April 29, 2011
Self-proclaimed “Geezer”, Steve Frykholm, recently spent an evening with friends, colleagues, and admirers reflecting on his 41 years creating the visual identity of Herman Miller.
Not wanting to lecture, Steve invited guests to choose (read: shout-out) the topics that they would like to hear him talk about. Among the areas covered were the “Get Real” campaign, the history and process behind the famous picnic posters, his favorite rejected ideas, an obsession with cows, and his passion for photographing wildflowers.
Steve’s trademark warm and honest wit was clearly evident in his work, and the mark he has made at Herman Miller is clear.
I hope you enjoy Steve’s work as much as I did.
Photo: Sean Bolan
April 27, 2011
“I go to the library to create information.”
Right now, you won’t hear many college students uttering that sentence, but you will soon. That’s one of the conclusions of a panel of experts Herman Miller brought together to talk about the future of academic libraries.
So why do academic libraries have to foster creating—not just seeking—information? Because today’s students are demanding it. They want their experience of the library—indeed every space on campus—to be one of active, collaborative learning.
When learning is active and collaborative—and happens in adaptive spaces—it brings out the creativity in students. They engage at a deep level. And they become creators of information rather than just passive receivers.
Photo courtesy of Duke University
April 25, 2011
Do you know that Herman Miller has a program that arranges for companies to donate its used furniture to charitable organizations? It’s called rePurpose and it’s recycling at its very best.
The purpose of the rePurpose program is to keep used furniture out of landfills. But it does so much more than that. For example, John Deere recently used rePurpose when they redid their world headquarters in Illinois, and their used furniture was given several new homes, including a day care center, Big Brothers/Sisters, and Habitat for Humanity, all local organizations.
“The donated furniture was in really good shape and we were thrilled to receive it!” says Cindy Kuhn, a Director at Habitat.
April 22, 2011
At this year’s Fortune Brainstorm Green conference, some of the most recognized people influencing environmental sustainability took center stage with support provided by our Setu chairs. Bill McDonough and Sir Richard Branson, for example, were among the presenters. They said some wild things. Dave Steiner, CEO of Waste Management, predicted a future where his company will pay customers for their trash because he can extract so much value from it by repurposing, reusing, and recycling it. Or Sir Richard Branson announcing Virgin Oceanic, a super sub designed to take one person to the bottom of the world’s oceans as a way to further our understanding of this huge resource.
Another great—and practical—addition to this year’s conference came from AT&T. The company provided a charging station powered by wind and solar energy. This was a relief to many tweeters and bloggers who had the power they needed to make their posts accessible to everyone.
New this year, Herman Miller offered attendees a chance to nominate a 501c3 non-profit organization of their choice for the chance to win $25,000 worth of Herman Miller furniture. And today we’re pleased to announce Urban Prep Academies as the recipient.
Based in Chicago, Urban Prep operates a network of all-boys public schools including the country’s first charter high school for boys. Urban Prep’s mission is to provide a high-quality and comprehensive college-preparatory educational experience to young men that results in graduates succeeding in college.
Urban Prep Academies was selected at random from the entries submitted by conference delegates at our onsite mobile station. The new Herman Miller products will help Urban Prep Academies do its good works even better—and make a better world for all of us.
Healthcare, What's Up
April 20, 2011
A new Herman Miller experience is taking shape as we put the final touches on our new Healthcare Experience Center. The new space, conceived as a holistic experience that begins the moment guests arrive, was a year in the making.
The Center and its adjoining spaces are the collaborative result of healthcare experts, architects, designers, nurse consultants, salespeople, our customer experience team, and many more—a true team effort.
Covering the entire continuum of care, the Center demonstrates Herman Miller Healthcare’s human-centered approach to product development and shows the range of solutions that Herman Miller Healthcare and Nemschoff provide.
