Better World, Design, What's Up
December 8, 2010
If you’ll be in New York City soon, visit the Cooper-Hewitt to see the “Why Design Now?” exhibition before it closes on Jan 9. What an important exhibition, and what an uplifting experience! I was energized by the array of innovative design solutions to fundamental world problems—including environmental degradation.
For decades, Herman Miller has been working to systematically minimize its impact on the earth. Environmental advocacy has always been one of the pillars of the company, and it always will be.
In 2010, it announced a goal of being carbon neutral by 2020. Not easy, but given the company-wide commitment and passion for the cause, I bet we make it.
Of course, we don’t hear much about all the positive work that’s making an impact on large and small scales. “Why Design Now?” shows that smart people are designing solutions to human and environmental problems all over the world, making life better, safer, and healthier.
It’s hard to pick a favorite display. They are all amazing in their own way. Maybe it’s the solar-powered LED streetlight that’s part of a living tree. Or maybe the device that converts ocean waves to electrical power. Or the web-based world-health map that displays and tracks disease outbreaks. Or the “Return to Sender” artisan eco-casket.
So if you think the world is beyond hope and problems are too huge to even think about, get to the Cooper-Hewitt. Or buy the beautiful book Why Design Now?, the catalogue created for the exhibition. It’s all good.
Better World, Design, What's Up
May 24, 2010
Photo via: Cooper-Hewitt, National Design Museum
George Nelson, Herman Miller’s first director of design, always had the answer. He said, “Design is a response to social change.”
With urgent human challenges like climate, dwindling resources, growth, hunger, waste, poverty, and health—all on a global scale—Nelson’s celebrated quote is never more true than today. Why design now? Because more than ever, the design world needs to respond to change with solutions that are sustainable, practical, affordable, and safe. And we need solutions that inspire, raise questions, and help us move forward.
A selection of the most innovative answers are now featured at the “National Design Triennial: Why Design Now?”, an exhibition at the Cooper-Hewitt, National Design Museum. It opened May 14 in New York and runs through January 9, 2011.
The diverse designs are grouped into several categories:
There are over 130 enlightening designs: from carbon-negative concrete made from a process similar to how corals make reefs (please, don’t ask me to explain), to self-adjustable eyeglasses (mass-made for the developing world), to the Viet Village organic urban farm near New Orleans. Go see it. These inspiring and exciting designs are helping to give people worldwide the means to improve the environment, improve their lives, and thrive.
Herman Miller Journal, What's Up
April 14, 2010
Last week, Herman Miller’s own creative director, Steve Frykholm, was named one of three recipients of the 2010 AIGA Medal–the highest honor of the graphic design profession. It’s awarded to individuals in recognition of their exceptional achievements, services, or other contributions to the field of design and visual communication. Along with John Maeda and Jennifer Morla, Steve will be presented with the award at the AIGA Design Legends Gala in 2011.
AIGA executive director Richard Grefé said, “AIGA is proud to recognize the 2010 Medalists for their exceptional contributions to the field of design. Each has contributed to the way design can intrigue the spirit, engage curiosity, enhance business, explore creative use of visual technique, and communicate value that is respected by business, society and our popular culture.”
Steve has directed Herman Miller’s graphic identity for 40 years. His iconic work has been widely published and exhibited at institutions including the Museum of Modern Art, the Cooper-Hewitt, National Design Museum, and the Danish Museum of Decorative Art.
As Cheryl Heller, chair of the AIGA awards committee, noted, “Each Medalist this year is completely unique, yet all three are stellar examples of how to be a true leader and live a life in design.”
Unique? That’s what we love about Steve. Stellar? Definitely. At Herman Miller, Steve Frykholm is as iconic as his picnic posters. We’re honored to have him here.
Better World, Design
September 4, 2009
Photo via: Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum
A dress made out of salmon skin? Hot shot designer Yves Béhar helping women make hot chocolate? What in the world is going on?