A behind-the-scenes slideshow from Dwell sparked my interest so I contacted Amanda Dameron, Dwell’s digital content editor to find out more. She was visiting Herman Miller Headquarters with senior editor Aaron Britt to interview designer Susan Lyons about her work with us. The pic above by Amanda shows one of Lyons’ current projects. She is looking at new colors for the Eames plastic molded chair. “Here, pieces from the original offering in fiberglass are considered. The chair shells, once made of fiberglass-infused plastic, are produced in environmentally friendly polypropylene, a decision made by the company almost a decade ago.”
Tell me about your visit. How long were you there? We were only in Michigan for one full day, but I think we made the most of it. It would be hard to pick a highlight, because I’d have to say the trip was near perfect. The weather was gorgeous, there was so much to see and capture, Susan Lyons and Mark Schurman couldn’t have been better guides. I think the whole group—which also included our filmmaker Gary Nadeau and his assistant, Jason—was just so excited to be there, to get this special glimpse. It’s really a remarkable place.
The Marigold Lodge was the greatest—I loved seeing George Nelson’s old hangout in the back! I like to imagine him back there, designing and carousing.
You spent time in archives. What was your favorite piece there? My favorite nook of the archives was the drawers that held the Girard textiles—they were so incredibly vivid and well preserved. The catalogues and print advertisements were a kick to see as well. We had so many places to visit and film that day, and there wasn’t much time to spare. It was such a shame to leave…I could have happily stayed there all day.
Can you share your impressions of Susan Lyons’ work at Herman Miller? Susan’s talent astounds me, her nuanced treatment of color is fascinating. After listening to the color of the Eames chair, I am not going to venture a guess—I leave that up to the expert (Susan).