Marcia Davis is a writer and a blogger who is passionate about happy food. She has worked with Herman Miller for over 15 years.
Design, Herman Miller Journal
February 15, 2010
Last summer, Herman Miller opened a new Los Angeles showroom near Culver City—with dramatic bowstring wood trusses, curved walls, and extensive detail—marking our presence in the area for 60 years. This year, the building was awarded LEED CI Platinum certification—the first of its kind in Los Angeles.
Rewind six decades. Have you ever wondered what the first showroom looked like?
Thanks to the Eames Office, we’re able to share vintage photos of the “Herman Miller Furniture Company Showroom,” opened in 1949 at 8806 Beverly Boulevard.
Designed by Charles Eames, the showroom was inspired by Case Study House #8 (also known as the Eames House), which was part of the Case Study House Program. Eames built upon what he learned from the Case Study houses to minimize the building’s interior connections and create a backdrop for the furniture–much of which was designed by the Eames Office.
The showroom’s exterior was similar to the Eames House, with its industrial steel frame and patterned glass panels. Skylights and windows let in natural light.
The Eameses always used an eclectic mix of objects in their showroom–from toys, plants, and folk art to found items in dime stores and specialty shops. It was the perfect setting for product introduction parties, as well as movie nights featuring Eames films.
For more information about the first Herman Miller Los Angeles showroom, check out the book Eames Design by Ray Eames and Marilyn & John Neuhart.
January 25, 2010
“Where do you learn best?”
That’s the question Herman Miller is asking full-time students attending 2-or 4-year U.S. colleges or universities for our first video contest offered exclusively to them. We’re encouraging them to document the places–on or off campus–that best support their learning.
Since learning can take place anywhere, we’re hoping to see a variety of entries that are creative, fun or serious—all from the perspective of students. The results will help promote discussion among higher education professionals about the rapidly changing needs of students and how higher education facilities can respond to those needs.
To get their attention, Herman Miller partnered with senior graphic design students at Western Michigan University in Kalamazoo, Michigan, to develop graphics for the contest website and its Facebook event page. Barbara Loveland, Interim Director of the Gwen Frostic School of Art at Western Michigan, led the group of students who worked on the contest graphics and believes that it makes sense that students design for students. “This experience also allows students to learn something fun and build their portfolio, which will be helpful to them in the real world,” she adds.
Want to learn more? Check out “Hey, Where Do You Learn Best?” and you’ll find everything you need to know.
Design, Products, What's Up
January 18, 2010
Two lighting products designed by Yves Béhar—the Twist LED task light and the Ardea personal light—were on the winners’ list of the 2009 Good Design awards, sponsored by the Chicago Athenaeum Museum of Architecture and Design and the European Centre for Architecture Art Design and Urban Studies.
Founded in 1950 by Eero Saarinen, Charles and Ray Eames, and Edgar Kaufmann, Jr., the Good Design award criteria are based on function and aesthetics, with a contemporary emphasis for environmental concerns and green design. Categories include: electronics, medical equipment, transportation, furniture, textiles, energy systems, kitchen/appliances, floor covering, household products, and lighting.
Despite the economic downturn, the 2009 Good Design program was “the strongest program ever with the largest-ever amount of corporate participation and the best and most substantial design awarded,” according to Christian K. Narkiewicz-Laine, president of the Chicago Athenaeum and curator of the awards. “This might be the beginning that signals the start that corporations and designers are changing their direction toward more sustainable and cost-effective design and less the use of flash and extravagance and a new understanding that the global market for consumer products is highly competitive and that only the strong will survive.”
Design, Products, What's Up
January 12, 2010
On exhibit at London’s Serpentine Gallery through February 7, Design Real highlights objects that have made a significant impact on our lives, providing new perspectives from which to look at the material world.
Curated by German product designer Konstantin Grcic of Konstantin Grcic Industrial Design (KGID), Design Real focuses on “real” items conceived in the last decade: mass-produced products that have a practical function in everyday life—from furniture and household products to technical and industrial innovations. For example, click on “Office Chair” and you’ll see Herman Miller’s Aeron chair.
According to Grcic, what interests him about industrial design is “how these things are made, in what material, and how this has affected their language and their quality. Some objects are very technically-driven; the function really determines the object. Other objects have much more of a signature or an authorship; you see the handwriting of the designer who made it and that’s what makes it so special.”
Herman Miller Journal
January 1, 2010
Ring in the New Year with a delicious dessert! During the month of December, we shared with you our signature Pita Chips recipe, followed by Carrot Ginger Soup and Pork Tenderloin as part of a recipe series from the kitchen of Marigold Lodge. Chocolate Delight is a nice finish for 2009 and a welcome start for 2010.
1½ cups milk
2 cups semisweet chocolate chips
¼ cup sugar
Pinch of salt
Pour milk into heavy saucepan and heat to boiling. Combine chocolate chips, eggs, sugar, and salt in blender.
Pour in hot milk, then blend at low speed for 1 minute, or until smooth. Pour into 6 custard cups, then chill for at least 2 hours before serving.
