July 29, 2011
Herman Miller is over 100 years old and as you can imagine our logo has evolved in that time.
David Foster put together a slideshow over on Discover to give you a visual history of the iconic logo. Check it out here and you’ll see there is still a clear connection to the original “M” that Irving Harper designed so beautifully in 1946.
June 13, 2011
Today is the last day for you to get 15% off our designs. Our summer sale ends at midnight tonight. So head over to the store or your local Herman Miller retailer to check out lots of great deals for your home office (and the rest of the house.)
June 3, 2011
Exciting news. Herman Miller announced today that we will be the exclusive distributors for Magis in the US and Canada. So, what does that mean for you? Well, here’s Jack Schreur, the Vice President of Herman Miller Classics and Retail on that very subject: “The move is an exciting step toward offering more choices. Choice is key because technology is changing how people are working and living, and blurring the line between the two. Magis products provide more ways to support how people live and work today, and they do it with beauty, style, and quality.” Sounds pretty good doesn’t it? We’re thrilled to be able to mix classics from the Magis collection with our own pieces.
Magis works a lot like Herman Miller in that they partner with outside designers. Who have they worked with? The list is a who’s who of the design world – look out for pieces by Richard Sapper, Jasper Morrison, Stefano Giovannoni, Marc Newson, Konstantin Grcic (his Chair_One is pictured above) , Ron Arad, the Bouroullecs, Robin Day, Pierre Paulin, Jerszy Seymour, Naoto Fukasawa, and Thomas Heatherwick. Come check out the Herman Miller booth at Neocon (June 13-15) to see just how our pieces will work with Magis’ designs.
June 3, 2011
Yes, it’s that time of year. Spring hits and sale time starts. Remember the Aeron that’s been weighing heavily on your wish list (it certainly has been on mine)? Now is your chance to take the plunge. You will find 15% off Herman Miller furniture - go to the store to check out the deals or head to your closest retailer. Enjoy!
May 14, 2011
Day 1 here at ICFF and it has been a very busy morning. I finally got to see the new Eames Aluminum Group (EAG) pieces and they are pretty amazing. It’s been fun watching people almost double-take as they see the chairs in their outdoor setting. The booth was inspired by Eero Saarinen’s Miller House which in turn inspired Ray and Charles Eames in their EAG pieces. But more on the story over on Discover next week. The pieces will be available to the public next Spring.
We’ll have a slideshow with images from photographer Paul Warchol - a step up from my iPhone snaps! I think I made Paul a bit nervous waving the phone around but I couldn’t resist posting some pics of us setting up this morning.
February 16, 2011
We’ve written about Discovering Design before – it’s a great collection of pictures, stories and video from the Herman Miller archives. I was particularly taken by the story behind Isamu Noguchi’s glass-topped table. I didn’t know he’d spent time in an internment camp or that there was an early version of the table that existed before George Nelson stumbled upon the design in Noguchi’s studio. Below you’ll find Noguchi’s words excerpted from his 1968 autobiography, A Sculptor’s World, which was rereleased in 2004.
“I went to Hawaii in 1939 to do an advertisement (with Georgia O’Keefe). As a result of this, I had met (T.H.) Robsjohn-Gibbings, the furniture designer, who had asked me to do a coffee table for him,” Noguchi remembered. “I designed a small model in plastic and heard no further before I went west.”
Noguchi with his wife Yoshiko (Shirley) Yamaguchi on the veranda of their house and his studio, Kita-Kamakura, Japan, ca. May–December 1952.
Noguchi was Japanese-American and going west refers to his internment in the Poston, Arizona, concentration camp during World War II. While he was interned, Noguchi said he was surprised to see a version of the small plastic model he had done for Robsjohn-Gibbings published as an advertisement for the English designer. “When, on my return, I remonstrated, he said anybody could make a three-legged table,” said Noguchi. “In revenge, I made my own variant of my own table.”
