Not a moment passes by when we do not sit on a chair. Many of our daily activities require that we use one. When we are working at the office or studying at home, we need a seat that will support us comfortably for hours on end. When we take our meals, whether it is breakfast at home, or lunch or snacks at a restaurant or cafeteria, we need to sit down as we fortify ourselves for a day of work.
And as we unwind from a long day at the office, we look for a comfortable chair or sofa to help the body relax and prepare for a good night’s sleep.
ErgoHome president and CEO Philip KC Ng, a 30-year veteran in ergonomically designed chair business, says a lot of thought goes into producing a single chair. Function and form are both important, but a chair should first be safe and comfortable. Aesthetics is equally important when it comes to customizing seats to suit an individual’s preference or to match the look of a place.
“The most dangerous thing that could happen to a chair is for its base to break causing you to fall,” Ng says. “A chair’s base must have the correct width, so that it can support you safely. When you recline a chair and it tilts, its center of gravity changes. If the base is too small, the center of gravity becomes heavier and it cannot support you. The base breaks and you fall.”
For 28 years now, Ng has been the purveyor of high-quality chairs in the Philippines under the Ergo brand. From a modest operation that imported finished chairs from Germany, it has evolved into a thriving manufacturing firm. He proudly adds that the best products are made by his 300+ Filipino team.
It wasn’t surprising that the chair business led to other furnishings as well. Eventually, Ergo branched out into the manufacturing tables and office systems, among others. Now, it is in the business of furnishing condominiums with multi-functional furniture and storage solutions that address the limited space in most flats. ErgoHome’s ingenious layouts and storage spaces can create a liveable space in a unit that is as small as 14 square meters.
“What do you do when you can only afford a small space?” Ng asks. “If you have a big house and you have so much space, then there is no problem. But if you have so little space, storage becomes a problem, and movement becomes a problem. Put in your bed and you have no more space for your other needs.”
By designing furnishings that have multiple functions and that could be stowed away easily, a small flat need no longer feel cramped.
It took Ng and his team four years to design the right furniture for ErgoHome. Their biggest challenge was the mechanism required, so many of the mechanisms are designed by the Ergo team.
“It was all about how to use space efficiently,” he says. “Most of the furniture we developed to have multiple uses.”
Some furnishings transform into another item with just a slight adjustment. A kitchen table serves as a center table with just a slight adjustment of its legs. A display cabinet becomes a bed or workspace with just the pull of a handle. With just a few simple steps, homeowners can easily convert what should have been a cramped space into a multi-purpose one.
Many of the designs of ErgoHome are Filipino-made, while others follow examples online. “We look at other people’s ideas and from there work on a concept,” he explains. “From there, we develop products that work better.”
ErgoHome’s most creative design is creating a liveable space in a 14-square meter flat. By raising the floor and adapting a tatami design, much needed storage is introduced under the floor boards, while the steps that take you into the unit also hide needed shelving. With the push of a button, a dining table and work area rises from the floor, while much needed office space is stowed away at the back of a cabinet.
“We have designed this room so that when you need the furniture, it will appear. When you don’t need, you can make it disappear. You can have a 14-square meter dining area, a 14-square meter lounge, a 14-square meter bedroom when you want it and when you need it,” he explains.
To discover more about ErgoHome unique lifestyle designs, you may call and visit SM Mall of Asia at (+632) 831-4110 or visit its other showrooms at SM Megamall, Cebu and Davao.