Design, What's Up
July 7, 2011
Design blogger Tina Roth Eisenberg inside her creative work club, Studiomates. Photo: thebrander.com
You may know her as an astute observer of design who shares her views on swissmiss. But Tina Roth Eisenberg is also what she calls the “queen of accidental businesses.” One of the recent ones is a work club. “I call it my happy place,” she says. “It’s where I get my energy. The people working there are amazing creatives. We have nerdy talks. My ideas for businesses come from those talks.” She’s not alone. In one survey, 87% of people using coworking spaces said they “generated at least one project started by coworkers who met in the coworking space.” It seems face time has its place. And so does a well-furnished space. As Tina says, “If the furniture isn’t visually interesting, it brings me down.”
Tina was recently featured on The Brander, check it out.
July 5, 2011
What does a private office have to do with a bathroom door? Privacy, certainly, but it’s not about the executive washroom; it’s about the design of private spaces in the office and on a cruise ship. In the former case, the Wall Street Journal challenged four design firms to come up with the ultimate executive office. They all worked separately, but they all came up with a common theme: glass walls.
One commentator thought this was a way for leaders to be more transparent. But who wants to work in a fishbowl? Or live in one? The same day the Journal article posted, USA Today ran a piece on a new design for cruise ship cabins. The big news was that the Norwegian Line is abandoning a “compact” cabin design that put the bathroom in the open. It seems the experience gave the phrase “sea-faring adventure” a whole new meaning. Privacy, in all kinds of forms, is a necessary part of life. In the office, some people may need floor-to-ceiling solid walls and a door. For example, Herman Miller executives work in glass-walled pods with open ceilings and doors, but the glass walls can be made opaque at the flick of a switch. Plus, the offices are small and meant for intensive work. Meetings and private conversations are held elsewhere. What do you think: Is glass the answer?
Design, What's Up
July 1, 2011
One evening in the early 1930’s, Gilbert Rohde, Herman Miller’s first director of design, and founder D.J. De Pree were looking over photos of upscale New York City apartments. Something D.J. said caused Rohde to pause and take notice. What, he asked D.J., is the most important part of design? D.J. wasn’t sure. People, Rohde explained. Design should solve problems, and to do this, it must focus on people. D.J., early in his career, carried this lesson for the rest of his life.
In the annals of Herman Miller history, the name Gilbert Rohde is often overshadowed by those of Nelson and Eames—designers who openly acknowledged how they benefited from Rohde’s pioneering of modern design, both internally at Herman Miller and among the American people. Had Rohde not died suddenly of a heart attack at age 50, he would certainly have risen to greater heights.
This month, Rohde joins the ranks of Raymond Loewy, Henry Dreyfuss, and Eliot Noyes, as one of twelve industrial designers honored by United States Post Office with a series of stamps honoring the pioneers of American Design.