August 14, 2012
George Nelson, designer and Design Director for Herman Miller from 1946 to 1972, has written that “every design in some sense is a social communication.” So what is design saying? Nelson spent a good deal of his life answering that question, along the way skewering those “social communications” that weren’t worth listening to.
July 10, 2012
French illustrator Genevieve Gauckler’s quirky characters have graced magazines, ads, and gallery walls around the world. Later this summer, Gauckler will introduce her playful style to Herman Miller as one of ten new artists commissioned to create posters for Then x Ten, an upcoming exhibit juxtaposing old and new to celebrate the power of the poster.
Herman Miller’s Asia Pacific blog recent spoke with Gauckler:
What influenced your style?
I loved American graphic design from the 1950s to the 70s: Paul Rand, Saul Bass, George Lois. Their work is like good design—form and function are working together, it’s well balanced.
What led you to pursue a career as an illustrator?
I started my career in graphic design, working for publishing companies and record labels. More and more I was attracted to illustration, I was starting to draw characters and realized it was so much fun. Making an illustration is like building a miniature world, it reminds me of when I was a child playing with toys and imaging a landscape with people and animals.
Does the past influence your work?
I want to be influenced by the past! I’ve always studied the masters of the past. If you don’t know them, your work may be superficial. The more rooted, the better, the further you can go creatively.
July 5, 2012
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.
July 3, 2012
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?
June 25, 2012
Open for just a limited time, the Herman Miller Pop Up Shop will be celebrating its final week with a party. Joining us is renowned type foundry House Industries, who has offered to share artwork and artifacts from their many Eames, Girard, and Herman Miller projects. The design magazine Metropolis will also be there with a tribute to the new collection of Alexander Girard textiles. It’s sure to be a good time.
Going to be in the New York City area and want to join us? Be sure to RSVP by Wednesday, June 27.
Friday, June 29, 2012
6:00 – 9:00PM
Herman Miller Pop Up Shop
68 Wooster Street, New York, NY
Design, Research, Uncategorized
May 24, 2012
There are lots of forces at play in today’s workplaces. People are drawn to the buzz of activity. Ask, and most of them will tell you they’re more productive, more energized, and more engaged when they’re around other people. So it makes sense to shrink the size of offices; it not only brings people closer together, which can foster collaborating, but it also cuts real estate costs. Given that many offices aren’t being used, the trend toward compacting offices is understandable; nothing kills the buzz in an office faster than a bunch of empty workstations.
All that togetherness can cause problems, though, with cries for quiet piercing the office buzz. Putting people too close together without places they can go to concentrate can backfire. That’s why smart companies are using some of the real estate they save to design other types of spaces, such as community zones, gathering areas, quiet rooms, and phone booths, so people have choice and variety in where they work. These companies are cutting real estate costs while giving employees a better workplace. It becomes a matter of making real estate work harder, so it costs less and it gives people an appealing, inspiring place where they can to do their best work.
May 15, 2012
Charles Eames once said, “Recognizing the need is the primary condition for design.” More than words, the works of Charles and his wife Ray are an embodiment of that philosophy. Problem solving and innovation were their hallmarks, but the seed for every design began by recognizing a need.
Essential Eames is a traveling exhibition tracing the life and work of the Eameses. A collaboration between Herman Miller and the Eames office, the show invites visitors to dive into the many facets of Charles and Ray, from architecture to film, and from toys to products and furniture.
Beginning in Hong Kong as part of Herman Miller Reach, the successful exhibition has recently moved to Jakarta, Indonesia, where will be open until June 22.
More information here.
March 19, 2012
Presented with an Eames molded plastic chair, 30 San Antonio based designers and architects transformed the modern icon into a canvas for art.
Employing a range of media, from paint to plywood, the final creations were auctioned off at a Good Design challenge sponsored by the local IIDA and Herman Miller. All of proceeds, more than $9,000, went to Say Si, a San Antonio non-profit providing students an opportunity to develop artistic and social skills in preparation for higher educational advancements.
March 12, 2012
Designer Bill Stumpf said, “No new chair can ever be new unless it betters the existing state of the art.” The search for the next advance has been a hallmark of our approach to chair design for over 60 years. The Art of Seating: 200 Years of American Design, a traveling exhibition by the Museum of Contemporary Art Jacksonville, Florida is curated on a similar notion.
The exhibit showcases 43 chairs designed between the 1800s and 2000s. Each was chosen for it beauty and historical context with important social, economic, political and cultural influences. Together, they tell a story of American history, from humble beginnings to industrialized nation.
On display is the molded plywood lounge chair designed by Charles and Ray Eames in 1946. Shaping plies of veneer to the contours of the human body, Charles and Ray created a chair important to American design and Herman Miller as well—beginning us on a path to advance the art and science of seating.
Check out the molded plywood lounge chair, among others, at the Westmoreland museum in Greensburg, a suburb of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. The Art of Seating ends April 12, 2012. The next stop on its national tour will be the Columbia Museum of Art, in Columbia, South Carolina.
February 27, 2012
Polypropylene makes the Eames molded plastic chair a weather-proof choice for outdoors.
Charles and Ray Eames designed products to last a lifetime, a fact evident in the Eames molded plastic chair. In production for nearly 60 years, the chair has been a mainstay of town halls, school cafeterias, and other public venues for its ability to withstand the rough and tumble of daily use.
Made from injection-molded polypropylene—the same recyclable plastic used in soda bottles and kid’s toys—the material of today’s molded plastic chair is nearly indestructible. And polypropylene is naturally flexible. It moves with the sitter, making for a comfortable seat. But if accidentally knocked over, the seat bounces back unscathed. No chance of cracking, chipping, or breaking. A perfect choice for an outdoor café or rowdy pediatrician’s waiting room.
Designed to last a lifetime, only the Eames molded plastic chairs sold by Herman Miller are approved by the Eames Office and Eames family heirs as an authentic design.