Mindy Koschmann is a story lover and lives for writing, reading, watching, and listening to well-told tales. When she isn't telling stories for Herman Miller, she's fishing matchbox cars out of the toilet for her two boys.
What are a few of the challenges unique to designing spaces for healthcare?
In healthcare, there are complicated buildings that require a very solution-based outcome—not just for the building, but for the patients and staff. How do you create a building that comforts patients, creates a meaningful work environment for staff and is extremely functional? How do you take something as mundane as an MRI room and create a space that is conducive to keeping patients calm during an otherwise unnerving procedure?
How do you work with a client to help them stay true to their vision?
The design and construction process can take years, so it starts with the design team and owner collaborating to establish the big vision and always looking back at that big idea to make sure they are achieving it. Everyone needs to have buy-in from the beginning to achieve the vision. Read more
His design for Spun—a chair shaped like a spinning top that tilts and turns with the sitter’s movement—is emblematic of the fanciful yet functional designs in London-based architect and designer Thomas Heatherwick’s portfolio: the Olympic Cauldron at the 2012 London games, a double decker bus, also for London, and Hong Kong’s Sheung Wan Hotel.
When asked to design a structure for the UK Pavilion at the 2010 Shanghai Expo, Heatherwick created the Seed Cathedral—sixty thousand fiber-optic “hairs” protruding from a circular steel and timber composite structure. While some consider the structure—which looks like a giant, glowing hedgehog—simply another example of Heatherwick’s whimsical approach to design, the artist is quick to point out that the piece is actually quite serious.
“Is my studio’s work playful or is everyone else’s work too serious?” says Heatherwick in an interview with Architectural Digest. “And actually, Seed Cathedral was serious. With 60,000 varieties of seeds, it was the most biodiverse thing in Shanghai, or the whole region.”
Considering Heatherwick’s belief that good design strikes a balance between gravity and levity, it’s little wonder that Spun challenges the traditional notion of a chair and turns sitting into an experience.
Where can you get your daily fix of all three? Pinterest, of course.
Online content sharing sites like Pinterest help you sift through infinite online content to find images and messages that surprise and delight. Using Pinterest, we can all be curators of our own little digital museums, where we can organize and share beautiful, interesting, funny, and helpful images found during our travels online.
Pinterest is a great way to find meaning and inspiration in the dizzying barrage of information that’s just a touch or click away. We also think it’s a great place to view images of mid-century modern furniture, as well as cool ideas for offices at home and in the workplace.
What if someone sculpted the objects in your office in nickel, turning everything into a mirror? What would the scene say about you, your work, and your world? Nicolas Baier’s “Vanitas,” inspired by the artist’s own office, poses these questions and more.
The installation is like a fun house hall of mirrors eerily devoid of human reflections. Baier houses the sculpture in one-way glass and covers the objects—a computer, a tangle of chords, an Eames Aluminum Group Chair—in mirrors. You can look at the installation and the objects within as you would an exhibit in a zoo, but you cannot see your own reflection.
The mirrors in Baier’s office may not reflect, but they do cast light on a compelling truth. Whether you are an artist, an architect, a designer, or an engineer, your office tells a story about who you are and the way you work.
Charles plays with a new toy design while Ray looks on from a balcony inside the Eames House.
The Eames home in Pacific Palisades, California, is more than a modern architectural icon. It is a compelling intersection between nature and industry, beauty and utility, life and work.
Situated on the edge of a meadow, the home is at once whimsical and spare. The sleek exterior, constructed from prefabricated, off-the-shelf materials, is a geometric grid of steel and glass, punctuated by pops of bold, primary color.
When the Eameses lived in the home, their life and work converged in the artifacts that populated the interior. Ray Eames had a knack for turning clutter into art. She created visual tableaus by juxtaposing knick-knacks, toys, flowers, and other found objects. Books, paintings, and projects from the Eames Office also lived in the home.
In their blurring of work and life, Charles and Ray Eames were precursors of twenty-first century workers, who need Venn diagrams to map the complex overlaps between life and work. For Charles and Ray Eames, turning these overlaps into artful living was a matter of course.
What can you do in seventeen seconds? Send an email or text? Update your Facebook status? Read this blog post?
Every seventeen seconds, Herman Miller can build and box an American-made Aeron Chair. Seventeen seconds includes Bill Stumpf and Don Chadwick’s pioneering design, upgrades like leather armpads or a titanium base, and quality that meets our high standard.
In seventeen seconds, Herman Miller can support American workers. The award-winning Aeron Chair is made in the USA at our West Michigan manufacturing facility. Since Aeron first hit the lines in 1994, we’ve relied on the input from US-based employees to continually analyze and refine Aeron’s construction process. So maybe someday we’ll be asking, what can Herman Miller do in sixteen seconds?
At some companies, you’re more likely to see a unicorn prancing through the office than the CEO casually chatting with an employee. This wizard-behind-the curtain executive mentality is losing traction, as many organizations continue to see the value in open office plans.
The concept of an open office—where executives live and work among the masses—may seem cutting edge, but according to Herman Miller Workplace Strategist Margaret Serrato, the idea is nothing new.
“If you look at images from offices from the 1880s, all the way up through probably 1940, you’ll see that everybody worked out at big tables,” Serrato says. “Some owners would have their own office, but,” Serrato added, “more often they’d simply have a roll-top desk to lock up the payroll at night.”
Why the continued interest in open-office plans? Research shows that locating executives near employees increases daily communication and speeds up the decision making process. The need for formal, time-consuming meetings decreases, and brilliant ideas hatch during cookie breaks, coffee pot chats, and lunchtime conversations. While most offices fall somewhere in the middle on the private-to-open spectrum, it’s becoming increasingly clear that the more open the office, the more collaborative and innovative employees and executives become.
For many technology, social media, and Internet companies, open office plans are integral to strategy. You won’t find their C-suite executives enshrined in inaccessible corner offices, blinds closed and doors locked. Executives are in the trenches, working at multi-person benches alongside everyone else, or even going completely mobile, working from a different location around the office each day. The resulting workplaces breed collaboration, invention, creativity, and fun.
Transparency, executive visibility, and timely communication during major organizational changes can help employees understand high-level strategy and embrace change. The Campbell’s Soup Company exemplified these ideas during a recent headquarters renovation, and the results were as delicious as their soup.
A strong desire to provide an invigorating, supportive workplace for employees lead Campbell’s to create a LEED-NC Silver Employee Center packed with people-pleasing features, including a credit union, fitness center, company store, café, training center, and pilot workplace that would act as a test lab to inform future space planning.
Campbell’s, with help from Herman Miller, kept employees informed during the renovation process through information sessions, executive-lead panel discussions, and a café fair for employees to learn about the services provided in the new employee center. The result? The new employees center is a hit, and Campbell’s employees now embrace and even champion change instead of resisting it.