Noguchi and his wife standing outside Charles and Ray Eames’ house.
The “variant” Noguchi designed was used to illustrate an article, written by George Nelson, called “How to Make a Table.” Nelson had seen the table some months earlier at Noguchi’s studio. Dropping in to see his good friend, Nelson found him working on a piece he intended to give his sister for her birthday. Noguchi had cut a piece of scavenged glass for the top and made a base using two identical pieces of wood fitted together by a single pin. Nelson liked the organic shape. By 1947, the table became part of the Herman Miller product line. It reflects Noguchi’s belief that “everything is sculpture. Any material, any idea without hindrance born into space I consider sculpture.”
“To limit yourself to a particular style may make you an expert of that particular viewpoint or school, but I do not wish to belong to any school,” he said. “I am always learning, always discovering.”
The Noguchi Table with a cherry base.
Photo credits top to bottom: Noguchi at work via Vitra. Noguchi coffee table via Herman Miller Discovering Design. Noguchi and his wife via Unframe. Noguchi outside the Eames house via Architectural Ruminations.
Balance, Design, Products
January 10, 2011
This blog has been up and running for a year now and I remember so clearly when I started how excited I was to have access to all Herman Miller’s awesome archival material. One of the things I keep forgetting to remind the Lifework readers is that you have access to the work too. The Discovering Design page has lots of info on each designer, slideshows of their work and fascinating stories on the design process. I highly recommend you drop by the site and check it out.
January 10, 2011
First impressions. They count. And at Herman Miller’s Design Yard in Holland, MI, you can count on a good one when you walk in the front door: A friendly and helpful concierge, lots to catch your eye and grab your interest, great aromas from the coffee bar, and comfortable furniture.
If you’re part of a customer tour of the Design Yard, it’s likely your first stop will be the Parlor, just a few steps from the front door. It’s a great room to relax in, unwind, and have a conversation with Herman Miller folks about your company, your needs, and what’s important to you.
“The Parlor sets the tone,” says Robert Hieftje, Herman Miller’s Customer Experience Senior Manager. “It’s a place of discovery a time of learning for us. After we talk and get to know each other, we’re able to personalize the rest of the customer’s experience at the Design Yard so it’s of most value to them.”
Furnished with a carefully selected mix of Herman Miller furniture, the room looks and feels like home. A wall of bookshelves holds not only books, but also artifacts from Herman Miller’s legacy: photos of the companies legendary designers like Nelson, Rhode, Girard, Stumpf, and the Eameses; examples of Herman Miller innovation; and a treasure trove of fun conversation pieces.
For example, there’s a beautiful wooden envelope from the Hall family of Hallmark Cardsfame, given in recognition of Herman Miller’s and Hallmark’s 40-years of working together.
Via Bill Holm at Discover.
December 3, 2010
It’s a big week for us on the small screen. Extreme Home Makeover has chosen a truckload of Herman Miller furniture for their program that airs Sunday. And today Ellen gave away 425 Setu chairs! It’s Day 2 of her 12 Days of Giving and I went to the set to see what all the fuss was about…and let me tell you there was a lot of fuss.
We were kept out of the audience – it wouldn’t look good if I took a seat from a ‘real’ audience member now would it!
So I watched from the green room as Ellen had Hilary Swank guess a mystery word.
Once she’d guessed it (it was gummy bears) the audience were rewarded with a Setu chair. You can watch the show here.
It was such a thrill to be part of all that energy and well-wishing. Ellen gave away over $3000 worth of gifts to each audience member. And the audience was ecstatic. In the line to get to our cars after the show the woman in front of me turned around, wide-eyed and said “There wasn’t a second of down time. Where does she get all her energy?” I didn’t have an answer. But I knew that we were just the first show. Ellen was taping Monday’s show right after ours. Two shows back-to-back on Thursdays. Makes for an intense work week but one that gives you a bit of down time on a Friday!