In this latest instalment of March Madness (Chair Edition) it’s beauty vs. utility.

As our March Madness Chair Edition playoff continues, the battle between the Kartell Louis Ghost chair and the Herman Miller Aeron could be one of our most heated yet! The Cross Design‘s Megan Baker is here to take us through the pros and cons.(But first!) The History: One of the younger challengers in our classic chair competition, the Louis Ghost chair (featured in many a Western Living home office) is a 2002 postmodern reinvention of the classic Louis XVI armchair for Kartell by French designer Philippe Starck. An advocate of democratic design, Starck worked a lot in common materials like plastic and created the Louis Ghost Chair in a single-piece, transparent (and recyclable) polycarbonate. To create the ultimate ergonomic chair, Aeron chair co-designers Bill Stumpf and Don Chadwick actually consulted seniors in retirement centres to pinpoint what a frequent sitter requires of a good, comfortable chair. Stumpf explained that the human form is biomorphic and devoid of straight lines, which is how they designed it—and why you won’t find a single straight line on the Aeron chair.

But which chair is BEST? Designer Megan Baker kicks off the debate:


Louis Ghost Chair

PROS: Following and breaking all of the rules at the same time, Starck’s design brought this traditional chair back to life. With arms, the Ghost chair is easily transitioned from dining table, to living room, to entryway. It provides lots of style without taking up too much visual space. And the ghost chair is as glamorous as it is family friendly thanks to the wipeable polycarbonate frame.  

CONS: Fingerprints will show along the top of the chair as it gets pulled out for seating and tucked back in after guests leave. Nothing a quick wipe can’t handle, but it will be constant.


Aeron Chair

PROS: Serious comfort AND a designer name make this chair an easy choice to make. Especially for those of us who love working so much—we might be spending more time at a desk than our shoulders, necks and backs would prefer. Also, it’s technically an artifact: the Aeron chair is a part of the MoMA‘s permanent collection because of the designers’ ergonomic consideration and innovation.

CONS: An office chair isn’t the most exciting purchase for everybody, but the price tag will certainly keep things interesting. It also takes some commitment to adjust the many adjustable settings (arm height, arm angle, lumbar support, back tilt, forward tilt!) and make sure the chair is set up right to give you all of the benefits.  

Which chair gets your vote? Comment below!

Find the full bracket for March Madness, Classic Chair Edition here.