Canvas landscapes are designed to mirror an organization's culture and raise the level of its performance. A simple set of elements creates surround, structure, surface, storage, and support for the complete range of work areas from individuals to teams. Canvas results from Herman Miller's holistic perspective on work environments and the collective experience of work.
Herman Miller, Inc., Design Yard, Holland, Michigan
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What's In It For You
More. And Less.
Today's office landscape is about more choice, connection, sustainability, technology, the virtual world, globalization, networks, transparency. It's also about less real estate, emissions, formality, paper, physical presence, and being tethered—to a desk, a specific space, old ideas. This all adds up to a shift to a community-centric approach.
More. And Less.
Canvas gives you more of what you want, less of what you don't. It's a comprehensive, but simple, set of elements that lets you create lively places in which talented people can perform better.
Too many choices can be overwhelming. By offering a wide but cohesive array of choices, Canvas helps you create complete, unified landscapes that are flexible, beautiful, and scalable. Canvas supports activities that range from individuals working alone to varying numbers of people working together.
Canvas is simple. It's a kit of parts that lets you put your stamp on the right workplace. Then change it when things change, as they always do. Canvas components fit an organization's image, functional needs, and brand with creating a single harmonious environment. Across a floor. Throughout a building.
The most successful organizations integrate workplace, work, and worker into a harmonious whole. The cohesive solution offered by Canvas can create anything from public spaces to private offices—and helps people work easily together. Canvas lets you mirror an organization's culture, values, and work needs.
The wide array of Canvas work spaces blend to create interactive social spaces that support technology, people, and creativity. Multiple screens and extensive cabling and power can be integrated into landscapes that maintain human connections and encourage creative interactions.
Technology, which allows people and their work to move almost anywhere, and a generation of workers who move around naturally have challenged the static workplace. People today can and do work anywhere—together or alone. Using technology easily anywhere on a floorplate is equally important to individuals and teams.
Canvas helps connect mobile workers and their work. By offering workspaces that accommodate and adapt to technology, Canvas lets people seek out space to support the task at hand at any given moment: open, closed; work alone, work together; casual, formal; planned meetings, unplanned meetings; contemplative, social.
Canvas Office Landscape features an environmentally sensitive design, which adheres to Herman Miller’s Design for the Environment criteria and is GREENGUARD certified, helping you achieve LEED credits. Canvas components are 69% recyclable. Frames are 100% recyclable steel; a typical workstation has 56% recycled content.
Herman Miller has been involved in workplace design since the 1930s, with desks designed by Gilbert Rohde. George Nelson and Charles and Ray Eames designed desks, files, and other workplace furniture for us in the 1940s and 1950s. In the 1960s, the Quickborner Team in Germany developed the radical concept of Burolandschaft, or office landscape, as an organizing principle for work spaces. And in 1968, Robert Propst and the Herman Miller Research Corporation completely changed the paradigm of office furniture with the groundbreaking Action Office system.
Over the next few decades, we developed other systems furniture solutions, each with its own characteristics, each based on the changing needs of our customers.
With the new millennium came the realization that our customers needed a new kind of furniture solution, one that was holistic and integrated and that provided a simple way to furnish all the usable space on a customer's floorplate. Our research between 2001 and 2003 concluded that systems furniture met the needs of workers in assigned spaces pretty well but had difficulty providing good solutions for unassigned spaces.
In addition, we found that systems furniture wasn't always allowing designers and architects to express the differing characters and cultures of organizations. Office space needs were changing, as they always do. The importance of community spaces was growing rapidly, and the needs of work teams were increasing and going pretty much unmet.
Out of that research came the beginning of the idea behind Canvas, which started as a combination of the research we had done, existing systems designed by Doug Ball and Joey Ruiter, and new designs from Jeffrey Bernett and Nicholas Dodziuk of the New York firm Consultants for Design Strategy. The challenge for Bernett and Dodziuk was to incorporate two existing Herman Miller lines to create a cohesive "kit of parts" solution for individual workspaces, ranging from private offices to open plans.
Bernett and Dodziuk were an ideal team to tackle the assignment. The two have worked together for many years at CDS, and their backgrounds include a wide range of projects, from airline seating to graphic design to consumer products. And they both love working on furniture. Bernett says that with any project, "The end-user needs always come first: Who is going to use or want this and why? Of course, there are performance criteria as well; and then the question becomes: How are we going to manufacture what we are working on?"
Both designers have always had a keen interest in how things work. Bernett says, "I knew my way around a machine shop from the time I was 10 years old." Dodziuk credits his parents—his father was a mathematician and his mother an artist—with giving him the genes to tap into both sides of his brain. "Furniture problems are complex, but they require simple solutions," he says.
But a specific kind of "simple." Bernett quotes this statement, attributed to Oliver Wendell Holmes: "I would not give a fig for the simplicity this side of complexity, but I would give my life for the simplicity on the other side of complexity." In other words, to achieve a workable simplicity, you have to first understand complexity.
"I believe design helps us understand the world we live in and connects us to one another," says Bernett. "The best products anticipate and define future needs and behaviors and ultimately promote balance, harmony, and simplification of our complicated lives."