Ideas from caregivers

The development and design criteria for the Nala Patient Chair came from the results of a research project within Herman Miller Healthcare. Researchers engaged more than 200 caregivers in 20 hospitals to learn about patient seating: what worked and didn’t work in current patient chair offerings.

Researchers also consulted ergonomists, physical therapists, gerontologists, and more than 70 healthcare designers. A partnership was established with Continuum, a Boston-based product and brand design firm, to provide industrial design vision and refinement. These professionals participated throughout the development of Nala prototypes.

Profile view of a copper-coloured Nala Patient Chair and ottoman.
Overhead view of a mustard-coloured Nala Patient Chair.

The design objective was to address both patient and caregiver needs. Continuum put it this way: “We wanted Nala not only to feel comfortable physically for patients, but also to be comfortable in an emotional sense. For caregivers, we felt a patient chair should not add complexity to their work. They are rushed and overworked, so they can't stop to think through the features of a chair.”