100 years of Herman Miller

Celebrating a century of innovation, design, and modern ​heirloom quality

Humble beginnings

Who was Herman Miller?

In 1923, the Michigan Star Furniture Company became what we now know as Herman Miller, when D.J. De Pree and his father-in-law (you guessed it—Herman Miller) purchased the company. De Pree renamed the company after Miller, who was a well-regarded businessman in the community.

Portrait of Herman Miller.

De Pree's father-in-law and our namesake, Herman Miller.

Portrait of a young D.J. De Pree.

A young D.J. De Pree, 1909.

Founder D.J. De Pree, design director George Nelson, and designers Robert Propst, Alexander Girard, and Ray and Charles Eames.

Designer-driven: Founder D.J. De Pree (back, middle) with director of design George Nelson (seated, middle) and the cadre of designers they hired: Robert Propst, Alexander Girard, and Ray and Charles Eames.

Modern in the mid-century

By the middle of the 20th century, the name Herman Miller had become synonymous with “modern” furniture. De Pree first hired designer Gilbert Rohde in 1930, who ushered in an era of problem-solving modern design. A decade and a half later, he would hire George Nelson, who changed the course of the entire company. Design-driven—and with support from De Pree—Nelson brought in his contemporaries, such as Charles and Ray Eames, Alexander Girard, and Isamu Noguchi, to produce pieces that would become modern classics.

Herman Miller today

Today, in addition to our classic pieces and new designs for the home, Herman Miller is a recognized innovator in contemporary interior furnishings, work chairs, healthcare solutions, and technologies and services. In 2021, we became part of the MillerKnoll collective, an unparalleled platform of brands that design the world we live in.

A workspace within the Paris showroom, featuring Setu and Cosm Chairs around a black Memo Desk.

Herman Miller's Paris Showroom

An animated illustration highlighting key moments in Herman Miller's history.

A milestone 100 years in the making

Join us as we celebrate the anniversary of becoming “Herman Miller”

An Eames Molded Plywood Dining Chair with a metal base sits at a rectangular Doubleframe Table with bookshelves in the background.

Artful Living​

We take the art of living seriously. See just what sets our brand apart with our more personalized approach to modern living.

The hand of a person rubbing stain on the shell of an Eames Lounge Chair.

Innovative Craft​

Herman Miller has set the bar for original design, innovative materials, and craft. Charles Eames once said, “the details are not the details. They make the design.”

The Studio 7.5 design team looking at prototypes of components for one of the chairs they designed.

Design Authorship​

Thanks to a designer roster that draws on perspectives from around the world, we can offer incredibly unique problem-solving designs.

Meet our designers

A black Aeron Office Chair with OE1 trolly plastic clips and Tu Pedestal Utility Tray, made from ocean-bound plastics, and Revenio textile swatches displayed on a cube.

Environmental Advocacy​​

We design for good by being a good steward of the environment. Find out what kind of work we’ve done to ensure this and what we’re still working on.

See what we’re doing

A spread from the interior of the A Way of Living book.

Books by and about us​

Want to learn more? There are several books, both in and out of print, about Herman Miller and our designers.

Read on

An array of Green Mags Soft Sofas across from two chairs in a collaborative plaza setting.


We've been honored to receive numerous awards.

View all

A portrait of D.J. De Pree sitting at a desk in an Eames Aluminum Group Chair.


Explore the milestones in our rich history to learn more about what makes Herman Miller the company it is today.

Look back