Herman Miller – More Than Just Great Design

Herman Miller, Inc. was founded in Zeeland, Michigan in 1923. Back in those days, the company’s only activity was the reproduction of historic, home furniture.
Gilbert Rohde joined the company in the early 1930s and along with him he brought his modernist designs. At this time, the company’s output was extended to include office furniture. Rohde stayed with the company until his death in 1944.
A new design consultant was needed and George Nelson, who was rather famous for his “risk-taking” attitude toward design, was approached. Nelson was an advocate of “all things modern” and, according to D.J. Depree, the chairman of Herman Miller Inc. at that time, an obvious choice for the Director of Design post.
George Nelson stayed with the company, albeit on a very special contract which allowed him the freedom to work on his own projects, until his retirement in 1970. These were the company’s golden years when George worked along side such great names as Ray and Charles Eames, Richard Schultz, Isamu Noguchi, Harry Bertoia and Donald Knorr to create some of the most outstanding designs of the twentieth century. To say that the company was an outstanding success at this time would be an under-statement. They were adorned with public admiration and the financial rewards that came with it.
By the mid-1960s, much of their home furniture production was abandoned whilst the company focused almost completely on office furniture. This was Vegetable Garden Cartoon the time when the Action Office (now known as the office cubicle) was first developed under the supervision of Bob Propst, Director of Research.
The 1980s saw the re-introduction of many of their most famous home furnishings and, nowadays, this accounts for around forty percent of their production (the remaining sixty percent being, of course, office furniture).
Since the early 1990s, whilst they have always maintained their flair for great design, Herman Miller have introduced the use of environmentally friendly materials into their production methods. Their modern office furniture uses a very high percentage of recyclable materials and some models boast the use of some recycled materials.
This all adds up to furniture with a longer than average life-span and, at the end Colonial Style House Interior of its long life, each piece can be disassembled with relative ease and recycled.

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