Design, What's Up
September 17, 2012
“The camera has always been a guide,” reflects designer Don Chadwick. “It has allowed me to see things and focus on things that maybe an average person wouldn’t even notice.”
That ability, to see the world in a new way, is exactly what helped Chadwick, along with Bill Stumpf, to create the Aeron Chair. Together they designed the first chair to replace foam and fabric cushions, typical of most office chairs, with a mesh-like suspension material that was not only more comfortable, but offered healthier ergonomic support as well. Aeron Chair has since become an icon of design innovation and is the world’s best-selling ergonomic work chair, with a new one produced every 17 seconds.
What would the world be like if Don Chadwick, and designers like him, saw things like you or I? It’s hard to say, but it would certainly be harder to find a comfortable place to sit.
Check out Don Chadwick’s contribution to Why Design, a new video series featuring designers from Herman Miller’s creative network. There are eight videos in total, with a new one debuting every Monday. Stay Tuned; next week is designer Ayse Birsel.
March 27, 2012
Designer Bill Stumpf once said, “I work best when I’m pushed to the edge.” He got that push collaborating with other designers: Don Chadwick on the revolutionary Aeron chair and Jeff Weber on the health-positive Embody chair. And he certainly was pushed in his work with Herman Miller, a company he noted, that “still believes that good design isn’t just good business, it’s a moral obligation.”
Stumpf began studying how people do—and should—sit back in 1974 at the University of Wisconsin. He worked with specialists in orthopedic and vascular medicine. And he helped translate that research into chairs that people know are comfortable the instant they sit in them.
December 28, 2011
The meaning of Magis—”more than”—captures the Italian company’s approach to design and manufacturing. “We add to Herman Miller because we are complementare, complementary,” explains Alberto Perazza, Co-Managing Director of Magis. “Even a world apart, we do the business of design in similar ways. Both companies have many and continuing collaborations with the greatest world designers.”
Much like Herman Miller, Magis employs innovative processes that maximize performance, while minimizing volume of material, energy use, and environmental impact.
The names of Grcic, Morrison, and Fukasawa join the ranks of Eames, Nelson, and Stumpf, as Herman Miller is now the exclusive distributor of Magis products in the U.S. and Canada.
Learn more about Magis designers.
Check out the HermanMiller Store for more details.
March 7, 2011
Bill Stumpf, who would have turned 75 on March 1, wouldn’t have cared. He’d have loved it that a design student at his alma mater, UW-Madison, used reclaimed barn wood to recreate the Aeron chair he and Don Chadwick designed.
The student’s inspiration came in part from the traveling exhibit Good Design: Stories from Herman Miller. It’s now at the Woodson Art Museum in Wausau, Wisconsin, and will be there until April 3.
A whole group of UW grad and undergraduate students are looking to the exhibit for inspiration. They’re focusing on the design process and how finished works suit the human body. Something Herman Miller knows a thing or two about.
One student looked at Alexander Girard fabrics and designed a coffee table from wood pieces formed to reflect one of his patterns. One design includes collapsed fabric and raises to become the Eames molded plywood chair.
Take inspiration from everything is the creative person’s mantra. And we love it when creatives take it from us.
Photo 1: Chris Reinstad, Aeron Chair Organic Oak, 2010
Photo 2: Emily Rich, Perception, 2010
Photo 3: Heather McCalla, LCF (Lounge Chair Fabric), 2010
Design, What's Up
February 15, 2011
Have you seen one of our products in a movie, television show, or commercial? Have you elbowed your neighbor and pointed out an Aeron chair or Eames lounge and ottoman?
We know how you feel. And we want to hear from you.
Beginning today, you can share your product sightings with us on our Facebook page. For the next five weeks, we’ll post a photo of one of our products and we’d like you to tell us where you’ve seen it.
So, what’s the first product to kick-off this campaign? The Aeron chair, of course. Look for the Show & Tell post and photo of the Aeron on our Facebook page and include your comment about where you’ve seen it (Hint: You might have seen it around the office or maybe you could ask your brothers and sisters?).
And if you’ve seen another product that’s not on the list, please post that on our Facebook page as well.
We’re looking forward to your participation!
Herman Miller Journal
November 4, 2010
Last Monday, The Today Show began a three-part story about civility in the United States–or rather the lack of it. From political leaders to sports figures to everyday people on reality shows, there seems to be a growing lack of respect in word and deed. Some blame technology (read “cell phones”), some blame parents.
This is not a new problem. One of Herman Miller’s iconic designers, Bill Stumpf, and I wrote a book about the subject 12 years ago. He and I explored civility–a long-time interest of Stumpf’s–and how people can restore to their lives through design. That is, in fact, the subtitle of the book: The Ice Palace that Melted Away: Restoring Civility and Other Lost Virtues to Everyday Life.
Watch the segments on The Today Show, read Stumpf’s book, and become an advocate for civility in your workplace, your relationships, and your life in general. We will all be better for it.
Design, Products, Technology
February 5, 2010
Recently, the Associated Press distributed an article about how “sitting too much could be deadly.” A number of regional newspapers, including my hometown Chicago Tribune picked it up. As a furniture industry veteran and seating researcher for the better part of two decades, it was too broad—and dire—a statement for my personal comfort.
In helping designers like Bill Stumpf and Jeff Weber to develop Herman Miller products—from stacking chairs, such as Caper, to high-performance work chairs, such as Embody—I’ve learned that sitting, comfort, and health are not so cut-and-dried.
In the 1990s I began using pressure map technology, which visualizes what the seat and sitter interface looks like—and how it changes depending on seat construction and the posture of the sitter. These changes translate to comfort or discomfort for the user.
More recently, in the course of our Embody chair development, I commissioned researchers at both the Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago and Milwaukee’s Marquette University, who measured the amount of oxygen in the blood flowing to and from subjects’ lower extremities and heart rate–key health measures. It turns out, both improved when users sat in the Embody chair, versus other chairs, doing the same seated tasks in both.
So, it’s not a simple question of sitting down or standing up—but where and how you’re sitting.
Herman Miller Journal
July 22, 2009
Bill Stumpf, designer of the Equa (with Don Chadwick), Aeron (with Don Chadwick) and Embody (with Jeff Weber) chairs, Ethospace (with Jack Kelley), and corporate friend to Herman Miller for over 30 years, would be happy with the sculpture recently installed in his honor at Herman Miller’s Design Yard facility.
June 15, 2009
At NeoCon this year, our showroom demonstrated how we work for a better world around you. Check out our video series for an overview of the space and highlights of the products we offer. Each is designed to improve your environment whether it’s an office, hospital, school, home, an entire building, or the world at large.