Envelop Desk

Herman Miller

Envelop Desk

Designed by Bill Stumpf and Jeff Weber

Ergonomics beyond the chair

Products | 0:59

Envelop Yourself

Be moved. Be more comfortable. Be happy.

The first desk designed with task chairs in mind

Design story

Embody began with Bill’s and Jeff’s awareness of an unsolved problem: the lack of physical harmony between us and our computers. They thought of the small universe that encapsulates the office worker, the “envelope”, as consisting of three parts: chair, surface and surround. While working on their radical idea that a chair could do more than just minimise the negative effects of sitting and could actually have positive effects on the seated body, they became acutely aware of the problem of the static surface.

 

They wondered why people, even when sitting in the best ergonomic task chairs, still had a tendency to hunch over “like cockroaches”, as Bill used to say. He and Jeff realised that, because the surface has always been disconnected from the chair and the person who sits in it, the different postures that the person assumes continuously throughout the day disrupt the relationship between the face plane and the computer plane. The result was neck and shoulder strain and pain.

As they worked to develop the Embody chair, they began to rethink the whole concept of a desk. Why did it have to just sit there? Why did computer users have to manually move their laptops, keyboards, pointing devices and monitors around, trying to maintain the right position and angle? Why couldn’t a desk do that?

 

Envelop became Jeff’s project and he was responsible for most of the work that produced the final product. It represents both a great leap forward in ergonomic design and a logical continuation of Bill’s and Jeff’s ideas about the body in work postures that had been guiding them for years.

Embody began with Bill’s and Jeff’s awareness of an unsolved problem: the lack of physical harmony between us and our computers. They thought of the small universe that encapsulates the office worker, the “envelope”, as consisting of three parts: chair, surface and surround. While working on their radical idea that a chair could do more than just minimise the negative effects of sitting and could actually have positive effects on the seated body, they became acutely aware of the problem of the static surface.   They wondered why people, even when sitting in the best ergonomic task chairs, still had a tendency to hunch over “like cockroaches”, as Bill used to say. He and Jeff realised that, because the surface has always been disconnected from the chair and the person who sits in it, the different postures that the person assumes continuously throughout the day disrupt the relationship between the face plane and the computer plane. The result was neck and shoulder strain and pain.
As they worked to develop the Embody chair, they began to rethink the whole concept of a desk. Why did it have to just sit there? Why did computer users have to manually move their laptops, keyboards, pointing devices and monitors around, trying to maintain the right position and angle? Why couldn’t a desk do that?   Envelop became Jeff’s project and he was responsible for most of the work that produced the final product. It represents both a great leap forward in ergonomic design and a logical continuation of Bill’s and Jeff’s ideas about the body in work postures that had been guiding them for years.

“Design is the connective tissue between people and the world.”

More about Bill Stumpf and Jeff Weber

The Eyes Always Win

Heavy computer use can be hard on the body. Even in an ergonomic task chair, you may hunch, crouch or lean in as your body moves to help your eyes focus on the monitor, leading to back and neck pain, eye strain and fatigue. Envelop’s unique 7-degree tilt helps you to maintain the optimal distance and angle from your monitor. It also moves your keyboard, pointing devices and screen along with you every time you move, keeping your eyes focused and your body aligned in a variety of healthy, comfortable postures.

Moving Support

The sliding, flexible support surface (or “infield”) of this desk actually envelops you as you work, moving forward 17.8-cm and pivoting down 7 degrees to provide continuous flexible support for your forearms and wrists. The soft, resilient surface reduces pressure while eliminating awkward wrist positions. Combine it with an ergonomic chair offering good adjustment options to achieve healthy support through a wide range of seated postures, whatever is most comfortable for you.

A Good Fit

Envelop’s clean, harmonious design fits wherever you need it: as a free-standing desk at home, in an office or within a panel system. It’s also built to fit you, with a body pocket designed to accommodate from the 5th to the 98th percentile of women and men, according to anthropomorphic data. Pin-height or electric sit-to-stand height adjustable legs expand the applications even further.

The Eyes Always Win

Heavy computer use can be hard on the body. Even in an ergonomic task chair, you may hunch, crouch or lean in as your body moves to help your eyes focus on the monitor, leading to back and neck pain, eye strain and fatigue. Envelop’s unique 7-degree tilt helps you to maintain the optimal distance and angle from your monitor. It also moves your keyboard, pointing devices and screen along with you every time you move, keeping your eyes focused and your body aligned in a variety of healthy, comfortable postures.

Moving Support

The sliding, flexible support surface (or “infield”) of this desk actually envelops you as you work, moving forward 17.8-cm and pivoting down 7 degrees to provide continuous flexible support for your forearms and wrists. The soft, resilient surface reduces pressure while eliminating awkward wrist positions. Combine it with an ergonomic chair offering good adjustment options to achieve healthy support through a wide range of seated postures, whatever is most comfortable for you.

A Good Fit

Envelop’s clean, harmonious design fits wherever you need it: as a free-standing desk at home, in an office or within a panel system. It’s also built to fit you, with a body pocket designed to accommodate from the 5th to the 98th percentile of women and men, according to anthropomorphic data. Pin-height or electric sit-to-stand height adjustable legs expand the applications even further.