If a team of designers at Herman Miller can design awesome office chairs coveted the world over, you'd think the airline industry could design similarly comfortable chairs for the pilots who fly their insanely expensive airliners.
Not so, says Delft University of Technology ID grad student Nicoline van der Vaart, who did an in-depth analysis of cockpit seat flaws for her graduation project. In her research, van der Vaart uncovered a high instance of back injuries in pilots, caused or aggravated by poor seating design. Check out the slideshow of her presentation, which is light on flashy renderings but heavy on nuts-and-bolts research:
(Just want to point out here that I hate the sensationalist nature of blogs these days--I came across van der Vaart's work in an article breathlessly entitled "Redesigned cockpit seat uses Nintendo Wii-fit," which is misleading; in just one slide out of 41, van der Vaart suggests a Wii fit sensor could be used to detect when a pilot had been sitting still too long and had to shift.)