Sisyphus is an absurd ergonomic simulation producing chairs.

Platform: WebGL (browser)
Release date: 24th of May 2018


Ergonomic simulations are software used for evaluation in architectural and product design processes by imitating the average body of an end user. Body measurement databases define the shape and size of digital human models that are able to test comfort, assess safety and efficiency on virtual design prototypes. In the virtual space of the ergonomic simulation these avatars can outperform physical prototyping by being free of time and pain.

Sisyphus subverts the ergonomic simulation process, in this case a seating material durability assessment, into a chair design method. The avatar’s data dictates the design process: By sitting on a cube for an extended period of time, the material deforms through the simulated body weight, pose and sitting time.

To create a digital human model as stand in for a speculative future user, ergonomic simulation software is dependent on actual body data.

Are these simulations ultimately defining and designing the human body by projecting an average user into the future?

An experiment by Simone Niquille & François Zajega.

Built with three.js & Blender.The source code is available on Gitlab under MIT and CCO licenses.

Made possible with the generous support of the Belgian FWB and Creative Industries Fund NL.

All chairs have been produced during Simone Niquille’s installation SAFETY MEASURES in the Dutch Pavilion of the 16th Venice Architecture Biennale 2018 between the 26th of May and the 25th November 2018.

tech notes

Web rendering is based on threejs.
Chairs have been generated with
Source code is available here:, see this file for license on assets and code (mainly CC & MIT).