In the 1950’s George Nelson characterized the ultimate office environment as “a daytime living room where work can be done under less tension with fewer distractions.” Today we work whenever and wherever we are most comfortable—Nelson’s goal is closer to reality than ever before.
Recognizing this, Herman Miller introduces the Herman Miller Collection. The Collection offers you the ability to select, furnish, and create complete environments in myriad settings—from the boardroom to the backyard. We believe that design goes much deeper than styling. Each piece in the Collection represents a solution that is as purposeful as it is beautiful. Read more
What good is a chair with holes? In the case of the Mirra, it’s the holes—567 of them to be exact—that provide the chair’s backrest its characteristic flex.
Envisioning a chair that acts as a second skin, Studio 7.5 designed Mira’s TriFlex back to move with the sitter. They worked with us to design and engineer holes of varying shapes and sizes. It results in the one-piece molded polymer back that has been fine-tuned to create three zones of flexibility. Each zone offers a different level of pliability for proper ergonomic support.
So, while holes in your desk chair are often cause for concern, in the case of Mirra, a back full of holes is a good thing.
An Aeron chair rolls off our production line every 17 seconds; a number that so impressed FastCompany that they recently recognized Herman Miller as a model of modern American manufacturing.
The secret? Continual improvement. Using a process we call the Herman Miller Performance System, or HMPS, we compound small, incremental improvements into big change. Rearranging a bin of parts to be six inches closer may only save a half second, but when combined with hundreds of other refinements, the results add up. In fact, they add up to more than 260 seconds—or 4 minutes and 20 seconds—of time saved to make an Aeron chair.
Applying the same problem-solving knowhow to the production of our products as we do their design, Herman Miller remains at the cutting-edge. And while the competition is busy exporting manufacturing jobs, we can proudly say our products are made in the United States.
A rare synergy occurred in 1953 in the small town of Columbus, Indiana. Three leaders of the international Modernist movement—architect Eero Saarinen, interior designer Alexander Girard and landscape architect Dan Kiley—joined to create the Miller House and Garden. Commissioned by J. Irwin Miller, and completed in 1957, the Miller House is one of the country’s most highly regarded examples of mid-century Modernist homes.
Girard, who joined Herman Miller in 1950 as director of upholstery and the newly created textile division, furnished the Miller House with pieces from the Herman Miller Collection together with his custom textiles and carpets. The residence is also a sublime example of Alexander Girard’s mastery of the artful collage—combining furniture, fabrics, accessories, and art to create unified and joyful environments.
Appropriately named 360, designer Stephan Copeland’s new desk lamp for Luxo uses clever rotation to eliminate material and mechanisms.
What was the concept behind the design of 360?
The idea was to do more with less. A typical desk lamp has a two-piece arm with three joints. The design of 360 combines a single arm with just two joints. The head and base rotate, which allows for a full range of motion.
What does this mean for someone using the lamp?
It means they can put the right amount of light right where they need it; 360 allows that in a simple, smooth motion, without compromising ergonomics.
Were there any technical challenges?
I don’t believe an object that sits in such close proximity to person, like a desk lamp, should demand undue attention. With this in mind, we worked hard to hide all of the mechanics, electrical fasteners inside the arm of 360—this was a challenge. The result is a smooth design that I hope people find very inviting.
Formed over a millennium under heat and pressure, stone reflects the particular characteristics of its origin. A fact kept in mind when we selected stone tops for the new Nelson and Eames outdoor tables.
Wanting stone with unique character, we found four we liked from quarries across North American: Georgia White Marble, a white stone with accents of warm beige and grey veins; Georgia Grey Marble, a cloudy grey stone with strong veins of light and dark grey, and reflective crystals; Wisconsin Black Marble, a dark stone speckled with lustrous green and grey veins; and Quebec Graphite Granite, a subtly patterned granite composed of deep grey hues.
Each is a natural complement to the design it sits atop, and durable enough to stand up to all types of weather.
Faced with answering this question, Anna Hernandez of Luna Textiles found inspiration in the, “shapes and forms of contemporary architecture.” The resulting patterns—Connection, Current, and Circuit—form a new fabric collection developed exclusively for Herman Miller.
“Inspiration is subtle,” says Hernandez, “it may express itself in small ways. Some especially evident to architects and designers in the profession.” Connection for instance, while a geometric pattern, forgoes 90-degree angles. “Modern architects who design buildings without straight lines will recognize these forms.”
Grass cloth, a popular textural material of mid-century interiors, inspired the tiny gird pattern of Current. “It’s not symmetrical,” explains Hernandez, “it’s a little off, giving the pattern a more natural look with a mid-century feeling,” while Circuit pays homage to round, organic forms common to the 1950s.
Drawing on her inspirations, Hernandez aspired to a timeless collection, “that responds to the moment, but without being specific to a brief period of time.”
Our lives don’t stop outside the walls of our buildings, and our furniture shouldn’t either. A fact addressed by Charles and Ray Eames with the Aluminum Group. Originally referred to as the “Indoor-Outdoor Group,” the Eameses intended their design to blur the distinction between patio and living room in the modern home.
To make the Aluminum Group chairs appropriate for outdoors, the Eameses found saran—a cloth-like fabric made of woven plastic fibers. Porous and fast drying, they felt it was the ideal material for life outside. Perhaps ahead of its time, saran proved to have durability issues forcing the Eameses to abandon it just a year or two after production. Consequently the entire collection migrated indoors.
Today, the Eames Aluminum Group is once again ready for life on your patio. Building on the yarn and weave technology pioneered in Pellicle, we have developed with designer Susan Lyons a new outdoor upholstery option called Outdoor Weave. Porous, fast drying, and durable, it meets all of the characteristics Charles and Ray demanded of saran.
Whether it’s an affordable work chair or a textile, we always approach design with a better world in mind.
Enter Gem, a new polyester upholstery fabric that is antimony-free, making it a good choice for the earth. Polyester is one of the world’s most popular polymers; unfortunately making it is harmful to the environment. Designing a better polyester meant replacing antimony, a heavy metal used as a catalyst, with titanium, a much more earth-friendly choice.
Gem is durable, inexpensive, and easy to take care of—and it’s part of Herman Miller’s quest for a Better World.
It looks beautiful when it’s from the hands of designer Yves Béhar. Who, with Herman Miller, set out to dispel the misconception that affordable meant offhand design and questionable quality.
Looking for affordability in innovation, Béhar and Herman Miller engineers spent months developing a unique suspension material for the backrest of SAYL. The resulting breakthrough molded ergonomic support directly into the back of the chair, which was then stretched into place. It also replaced foam and fabric, typical to other low-cost task chairs, with a single recyclable material. Less material and fewer manufacturing steps, all saved money. A point not lost on Spencer Bailey of Bloomberg Businessweek, who recently described SAYL as “An executive-quality perch that doesn’t require an executive’s bonus to buy.”