Design, Products, Trends
June 10, 2013
The doors of Chicago’s Merchandise Mart opened up this morning for guests attending the first day of NeoCon 2013 — and Herman Miller was right there to welcome them. The South Lobby entrance to the annual commercial interior design conference has currently been transformed into the Herman Miller Lounge, a place for people to spend a few moments relaxing, connecting with clients and colleagues, or simply recharging their gadgets.
The space is there to help make managing the conference easier. But it also happens to showcase — in quite a vivid way — some of our newest offerings and updated designs. Notably, anchoring the plaza-like setting is a long Layout Studio Table surrounded by Eames Aluminum Group Management Chairs upholstered in vibrant Alexander Girard Hopsak material. Along the sides, Eames Sofa Compact designs in classic Maharam Pressed Plaid join Nelson Pedestal Tables and new Eames Molded Fiberglass Shell Rockers to add comfort, utility, and an eye-catching punch of color.
It’s just a taste of the people-focused design solutions we’re presenting in our main showrooms during this year’s exhibition. If you’re at the show, please stop by Suites 318, 321, and 330 to experience our breakthrough “Living Office” concept. Not at NeoCon? Get a sneak peak at our spaces — which were just awarded “Large Showroom Winner” and “Best of Competition” — at hermanmiller.com/neocon-2013.
January 1, 2013
Fifty years ago, Alexander Girard, the head of Herman Miller’s Textile Division from 1952 to 1973, introduced this playful design and called it “January.” Girard’s distinctive combination of color, originality, and spirit came from his love of folk art, his world travels, and his delightfully curious personality.
Here’s hoping the optimism of Girard’s design inspires you in this new year. Click here to download one of six free desktop wallpapers featuring “January” for your computer, mobile, or tablet device.
December 28, 2012
Every Friday, we scour the Web to present our weekly picks for the ten best articles published by design-minded sites, blogs, and magazines. During this final full week of 2012, however, we’re taking a look at the top ten posts that inspired us, challenged us, and kept us thinking all year long. Enjoy — and see you back here next Friday with our first list for the new year.
1. A must-see: “The Handmade Process Behind Your Eames Chair,” an insightful video taken in our manufacturing facility by Co.Design.
2. The launch of the George Nelson Foundation’s new website, created by Hello Design, at georgenelsonfoundation.org.
3. Yves Béhar’s keynote speech on why designers should love the design process via 99U.
4. Dwell’s Q&A about authentic design with Marj Mojzak, Herman Miller’s Director of Retail.
5. “Ray’s Displays: The Thoughtful Displays of Ray Eames” at the Archives of American Art blog.
6. The New York Times‘ interview with Hilda Longinotti, George Nelson’s former secretary and oftentimes furniture model (check her out alongside the Nelson Marshmallow Sofa in the article’s featured photo).
7. “The Wit and Wisdom of Alexander Girard” from Metropolis Magazine.
8. The can’t-be-missed photos in “LIFE With Charles and Ray Eames: The Simple Art of Beauty” at life.time.com.
9. This insightful interview at Mr. Porter with Jason Cohn, writer and co-director of Eames: The Architect and the Painter.
10. The Design and Architecture Crossword from the New York Times and Design Within Reach. (Here’s a hint for 95 Across.)
Photo: Francois Dischinger for Herman Miller / Eames Softpad Side Chairs, Eames Table Segmented Base
December 25, 2012
If you’re celebrating today, we wish you a good one. Happy holidays from Lifework!
Image: “Peace on Earth” by Alexander Girard, available as holiday cards from Amazon.
June 15, 2012
Where we’ve spent our time for the last seven days.
1. This thoughtful interview with industrial designer Yves Béhar (creator of our SAYL chair) from Tastemakers@Google on YouTube.
2. “30 Eye-Catching Interiors Featuring The Iconic Eames Lounge Chair” at Freshome.
3. This tour of Vitamin, a design and marketing firm in Baltimore (via baltimore.citybizlist.com).
4. A look at how tech is creating workplaces everywhere — and shrinking the office — from USA TODAY.
5. “The Wit and Wisdom of Alexander Girard” at Metropolis Magazine.
