The web has contributed greatly to our cultural shift into the future. It has provided us with a platform for progress now and beyond. It is our eyes and ears into what is ahead of us and it is also an archive of what has happened and is happening right now.
The internet has created a new population of thinkers that are constantly pouring hours upon hours of creativity, science, math, art, emotion and prose into the world we live in via the web. These ideas take shape in all kinds of websites, web applications, blogs, installations, and so on.
10 Years Ago
Just a mere ten years ago we saw the birth of this phenomena and basked in all of its potential. We witnessed kids becoming CEOs and creative minds earning millions upon millions of dollars for just thinking up ideas that wouldn't come to full fruition until recently.
It was a time when princes became kings and the economy was introduced to its newest darling. The internet was born like a horse, quickly emerging from the womb of progression and immediately on its feet trotting quickly across the digital landscape.
What I found most interesting about these times, as I look back, was some of the items that were coveted during this period. Money was abundant and venture capitalists were filling the pockets of these young thinkers so that they can meet all of the promises of this potential.
Start-ups were everywhere, studios and offices popping up on both coasts. Foosball tables, Playstations, laptops and coffee machines were being ordered in bulk.
But there was one item that was being purchased above and beyond all others.
That item was the Herman Miller Aeron chair.
The Aeron was first launched at a trade show in 1994, and took the office furniture design industry by storm. It was so genius in its design that right before its actual debut, the chair was added to the New York Museum of Modern Art's 20th Century Design Collection.
Even before its release the Aeron had obtained an iconic status, a must have in every new dot com start up.
The Aeron was designed by Don Chadwick and Bill Strumpf for Herman Miller.
The Aeron, was completely different from any chair that had ever been designed for office or personal use. Bill Strumpf considered the chair to be "biomorphic;" that is a shape similar to a living organism.
"We designed the chair to be above all biomorphic, or curvilinear, as a metaphor of human form in the visual as well as the tactile sense," he explained. "There is not one straight line to be found on an Aeron chair."
When the demise of the early age of the internet came crashing down and dot coms everywhere were forced to liquidate their assets, it was the Aeron chairs that turned out to be a major contributor to their liquidations as it not only retained its value but even at times went for more than they were
purchased for (in bulk).
As we find ourselves in a sort of renaissance and maturation phase of the web, 2.0 as many call it, we are still in need of that one item that will let us continue to breathe life into the massive vessel we call the web.
Many things have changed since the early era of the web and its great potential, we have seen more technologies developed to support all the great ideas, better bandwidth, faster computers and networks and most importantly more intuitive thinkers and creative professionals.
Like their predecessors these professionals are passionately dedicated to coming up with new ideas and new ways to deliver on all of the promises of the web. In doing so they share one very similar thing with those who came before them.
They sit most of the day.
Herman Miller, the company that seems to be forever connected with the growth spurts of the web, has once again introduced an item that will be coveted by technology companies and creative professionals everywhere.
A new chair for a new age. Like the 2.0 age of the web it is a 2.0 version of the Aeron and is designed specifically for great thinkers, innovators, creative professionals and people who all contribute to the "idea economy".
Herman Miller's contribution to our new age is called the Embody.
As Herman Miller's website states "Embody lets your body move and keeps you well supported, because your mind works best when you move freely and stress is minimized on your muscles, bones, and tissues.
Blood circulates better, heart rate goes down, more oxygen flows to the brain, and there is no distracting discomfort or physical constraint. That's critical in our idea economy where innovation drives success and people get paid for their thoughts and creativity."
Not only does this new chair support great ides but it also is supported by a website that encourages great ideas.
The website is called ThoughtPile.org
Thoughtpile is a companion website for the new Embody chair. It is a complex data visualization website that allows thinkers to share ideas based on a stimuli question posed each week. Users can come and post ideas and have those ideas voted for or against and commented on.
The site was created to allow thoughts and ideas to be openly expressed, shared and elaborated upon. The site truly embodies the impetus of what the new Embody chair is all about.
Creative thought and big ideas.
ThoughtPile was conceived by Minnesota based agency Mono for Herman Miller and designed and developed by NYC digital agency Freedom + Partners, this new website is the perfect companion to the new Embody chair.
It represents a new breed of product that is supported by an online destination that truly stands behind its purpose. The site gives users the ability to freely express their thoughts and ideas on some of today's most important questions.
What better way to support great thoughts and ideas than to accommodate those who provide us with them. Come check out ThoughtPile.org and contribute to the idea economy and maybe your thought will win you a new Embody by Herman Miller.
About the Editor, Craig Elimeliah
Having designed, developed and now executive producer for some of the most successful online interactive projects for over 10 years now, Craig Elimeliah represents a new breed of web professionals who is helping to mainstream the interactive realm. Now the Senior Executive Producer at Freedom + Partners, Craig is working with top agencies and high profile clients understand how to develop and integrate traditional advertising onto the web and to establish new standards for the future of online advertising.