This Chic 70s Office Chair May Have Inspired Jony Ive To Design The MacBook Pro [Gallery]

This Chic 70s Office Chair May Have Inspired Jony Ive To Design The MacBook Pro [Gallery]

Thirty two years ago, a UK office furniture manufacturer called Hille International wanted a new design for an office chair, something that would pry loose the white-knuckled fingers of American design duo Charles and Ray Eames from their death grip on the office furniture market.

The line of chairs that resulted was called the System Supporto, and not only is it a masterpiece of design… it is Apple designer Jony Ive’s favorite kind of chair, widely used within Apple. According to our own source, it probably even inspired the design of the MacBook Pro!

In 1979, Hille International turned to an award-winning designer named Fred Scott. Although not as well remembered as the the Eameses, Scott was a famous designer in his own right. After leaving school in 1956, Scott apprenticed with a local cabinet maker. After winning several awards, he was awarded a place to study furniture design as the prestigious Royal College of Art in London, where he eventually went on to teach.

Elegant, classic and understated, the Supporto is constructed of aluminum, foam and leather. Its timeless design was informed not just by a strong sense of aesthetics, but by years of scientific research conducted by Hille and months of consumer tests on the ergonomics of the prototype.

The Supporto Office Chair is such a classic that even Apple’s award-winning Senior Vice President of Industrial Design, Jonathan Ive, has named it as one of his favorite designs, and even selected it for the new Industrial Design Centre in Cupertino, California.

That’s not all, though. According to the official Supporto website, Ive was so impressed with the Supporto that he’s filled Apple with them. The team of designers that Ive oversees at Apple all use Supporto high stools when they are at their design benches, and do their desk work on Supporto office chairs and desks.

In fact, Ive loves the Supporto chair so much that according to our own tipster, it inspired the design of the MacBook Pro!

What do you think? Do you see the resemblance in the choice of aluminum, the sleek lines, the profile, the way the keyboard looks like black leather? Share your thoughts in the comments.

This Chic 70s Office Chair May Have Inspired Jony Ive To Design The MacBook Pro [Gallery]

This Chic 70s Office Chair May Have Inspired Jony Ive To Design The MacBook Pro [Gallery]

This Chic 70s Office Chair May Have Inspired Jony Ive To Design The MacBook Pro [Gallery]

This Chic 70s Office Chair May Have Inspired Jony Ive To Design The MacBook Pro [Gallery]

This Chic 70s Office Chair May Have Inspired Jony Ive To Design The MacBook Pro [Gallery]

This Chic 70s Office Chair May Have Inspired Jony Ive To Design The MacBook Pro [Gallery]

Related
  • OhBlahDeeBlahDah

    RE: “What do you think? Do you see the resemblance in the choice of aluminum, the sleek lines, the profile, the way the keyboard looks like black leather?…”

    REPLY: Ummmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm. No!

  • sarahadam01015

    I just p a i d $21.87 for an i P a d 2-64GB and my boyfriend loves his Panasonîc Lumîx GF 1 Camera that we got for $38.76 there arriving tomorrow by UPS.I will never pay such expensive retail prices in stores again. Especially when I also sold a 40 inch LED TV to my boss for $657 which only cost me $62.81 to buy.
    Here is the website we use to get it all from, BídsFírst.Com

  • Jack La Haie

    I don’t know if I’d go as far as saying that this inspired the MacBook Pro design, but I’m sure it had some sort of influence. I imagine that Jony was inspired by a certain style of design that he enjoys which encompasses this chair.

  • gnomehole

    WOw, biggest reach of the year award.   That chair looks nothing like the MBA.

  • AmyCole

    , I päid $21.41 for an íPad 2.64GB and my boyfriend loves his Panasoníc Lumíx GF 1 Cámera that we got for $38.79 there arriving tomorrow by UP S.I will never pay such expensive retail príces in stores again. Especially when I also sold a 40 inch LCD T V to my boss for $657 which only cost me $62.81 to buy.
    Here is the website we use to get it all from, bit.ly/BidShop

  • Fredy Rosal

    far-fetched

    adj. improbable in nature; unlikely

  • prof_peabody

    You could almost use the same argument by substituting a liquorice all-sort for the chair.  There have been thousands and thousands of designs over the years where something was made out of two things and one of them was black something and one was aluminium.

  • Bob Forsberg

    Obviously another slow news day.

  • JDWages

    Or rather, was this article was inspired by AppleInsider prior art?
    http://www.appleinsider.com/ar

  • imentitled

    After reading this I decided to sit on my Mac Book Air and see if it really is as comfortable. Yeah, that’s a stupid idea. Almost as stupid as this article.

  • lsla994
  • Cold_dead_fingers

    I have a bone to pick with Apple. Leather is an incredibly toxic fabric that is responsible for a lot of pollution in the world. It’s incredibly ironic that they design one of the most green notebooks and desktops on such a fabric that is the opposite of their passion. Sure, faux leather isn’t much better than the traditional leather option but at least it has the added benefit of saving lives. Apple, there is no reason to use leather in your products or in your offices. Leather and the name “Apple” don’t go together.

  • lslaa28
  • Charel

    Other fabrics are available. No need to choose leather.

About the author

John BrownleeJohn Brownlee is a Contributing Editor. He has also written for Wired, Playboy, Boing Boing, Popular Mechanics, VentureBeat, and Gizmodo. He lives in Boston with his girlfriend and two parakeets. You can follow him here on Twitter.

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