Herman Miller Introduces the Envelop Desk: The First Desk Designed with a Task Chair in Mind

June 08, 2009

Herman Miller, a recognized global leader and pioneer in ergonomics, has developed a new product technology that enhances the human relationship between seated postures and computer-based technology. Born out of research brought to the company in 2002 by the late Bill Stumpf and design partner Jeff Weber, Envelop is an intelligent, freestanding desk that provides ergonomic support throughout a range of seated postures. The company's award-winning Embody work chair, introduced in late 2008, was the first product to result from this research, with the Envelop desk completing the designers' vision.

Designed to enhance the relationship between the user, chair, work surface, and technology, Envelop provides continuous support and encourages movement. Envelop provides postural freedom—the ability for the user to achieve a preferred posture.

"When the individual is out of alignment with the chair, work surface and technology, the result is an unhealthy posture and a reduction in productivity and comfort," explains Weber. "Even the best ergonomic chair can't keep people comfortable if their technology doesn't move in relationship with their posture."

Envelop, when used together with a high performance work chair, including Herman Miller's Embody, Aeron and Mirra chairs, provides continuous forearm support and accommodates a reclined position, without extending visual distance to the display technology. Conversely, a traditional, static work surface provides little forearm support and eye strain when the user reclines.

Robyn Hofmeyer, Herman Miller's general manager for Accessories, notes, "Envelop provides a new level of seated ergonomic support and promotes movement—keys to good health—through a deceptively simple design. It's a great example of human-centered problem solving that delivers user control and comfort."

Envelop was designed according to Herman Miller's rigorous Design for the Environment protocol, which emphasizes safe materials, recycled content and ease of disassembly. It contains 32 percent recycled content and is up to 53 percent recyclable. It is under review both for GREENGUARD and MBDC Cradle to Cradle certification.

Envelop will be introduced on June 15, 2009, at the NeoCon World's Trade Fair, North America's largest exposition of contract furnishings and it will be orderable through Herman Miller's commercial furniture network this summer. Its list price ranges from $1,200 to $1,450, depending on laminate or veneer surface finishes. The company also is evaluating Envelop technology for potential retail availability.

About Herman Miller, Inc.
Herman Miller works for a better world around you—with inventive designs, technologies and related services that improve the human experience wherever people work, heal, learn, and live. Its curiosity, ingenuity, and design excellence create award-winning products and services, resulting in more than $2 billion in revenue in fiscal 2008. Innovative business practices and a commitment to social responsibility have also established Herman Miller as a recognized global company. In 2009, Herman Miller was again cited by FORTUNE as both the "Most Admired" in its industry and among the "100 Best Companies to Work For" in America, while Fast Company named Herman Miller among the innovative "Companies to Watch." Herman Miller trades on the NASDAQ Global Select Market under the symbol MLHR.