6. Tips for converting space into a home office from Arizona Daily Star.
7. Back in March, we featured a post on Sinuous Guitars — and we’re glad to see Greg Opatik’s Eames-inspired instruments continuing to create buzz (via Rapid Growth).
8. “The 15 Things Charles and Ray Eames Teach Us” at DARE+.
9. Huffington Post’s photos of the George Nelson exhibit opening this weekend at Cranbrook in Bloomfield Hills, Michigan.
10. Apartment Therapy’s coverage of our Alexander Girard exhibit at NeoCon 2012 (where we were very proud to be recognized with multiple awards).
Photo: Janel Laban for Apartment Therapy
June 5, 2012
Virtually unmatched in his use of pattern and color, Alexander Girard created some of the greatest textile designs of the modern age. Never limiting himself to a single medium, Girard brought his enlivening aesthetics to everything from furniture to branding to interior design. In celebration of the seminal designer’s birthday last week, we present an enticing array of paths to his inspirational work. Read more
August 19, 2010
On the way to my morning meeting at The Design Yard with the Herman Miller dot com team I couldn’t resist taking some shots. The building was designed by Jeff Scherer and having driven all over Holland, Zeeland and Grand Rapids for the last week I can see exactly where he was coming from with his design. The building, on a 40 acre rural site in Holland, holds architectural references to the rural landscape, barn architecture, and also the screened porch vernacular that informs so many of the homes I’ve seen in Holland (I got lost this morning so I saw A LOT of houses).
It was also nice to see the Girard silk screen for print that graces Lifework’s blog.
Balance, Design, Products
February 11, 2010
“We followed Alexander Girard where he led us because we knew he had impeccable taste and incredible astuteness about space, color and pattern. He provided…emotional attachment.” That was DJ De Pree, Herman Miller’s founder. His relationship with Girard began in 1952 when the designer was hired to head the fabric and textile division. Over the next 20 years Girard’s work with Herman Miller brought him together with designers like the Eameses and George Nelson. His colorful textiles incorporated geometric patterns and folk art-inspired images that gave life and vibrancy to the company’s furniture designs.
It seems fitting with Valentine’s Day fast approaching to take a look at his “Love Heart” (1972) and the “International Heart”(1967) Girard, who grew up in Florence, Italy, said “the whole world must know about itself…The colors vary, their languages vary, but their spirits and aspirations are interwoven into one incredible rich humanity.” The ‘International Heart’ with the word love in 16 languages certainly speaks to that sentiment. In the 1967 Herman Miller catalog the “International Heart” is referred to as “Love Heart” and “A tribute of Love and Friendship to your wife, sweetheart, or customer.” A nice broad sweep there! The price? $2.25 for a 15 1/2 inch square.
While, for me, the singular “Love Heart” is a testament to Girard’s extraordinary skill as a designer. He has taken a simple graphic, boldly red heart and graphically imposed the word love inside it.
And to finish here are some inspiring words from Girard: “The hope for good design lies in those designers who believe in what they do, and who will only do what they believe … contrary to hearsay, it is possible to make a living that way.” I think that rings true for all of us.
February 4, 2010
The famous photograph of the Herman Miller designers and founder DJ De Pree has always intrigued me (from left top row: Robert Probst, DJ De Pree and Charles Eames. And seated, Alexander Girard, George Nelson and Ray Eames). I love the camaraderie captured. I’m sure it wasn’t always there! But for a split second a real joy was captured. I’ve always wondered who took the photograph? It’s a very interesting story. The official photographer that day was Judith Olausen (her image is above). She’s shot a lot for Herman Miller and I’ve been in email contact with her. Judith generously offered to scan the negs from the shoot. I’m excited to see these shots. I’ll post those all as soon as they come in!
According to our archivist, Linda Baron, the photographer who took the image of everyone laughing (below) is Melissa Brown. The story goes that there was a break in the shoot and they were all joking around when Melissa snapped this shot. I’m yet to track down Melissa (anyone got any leads there?)