What are a few of the challenges unique to designing spaces for healthcare?
In healthcare, there are complicated buildings that require a very solution-based outcome—not just for the building, but for the patients and staff. How do you create a building that comforts patients, creates a meaningful work environment for staff and is extremely functional? How do you take something as mundane as an MRI room and create a space that is conducive to keeping patients calm during an otherwise unnerving procedure?
How do you work with a client to help them stay true to their vision?
The design and construction process can take years, so it starts with the design team and owner collaborating to establish the big vision and always looking back at that big idea to make sure they are achieving it. Everyone needs to have buy-in from the beginning to achieve the vision. Read more
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. Read more
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.
Dear Ms. DiOrio,
Thank you for your letter of praise for what the office cubicle means to you. I presume you thought your “open letter to people or entities who are unlikely to respond” would be lost in cyberspace. (Another highfalutin word I’m sure you feel is unnecessary.) However, I have been asked to respond on Mr. Miller’s behalf.
While we do appreciate your sentiments, I must, on behalf of everyone at our company, correct some of your more egregious errors (the factual ones, not the errors in thinking). Mr. Miller did begin the company that allowed you and Dilbert to flourish (we receive no proceeds from Mr. Adams), however the inventor of the cubicle was Mr. Robert Propst. And, as with most inventors (think Dr. Frankenstein, for example), he became dismayed at what his creation became (“egg-carton geometry” was one phrase he used to describe the way people applied it). Read more
The lords are leaping and the maids are milking, but who’s been making all these stockings?
For the fifth year, holiday stockings hung along the corridors of the Herman Miller Design Yard and multiplied into the hundreds. And they’re not cookie-cutter stockings either—each are one-of-a-kind and handmade out of our textile leftovers. In fact, every once in a while, passersby try buying one for themselves to hang over their fireplace.
However, these stockings were not for sale, but rather made for a greater cause. In the season of giving, Herman Miller employees volunteered their lunch hours for sewing and decorating a total of 477 stockings. All those carefully crafted stockings were distributed to these handpicked charities: Holland Rescue Mission, Urban Family Ministries, Love INC, and St. Jude’s Ranch for Children. These organizations work directly with the families who took the stockings filled with goodies home for the holidays.
“If we think about architecture as simply beautiful objects,” says Michael Murphy, founding partner of Mass Design Group, “then we fail to talk about the process which creates those objects. It’s labor—the construction of craft—that produces beauty.”
Consider Butaro Hospital in Rwanda, an example of MASS Design’s belief in first-rate healthcare facilities for the third world and investing in the local economy as a means of breaking the cycle of poverty. For Butaro’s wall construction, local Rwandans became the masons: hand-chipping volcanic rock and beautifully shaping each piece so they fit together like a jigsaw puzzle.
Built 100 percent by the community, Butaro’s walls are as much symbolic as they are functional. They testify to a community that labored together, using newly learned skills, to build a hospital for themselves.
Patients benefit from their labors, too, in the design of the hospital. Placing beds in the center, making each bed a window seat creates a positive patient experience. An innovative airflow design minimizes the spread of airborne diseases.
Butaro Hospital is functional, innovative, and beautiful. But, to the community, its best design was the process by which it was created.
Herman Miller is excited about working together with MASS. Learn more here.
For designers Ronan and Erwan Bouroullec, “creativity does not come from a rational point of view but an emotional one. Design is about finding a certain balance or character when you are looking for solutions to problems that are difficult to solve.”
The Bouroullec’s intention when designing the Steelwood furniture group for Magis, was to find an affordable alternative to plastic, “We needed to reduce the complexity of wood assembling, so we kept our design simple,” says Ronan. Something that said, “’I am a well-constructed, beautiful object, one that will last a long time, and will grow old quite nicely with you.’ Not just something people use, but are happy to have around them.”
Their approach to the Osso chair for Mattiazzi, “…was to let the sensuality of the wood express itself,” says Erwan. “The chair invites people to touch or even caress it, as it is extremely sculpted and polished.”
Brothers, the Paris-based Bouroullecs have been partners in design since the 1990s. Together they have collaborated with companies around the world. Their designs are also part of many international museum collections including the Museum of Modern Art in New York, the Design Museum in London, and the Musée National d’Art Moderne in Paris.
Design is so busy solving problems that we sometimes forget that it’s OK to have fun with it. That certainly isn’t the case with Spun, a design whose sole purpose seems to be bringing smiles to the faces of everyone that sits in it.
Designed by Heatherwick Studio, Spun it looks more like a children’s top than a chair when upright. But lay it on it’s side and Spun becomes a comfortable chair that lets the sitter rock side to side—and best of all—spin around, and around, and around.
Check out the video we made the day Spun arrived at Herman Miller. Enjoy the smiles as people experience it for the first time.
The Butaro Hospital in Rwanda, designed and built by MASS Design Group in partnership with Partners in Health.
People around the world have truly become neighbors in a global hometown, and we at Herman Miller support our neighbors wherever they are–locally, globally, and everywhere in between.
It is in this spirit that Herman Miller Healthcare is honored to partner with MASS Design Group. Started by students from Harvard University’s Graduate School of Design, MASS has, in a very short time, become a leading organization for pushing the boundaries of design and architecture for the purpose of improving the healthcare and lives of people in the world’s poorest communities.
In places like Rwanda, Haiti and Liberia, MASS applies a human-centered approach to design to create innovative, inexpensive, and effective healthcare facilities. The impact of their work has been recognized at home in the U.S, and MASS is now working with healthcare leaders such as Cincinnati Children’s Hospital on their Cerebral Palsy Clinic.
This partnership is long-term, and we are excited about working with MASS to build a better world around you.