Book Review – Rethinking Sitting by Peter Opsvik


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As I have mentioned several times before, some of our most iconic chairs come from the Norwegian designer Peter Opsvik.

Peter Opsvik, through his designs challenged the norms of conventional sitting habits. His book “Rethinking Sitting” explores this through looking at the past and how we all have come to use chairs as seating instruments. He then looks to ergonomic solutions to find the best sitting experiences through chairs that promote movement and variation. This incredibly interesting read is full of beautiful images, Opsviks sketches and great background information that will really make you think about the chairs you are sitting in. I recommend this book to anyone who wishes to be CHALLENGED to rethink the way that they are sitting. We do after all spend a great deal of our life in a seated position.


“In many languages, the verb “to sit” also signifies holding a position of power. Idioms such as “sit on a committee” and “sit in Parliament” say more about the power than about sitting. Expressions such as “seat of learning”, “the sitting bishop” and “a sitting of the court” as well as “chairman”, “parliamentary seats”. “to be in the chair”, “to take the chair”, “to chair a meeting” all refer to social status and powerful positions. These examples suggest that sitting postures and sitting traditions relate as much to social circumstances as to needs for physical support.”  (Rethinking Sitting pg. 21)

– Ingrid Holm

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3 thoughts on “Book Review – Rethinking Sitting by Peter Opsvik

  1. I enjoy thinking about how someone should be sitting in a chair. There are ergonomic chairs, big & tall chairs, stools, kneeling chairs all of which have you sitting in different positions. My thoughts always come back to- does it all really depend on our individual body type and what is most comfortable for us?

  2. Pingback: Into the Archives: An old newspaper article in Norway’s leading newspaper Aftenposten, 13 May 1980 | Varier Blog

  3. Pingback: Traditional seating vs. #ActiveSitting | Varier Blog

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