Design, Innovation, What's Up
May 10, 2012
Herman Miller's new Quilty textile mimics the water and oil repellant properties of a lotus leaf.
Biologist, innovation consultant, and author, Janine Benyus has dedicated her life to the idea that learning from natural models is the best way to achieve sustainable design. Through her Biomimicry Guild, she has inspired companies to look to nature as model, measure, and mentor in the design process.
She has a lot in common with Charles Eames, who said that design “depends largely on constraints.” For Benyus, it’s a matter of the way everything on earth, with the regrettable exception of most humans, learns to live within nature’s limits. Read more
Better World, Design, What's Up
May 8, 2012
Meridian filing and storage units are one of the first products to use counterweights made from the new cement mix containing recycled powdercoat.
Designing for a Better World means being mindful of the environmental impact of our products. In the past this led us to discontinue rosewood until a sustainable alternative could be found. Today it means eliminating one of our largest landfill items: the overspray from our powdercoating process.
Working in collaboration with a local West Michigan supplier, VanderWall Brothers Concrete, Herman Miller has found a way to recycle leftover powdercoat into a cement mix. The mix is used to make the counterweights that sit in the bottom of filing and storage units, preventing them from tipping over when the drawers are extended.
Testing has even shown the recycled powdercoat improves the binding qualities of the cement, producing a stronger block.It may even have applications in construction products.
Solving an industry-wide problem, we decided to share the new process with all of our competitors, ensuring that maximum environmental impact.
Design, Innovation, Products, What's Up
May 7, 2012
From stone-tipped axes to powerful 3D computer modeling programs, technology has always allowed design to push the boundaries of possibility.
The Atlantic recently included the Herman Miller SAYL chair, designed by Yves Béhar, on their list of designs using new technology to challenge the conventional understanding of how good design looks, feels, and functions. We are in good company. Visit the Atlantic to see the complete list.
May 3, 2012
The George Nelson X-leg table, selected by BassamFellows to join the Herman Miller Collection.
Serving as the Creative Directors of Herman Miller’s Specialty and Consumer division since 2010, BassamFellows’ Craig Bassam and Scott Fellows have been part of the brain trust curating the Herman Miller Collection. “We teach each other new things,” says Fellows. “We’re learning a lot about industrial production at a large scale, and they’re [Herman Miller] learning from us that hand or touch, the little details, that make all the difference.”
Giving life to George Nelson’s concept of the living room and the work room melding together have had BassamFellows looking through the old catalogs and designs to identify pieces and get them to the people. The collection features many well-loved pieces such as Nelson’s X- leg table and Eames chairs reinvented in new materials.
The Herman Miller Collection celebrates the past and present with more than 200 products. Added to this will be new furniture and accessories from today’s most talented designers.
The Collection will be making its first public display in the Herman Miller Pop Up Shop designed by BassamFellow. Located in the heart of New York City’s Soho district, the Pop Up Shop will open May 9 and run through July 1, 2012.
Design, Education, What's Up
May 1, 2012
Recently in the Wall Street Journal, Brian Kane revealed that every design begins the same way: with paper and a pencil. “That is my favorite part of the process—having a good concept come alive on my drawing board!”
To sketching, Kane adds observation. In the case of Swoop, Kane drew on his experience teaching students at the California College of the Arts. He noticed students didn’t sit, as much as they drape themselves across furniture, and they constantly rearranged their furniture for working, meeting, or socializing.
Under Kane’s pencil, a line of modular lounge seating took form. Composed of tables, chairs, and lounges, each piece designed to be arranged, and rearranged. Curved arms encourage relaxation, while discouraging students from setting their soda cans on the upholstery. And deliberately few seams reduce the places for crumbs to collect.
For Kane, “It’s all about comfort and innovation.” Two qualities evident in his designs for Swoop.
Check out Crafting Chairs For How We Sit Now to learn more about Brian Kane’s career designing furniture.