It’s always interesting to talk with designers about their work—why they went into it, what they like about it, what it takes to be good at it. Take Jeffrey Bernett, for example, one of the creative minds behind Herman Miller’s recently launched Canvas Office Landscape line. He feels that excelling at design means “being very curious about life and being very considerate when it comes to the needs of others. Designing things that are ‘different’ is easy; designing things that are ‘better’ is much harder.”
Bernett’s colleague at CDS and collaborator on the Canvas project, Nicholas Dodziuk, says his earliest awareness of design came from a kids’ table and chair set by Finnish architect Alvar Aalto. “We grew up in an eclectic house but that really stood out to me,” he recalls, noting that his mother was an artist who often brought him to the Noguchi Museum, which was close to where they lived in New York.
Bernett, too, feels that “knowing what has come before is very important to design, especially when it comes to furniture. The process is part of a continuum; you learn from what other people have done.”