Discussion in 'Fan Art' started by Rekkert, Apr 21, 2017.
I'm really, really digging this.
could one post 3D stuff made in Google SketchUp as well?
Heh, a lot of people seem to be into digging now.
@valkyrie013: Didn't have that schematic views of the Emmett Till, thanks! That'll be super handy for doing the LCARS.
@The Librarian: Yeah, I noticed the similarities to the Disco consoles, though it's coincidence as I just followed the shape of the columns at each side of the consoles. It's certainly steeper than the standard Trek consoles, but I don't think it's unusable or anything, just different.
@K1productions: I mean, sure, create a thread and post your SketchUp creations there, all fan art is welcomed on this forum.
Don't know how much I'll be doing on this one, I'm finding very hard to concentrate, but here's what I've done today. Did some more work on the floor, completely changing the central area to a brand new design that I think works better with the rest of it. I included the UFP logo on the center from the STO bridges, I know it's a bit of a controversial feature of those designs, but I think it works here. I've also added some small light strips at the wall consoles and on the steps.
The viewscreen's done, and I also added the Picard combadge on the back of the chairs.
Not being familiar with the STO design philosophy, that Federation Seal in the middle of the floor... well, that's a... thing. I guess it does provide a nice platform for the captain to make speeches from.
I like that federation logo on the floor.
Me too. I could easily see tactical holograms hovering over that space, to give the captain a more complete view of what's going on outside the ship. Beautiful work, as always!
Or put one of those DS9 hologram communication systems in that spot. I know it was only used in two episodes, but being in the middle of the bridge I feel is a better idea than in the back. I made a bridge design like that once
This has nothing to do with the current bridges, but I have to post it somewhere. I'll reply to the comments about the Emmett Till when I have an update on that topic.
Back when we started compiling all the chair information for EAS, there was one chair that eluded us, despite appearing in almost all incarnations of Trek from the 90's:
@Lt. Washburn had identified a US patent for a similar chair design belonging to Ergoform, which seemed to imply this chair was designed and manufactured by that company, but absolute confirmation was still missing.
Back in late 2019, while searching for "ergoform" "star trek" "chair", I came across this PDF listing documents kept in the Thunder Bay Museum pertaining to Benjamin Cowan, a designer for CK Engineering. Two specific folders seemed to be of interest:
These seemed to imply that the chair in question was specifically designed (or at least referenced in the documents) as "Star Trek chair", and the dates fitted the time frame for this particular model. So, I emailed the museum about having these folders sent my way. This took the museum curator by surprise as no one had requested access to Mr. Cowan's files before, and thus it would be a while to have these digitized.
While all of that was happening, the curator found out that they had two very important pieces that even he didn't know about: blueprints, and one of the chairs itself on storage. The blueprints unfortunately proved to be of individual mechanical components linked to that US patent we knew about, and not of the chair itself or even useful for measuring it, at least not at first glance. However, once the chair was pulled out of storage, it proved to be the real deal.
At this point, Covid-19 was already a thing and the museum was closed, so scanning all those big files was out of the question. Still, the curator goes in periodically to make sure everything's in order, and just last week they were able to find and send me a brochure for the chair, plus some higher quality pictures of it, and hopefully will be able to provide measurements directly of the chair soonish. This brochure provided more questions than answers, as it seemed to imply the chair was sold to the public (or at least planned to be sold), yet no mention of this specific name comes up online. Inside, the brochure mentions the patent found by @Lt. Washburn, as if further confirmation was needed at this point.
I'll only share the cover of the brochure for now, as I still have to come to an agreement with the curator about how much of all the documents I'll be able to make public. Worst case scenario where I can't share documents directly, at least the measurements taken, and any other picture of the chair will be posted here; plus anyone else interested will always be able to email the museum themselves and have the files sent to them, it is the way they make money after all. I'll let you know once we come to that agreement, or if they prefer to have people contact them. This has a cost on my end, but I still rather share this knowledge publicly as much as I'm allowed; I've literally been wondering about this chair for years now, I'd hate for all this to die on me. Also, I've contacted Ergoform directly with the info from the brochure, I'll post it here as well if I hear back from them.
Holy fucking shit, @Rekkert, you've found the Holy Grail!
There's persistence, and then there's finding this chair. I'm seriously in awe.
edit: Now knowing the proper name for the chair, I came up with these in a Google search. Apologies if you've already seen them.
The first is a photo of the chair from someone's Flickr stream. The model they're showing is upholstered in a shiny black material, and the plastic ends on that rounded bit where the bottom of the back hinges off the base are red, something that's definitely different from the chairs they bought for FInal Frontier.
The second is a brief blurb about the chair from the August 1988 issue of Popular Science. The chair in that photo is lacking the arms we saw in its various Trek appearances, but the arms are also missing from the illustrations submitted to the U.S. Trademark & Patent Office, so maybe they were a popular option.
