The American furniture designer Bill Stumpf was born in St. Louis, Missouri, in 1936. He studied industrial design at the University of Illinois industrial design, followed up until 1968 by environmental design at the University of Wisconsin. From 1970 until 1974 Bill Stumpf was assistant manager of the research division at the Hermann Miller Company. During his time at Hermann Miller, Bill Stumpf met Don Chadwick, who was freelancing for Hermann Miller. Bill Stumpf and Don Chadwick were both interested in ergonomic research. Together they developed (1970-76) the "Ergon" office chair, which set new standards for ergonomic seating.
In 1974 Bill Stumpf opened a practice in Winona, Minnesota. In 1977 he was joined by Don Chadwick and the practice became Chadwick, Stumpf & Associates. For Hermann Miller, Chadwick and Stumpf continued to develop highly original office chairs for some years.
In 1984 the "Ergon" was developed into the "Equa" chair, which is equipped with a flexible back for even more seating comfort. That same year,1984, Bill Stumpf and Jack Kelley developed the "Ethospace" office system. In 1992 Bill Stumpf and Don Chadwick developeded "Aeron", an innovatively conceived office chair with a seat and back of breathable polyester fabric; the "Aeron" complies with ergonomic and functional, anthropometric, and ecological standards.
In addition to designing furniture, Bill Stumpf taught at several renowned design institutes and colleges, including the "Royal College of Art" in London, die "Glasgow School of Art", die "Cranbrook Academy" in Bloomfield Hills, Michigan, the "Illinois Institute of Technology" in Chicago, and the "Rochester Institute of Technology".
Bill Stumpf died on August 30, 2006.