Serve with whipped cream and chopped pecans and fresh berries.
Herman Miller Journal
December 25, 2009
This is the third recipe in a series from the kitchen of Marigold Lodge. We already served up our signature Pita Chips, followed by Carrot Ginger Soup. Now for the entree.
Pork Tenderloin Wrapped in Pancetta with Pinot Noir Glace
6 pork tenderloins
1 ½ lbs. sliced pancetta
2 c. Pinot Noir
2 c. veal glace
1 can cannellini beans
2 medium tomatoes, diced
1 large bunch red Swiss chard, ribs removed
White truffle oil
Salt and pepper to taste
Pinot Noir Glace
In a medium sauce pan, add Pinot Noir and veal glace. Over medium heat, reduce liquid by half. Salt and pepper to taste. Set aside and keep warm.
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Remove silver membrane from tenderloin fillets. Wrap pancetta around fillets and secure with toothpick.
In a large skillet, add 2 T. olive oil and sear tenderloin fillets on both sides. Place on a sheet pan and place in oven for 15 to 20 minutes. Remove from oven; allow tenderloin to rest for 5 minutes before slicing.
Remove excess oil from skillet and add tomatoes, beans, and Pinot Noir glace. Reheat and keep warm.
In a small skillet, add 1 T. olive oil and Swiss chard. Cook until chard begins to wilt. Ladle Pinot Noir glace onto warm plates and place Swiss chard on top of the glace in the center of the plate.
Remove toothpicks from the pork and slice, placing three to four pieces on top of the chard. Drizzle with truffle oil, garnish, and serve.
Design, What's Up
December 21, 2009
The traveling design exhibition, “Good Design: Stories from Herman Miller,” has begun its 15-city tour. Premiering at the Muskegon Museum of Art, the exhibit will visit cities across the United States over the next two years.
Here are some upcoming dates and locations:
Goldstein Museum of Design St. Paul, MN, November 23, 2009 – January 17, 2010
Henry Ford Museum Dearborn, MI, February 6, 2010 – April 24, 2010
Everson Museum of Art Syracuse, NY, August 15, 2010 – October 17, 2010
San Angelo Museum of Fine Arts San Angelo, TX, November 7, 2010 – January 2, 2011
Leigh Yawkey Woodson Art Museum Wausau, WI, January 29, 2011 – April 3, 2011
Hunter Museum of American Art Chattanooga, TN, January 2, 2012 – February 26, 2012
San Francisco Museum of Craft + Design San Francisco, CA, June 17, 2012 – August 12, 2012
“Good Design: Stories from Herman Miller” explores the collaborative problem-solving design process employed at Herman Miller.
Why not pay a visit in a city near you?
Herman Miller Journal
December 18, 2009
This is the second recipe in a series from the kitchen of Marigold Lodge. Last week we shared our signature Pita Chips recipe with you. Now, onto the soup: Carrot Ginger Soup garnished with sour cream, finely chopped carrots, and a sprig of parsley.
Carrot Ginger Soup
6 tbsp butter
1 yellow onion, diced
¼ cup ginger, minced
3 garlic cloves, minced
7 cups chicken stock
1 cup dry white wine
1 ½ lbs carrots, peeled & large diced
1 tbsp curry paste (optional)
¼ cup fresh lemon juice
On low heat melt butter in stock pot; add onions, ginger, and garlic. Sweat on low for 5 to 10 minutes. Add stock, wine, and carrots. Increase to medium heat and allow to simmer for 45 minutes to an hour, or until carrots are tender. Remove from heat and cool slightly. Pour soup into blender; blend until smooth. Add pureed soup back into pan and bring back to heat. Add curry paste, lemon juice, salt, and pepper. Serve.
December 16, 2009
Herman Miller’s environmental advocacy initiative called Perfect Vision has been getting some attention. We know we’ve set challenging goals to produce no landfill waste, hazardous waste, or manufacturing emissions and to rely completely on “green energy” by 2020. It started with our belief that sustainability was going to have a growing importance both to us and to our customers. And the evidence is piling up. We believe the only way to achieve audacious results is to set audacious goals.
Want to read more? Check out this Harvard Business Review interview with CEO Brian Walker to see how we’ve progressed.
And watch our Zero Is Hero video to learn more about our sustainability goals.
Herman Miller Journal
December 11, 2009
Just in time for your holiday appetizer tray, here’s the recipe from Marigold Lodge for our delicious pita chips. Pita chips have become a Marigold tradition and accompany each meal served there.
Watch for another recipe from Marigold Lodge next week!
Marigold Lodge Pita Chips
1 package pita pocket bread
½ pound butter, melted
Lawry’s seasoned salt to taste
Cut pita pockets into wedges. Peel layers of pita apart.
Lay pita on a sheet pan, rough side up. Brush each piece with melted butter. Sprinkle each piece lightly with seasoned salt.
Bake pita at 350 degrees Fahrenheit in a convection oven 8 – 10 minutes or until golden brown and crispy.
Note: For best results convection oven should be used for baking.