This blurb also supports the notion that the chairs weren't custom-designed for Star Trek, that Ergoform intended to sell them widely (though how widely isn't terribly clear since you never see them for sale, and until now documentation has been scant).
second edit: I went trawling through the databases at the college library where I work and actually came up with a few references to the Workseat. Unfortunately, these are all from a text-only newspaper database, so there's no photos of the chair to be had from these sources.
From a June 15, 1986 Chicago Tribune article, titled "Showroom Designs Steal the Show at 18th Office Furniture Mart"
From the April 1988 issue of Report on Business Magazine, in an article titled "Made in Canada," which highlights Canadian industrial design. Again, only the caption, no photo.
This one, from the June 26, 1989 issue of the Montreal Gazette, is a real gem, as it actually ties in to Star Trek V:
Montreal-born William Shatner, who directed Star Trek V: The Final Frontier in which he once again plays the part of Captain Kirk, isn't the only Montreal component in the movie.
A small Dorval company called Ergoform Inc. manufactured the state-of-the-art workseats that were used on the bridge of the Starship Enterprise.
Far from being a toy, the Ergoform Workseat supports the balanced natural posture of the body whether you are sitting in a rest position or you have just noticed the boss coming and leaned forward to perform a task.
Dr. David Imrie and Dr. Lou Barbuto, who tested the Ergoform Workseat in clinical and general workplace settings, concluded that it was "a powerful tool in reducing fatigue and back pain while sitting."
Imrie and Barbuto are the authors of the Back Power Program being used by the U.S. National Safety Council and the Workmen's Compensation Board of Ontario.
Industrial designer Bernard Shalinsky, chairman of Ergoform Inc., developed the special workseat with chiropractor Christopher Scrase.
Says Shalinsky, "We are a young company pioneering the world's sitting habits by sitting man where no man has sat before."
Wow that is pretty awesome.
Oh wow, that's a lot of great info @cardinal biggles! Though ironically all that info about who designed the chair and it doesn't mention CK Engineering or Mr. Cowan, I wonder how they fit into all this.
The brochure does contain that second picture of the chair with no armrests, and mentions how these are "easily removable". Furthermore, now I found this ad on the UK's The Times newspaper from December 3rd, 1988.
I wonder how did this chair manage to disappear so completely if it was indeed sold not only in North America but also in Europe. Perhaps they ended up breaking after continuous use? The stand doesn't look like the most structurally sound design.
I like those light strips, and I think that center with the logo is fine.
Wow, that's fantastic. Yeah, I never really doubted it was an Ergoform chair, but it was frustrating that I couldn't find anything on it beyond the patent. I'm actually surprised you guys could turn anything up on it, but it has been quite a while since I went looking. Really cool.
As I mentioned to Rekkert, when we discussed it, I had heard from a guy online who claimed to own one of these chairs but that it was buried in storage and he didn't know when he'd get to it, but had offered to take photos and measurements. Haven't heard anything since, so this might be the only known chair out there. I'm sure there are others, especially the auctioned screen-used ones, but who knows where they are? Thanks for digging into this!
I ran that price through an exchange calculator that includes historical exchange rates; that chair with arms would have cost around $535 at the time, and adjusted for inflation, would retail for $1,170 today. I'm guessing this would have been sold in higher-end stores, so I probably shouldn't waste my time digging up old Office Max ads.
A couple points. I think the reference to Star Trek in the museum folder is just relating that it was featured in Star Trek, not that it was designed for it. I've no doubt it was a commercial product.
That Flickr page has this description: "Work chair designed and produced by Bernard Shalinsky, former professor of the UdeM School of Design"
So that's another name and institution as a source for research.
But the Flickr user should be contacted as well. I was going to myself, but I thought if one of you had already done so, I didn't want to send him duplicate inquiries. Should I go ahead and contact him?
Also, I just remembered in all of this that when that guy who said he had one and thought it was Ergoform, I think he also mentioned it was Canadian in origin. That seems to check out with some of the info you guys are turning up.
Bunch of corporate information on Ergoform Inc.
I have not contacted the Flickr user, so feel free to do so yourself.
I found the eBay listing for the Ergoform chairs, which were tan and blue by the time they'd been used on Enterprise. It appears they were sold as a single lot of six, so who knows whether the original buyer kept them all together. That was the only listing for the Ergoforms I could find in the ST Auction Listings Archive, so I assume those six were the only ones that survived* 13 years and 3 movies plus various guest appearances on four shows (or at least were in saleable condition).
*There are 12 chairs present on the bridge in TFF: five each on the port and starboard sides (one chair per console "unit" except Spock and Uhura's stations; they get consoles that are two segments wide) and two at the Helm/Nav console.
Isn't it interesting how the museum chair has a different, larger, base than any of the other pictured chairs? Maybe it is a prototype?
Either that, or the bases on the Star Trek chairs were modified to eliminate the wheels underneath (as opposed to the design that was used for bridge chairs on the Excelsior and later Voyager; in TUC especially they put these obnoxiously huge black plastic covers over the wheels to hide them).
Well, the Flickr photo and brochure and press images all match the screen-used chairs, so I don't think that's merely a production alteration.
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