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Herman Miller and MASS Design Group Partner for a Better World

October 25, 2011

Author and former Herman Miller, Inc. CEO Max De Pree once said "We can not live our lives isolated from the needs of society." And the world and the welfare of people, culture, and societies have never been more connected than they are now. What happens in remote corners of the world can now have global impacts. Though we may be separated by thousands of miles we are all neighbors in this shared global 'hometown'.

In this spirit, Herman Miller has announced a collaborative partnership with MASS Design Group (MASS). The partnership includes an employee volunteer program where Herman Miller lends resources and employee support to MASS projects in Rwanda and Haiti. Herman Miller will also sponsor a fellow in an upcoming MASS Design Group fellowship program.

"This partnership is an ideal way to support an exciting organization that shares a similar philosophy on how space can contribute to better health" said Beth Nickels, President of Herman Miller Healthcare.

With emphasis on human-centered design grounded in immersive understanding of human-behavior and local and spatial context, the MASS partnership with Herman Miller and Herman Miller Healthcare is a strong fit. Herman Miller Healthcare understands that the power of space contributes to positive patient outcomes and healthier communities. That understanding has led Herman Miller Healthcare to design spaces and products that respond to the realities of caregivers. And with Herman Miller's commitment to building a better world around you, partnering with MASS Design Group is a clear opportunity to leverage the company's skills, knowledge, and collective spirit, to help meet the needs of others in communities and societies all around the world.

"Call it serendipity, fate, or perfect timing, but shared values and a shared approach to human-centered design have brought MASS Design Group and Herman Miller together...the partnership feels very right" said John Kim, Herman Miller's Better World marketing manager.

MASS co-founder and Executive Director, Michael Murphy said, "we're thrilled to be partnering with Herman Miller which has an incredibly rich history in design and genuine commitment to working for a better world."

MASS Design Group, started by alumni of Harvard University Graduate School of Design, has in a very short time become a leading organization pushing the boundaries of how design and architecture can contribute to improving the health outcomes and lives of people in some of the world's poorest and most resource-limited communities. In collaboration with Partners in Health, an international global health NGO founded by Dr. Paul Farmer, MASS has designed innovative, inexpensive, and effective healthcare facilities in places such as Rwanda, Haiti and Liberia. Through their approach, they have boosted economic empowerment by engaging the local communities in the construction and maintenance of these facilities, and reduced the risk of disease transmission by completely rethinking the typical layout of a healthcare facility.

Herman Miller invites other industry leaders to support MASS Design Group's efforts themselves by donating resources or engaging MASS Design Group for their innovative problem solving expertise.

To learn more about MASS Design Group go to www.massdesigngroup.org.

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