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-colored Nala Patient Chair and ottoman.
Overhead view of a mustard-colored 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.”