6/5/10

Virtuosos In Relaxation

At the moment we not only demand of a chair that we can rest our bodies in it, but also that we can recover our energy quickly in it. Time is money. Thus resting has become specialized . After mental labor, one needs a different position for resting than after exercise in the open air; different after gymnastics than after riding; different after cycling than after rowing. And there is something else: different degrees of tiredness demand different techniques of resting, and this, in order to accelerate recuperation, is achieved by using several different types of seating one after the other, with several different positions and postures.

In America this type of relief is always obtainable because no one thinks sitting comfortably, that is recovering quickly, is inelegant. There you can even rest your feet on a table, as long as it is not used for food. Here, however, there are still those who are offended by other people making themselves comfortable. There are people one can irritate just by putting one's feet on the seat opposite in a railway car, not to mention lying down.

The English and Americans, free from such pettiness, are real virtuosos in relaxation. In the course of this century they have invented more types of chair than all nations put together, in all countries since the world began. Following the principle that every type of tiredness requires a different chair, an English room is never furnished with one type of seat alone. Any one room will have all kinds of seating. Everyone can choose the one that suits him best.

Adolf Loos, Chairs (1898)

1 comment:

Golden Smith said...

" a few roos loos in the top paddock " I reckon