city since time immemorial, or which has received city status by letters patent — which is normally granted on the basis of size, importance or royal connection (traditional pointers have been whether the town has a cathedral or a university). Although city can refer to an agglomeration including suburban and satellite areas, the term is not appropriate for a conurbation (cluster) of distinct urban places, nor for a wider metropolitan area including more than one city, each acting as a focus for parts of the area. There is no one standard international definition of a city: the term may be used either for a town possessing city status; for an urban locality exceeding an arbitrary population size; for a town dominating other towns with particular regional economic or administrative significance.

The difference between towns and cities is differently understood in different parts of the English speaking world. "The city is a human habitat that allows people to form relations with others at various levels of intimacy while remaining entirely anonymous." (This definition was the subject of an exhibition at the Israeli pavilion at the 2000 Venice Biennale of architecture). The study of cities is covered extensively in human geography. Lakes and rivers may be the only undeveloped areas within the city.

A large share of a city's area is primarily taken up by housing, which is then supported by infrastructure such as roads, streets and often public transport routes such as a subway or a metro rail system. A city usually consists of residential, industrial and business areas together with administrative functions which may relate to a wider geographical area. City can also be a synonym for "downtown" or a "city centre". In most parts of the world, cities are generally substantial and nearly always have an urban core, but in the United States many incorporated areas which have a very modest population, or a suburban or even mostly rural character, are designated as cities.

. A city is an urban area that is differentiated from a town, village, or hamlet by size, population density, importance, or legal status.

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