Design, What's Up
April 19, 2011
A few weeks ago, our Steve Frykholm traveled to New York City to accept one of the most coveted awards for graphic designers—the AIGA Gold Medal. After the ceremony, Steve sat down to speak with Design Observer’s Debbie Millman for her “Design Matters” podcast.
Take a few moments to listen to this wonderful interview. You’ll hear Steve wax lyrical about beards, his time in Africa, design, and 41 years with Herman Miller.
Photo: Steve circa 1985
Better World, Education
April 15, 2011
As part of the Herman Miller Education team’s recent book drive, our dealership, Workplace Resource Southern California, collected books for some very deserving children.
After collecting the books, we delivered two Herman Miller Meridian red bookcases to the volunteer organization School on Wheels. The bookcases arrived full of children’s books ranging from If You Give a Mouse a Cookie to Harry Potter.
The books were barely out of the boxes before the kids started chattering in anticipation. They chose their favorite book, flipped through pages, shared stories, and pointed out the funny and bizarre pictures. Then silence filled the room as the stories engulfed them. The eagerness in these young faces was enough to evoke a single word – awesome!
School on Wheels’ volunteers tutor homeless children, give them school supplies and backpacks, help them file necessary paperwork, and even offer each child a dedicated phone number so the child can meet the school board’s requirements for enrollment. The organization is determined to end the cycle of poverty by “shrinking the gap in their education and by providing them with the highest level of education possible.”
Herman Miller collected almost 8,700 books in its national book drive. If you would like to make a book donation, check out Better World Books for more information.
Images courtesy of Juan Luis Garcia
April 12, 2011
Last Thursday night, in the Metropolitan Pavilion on 18th Street in Manhattan, the glitterati of the graphics world gathered to honor two companies and three individuals. The American Institute of Graphic Arts awarded our Herman Miller colleague and graphic design superstar Steve Frykholm its Gold Medal. This award recognized Steve for a lifetime of achievement, much of it on Herman Miller’s behalf. His leadership and spirit have shaped Herman Miller’s graphics for 40 years. Now he joins a list of every other noted graphic designer I’ve ever heard of.
The AIGA also honored Tiffany & Co. and Method for corporate achievement. Two other Gold Medals went to John Maeda and Jennifer Morla. Steve was in good company and good form. He and his wife, Nancy Phillips, beamed the entire evening.
Design, Technology, What's Up
April 11, 2011
Free-flowing action with smooth adjustability, a unique visual indicator weight gauge, and compatibility with touch screen technology–these innovations appear together in our Flo monitor arm, which is sweeping design competitions around the world. And not just any design competitions. Most recently, Flo received a 2010 Red Dot award from what many consider the largest and most distinguished international design competition. It also received the office furniture industry’s coveted 2010 Best of NeoCon award in Technology Support and the 2010 National Ergonomics Conference and Exposition Attendees’ Choice award.
Flo is one of several technology support products designed by our U.K.-based subsidiary Colebrook Bosson Saunders (CBS). In fact, CBS manufactured the market’s first monitor arm back in the 1980s. The company is committed to providing adjustable workspaces that promote a healthy and productive working environment, which makes it exciting to spread the news about products like Flo.
Better World, Design
April 8, 2011
When TreeHugger asked its readers to vote online for the 2011 Best of Green in Design and Architecture, our SAYL chair came out on top. The popular blog, which focuses on driving sustainability mainstream, includes the Best of Green Readers’ Choice online voting is part of its annual Best of Green awards.
Designed by Yves Béhar, the SAYL chair is unique for its Eco-Dematerialised design, which means we used fewer materials in inventive ways to make the chair attainable for more people. Fewer parts and less material ultimately mean less cost and a smaller carbon footprint needed to make SAYL chairs. And, we produce them on three continents to cut the distance between factory and buyer.
TreeHugger points out that it’s a great time for green and we agree.
Congratulations to all the Best of Green winners and thank you to everyone who voted for SAYL!