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Bill Stumpf

Bill Stumpf

*  1936 St. Louis/USA

Bill Stumpf studied industrial design at the University of Illinois before going on to study enivornmental design until 1968 at the University of Wisconsin. Between 1970 and 1974, Bill Stumpf was assistant manager of the research division at furniture-maker Hermann Miller; while at Hermann Miller, Bill Stumpf met Don Chadwick who was freelancing for the furniture company. Both Bill Stumpf and Don Chadwick were interested in ergonomy and applied their knowledge of the field to developing office chairs. Between 1970 and 1976 Bill Stumpf and Don Chadwick developed the "Ergon" office chair, which set new standards in ergonomic seating. In 1974 Bill Stumpf left the partnership to go it alone with a practice in Winona, Minnesota. By 1977, Bill Stumpf was back with Don Chadwick and they established the highly successful practice Chadwick, Stumpf & Associates, which continued to work for the Hermann Miller Company, developing more highly imaginative, ground-breaking designs for office chairs. The 1984 Stumpf and Chadwick "Equa" chair is an improvement on the "Ergon" and even more comfortable. In 1992 Bill Stumpf and Don Chadwick developed "Aeron", another office chair by this innovative partnership, with a seat and back of breathable polyester fabric. The "Aeron" complies with all ergonomic, functional, anthropometric, and ecological standards. In 1984 Bill Stumpf collaborated with Jack Kelley on designing the "Ethospace" open office system. Throughout his career, Bill Stumpf taught at numerous prestigious design institutes and colleges, including the Royal College of Art in London, the Glasgow School of Art, the Cranbrook Academy in Bloomfield Hills, Michigan, the Illinois Institute of Technology in Chicago, and the Rochester Institute of Technology. Bill Stumpf died on August 30, 2006.