Herman Miller (office equipment)

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Herman Miller, Inc.
Type Public (NASDAQMLHR)
Founded 1923
Headquarters Zeeland, Michigan, USA
Industry Furniture
Website www.hermanmiller.com

Herman Miller, Inc., based in Zeeland, Michigan, is an American manufacturer of office furniture and equipment, as well as modern furniture for the home. It is notable as one of the first companies to produce modern furniture, and the manufacturer of the Equa chair, Aeron chair, and Eames Lounge Chair. Herman Miller is credited with the invention of the office cubicle (originally known as the "Action Office") under the vision of then-director of research Bob Propst, in 1968.[1]

Despite the header (office equipment), Herman Miller was not primarily in the office furniture business until the late 1960s, although they produced office furniture since the 1930s. Most of their most famous modern products were produced starting in 1946 and running through the mid-1960s, when they discontinued much of their home furniture lines and focused on the business world. In 1980's they began re-introducing many of their most famous home pieces and now they are about 60/40 office/home.

Eames Lounge Chair and ottoman
  • 1923–1930 - historic (non-modern) reproductions
  • 1930–1944 - under the direction of Gilbert Rohde, Herman Miller produced modern furniture for the home and office.
  • 1946–1970 - under the direction of George Nelson, Herman Miller produced many of the most iconic classic modern furniture for the home and office. It was during this time that Charles and Ray Eames, Alexander Girard and Robert Propst were brought in to feature their furniture designs.

The company is also famous for having partnered with furniture designers Gilbert Rohde, George Nelson, Charles and Ray Eames, Ray Wilkes, Paul Laszlo, Robert Propst and Isamu Noguchi. Influential fabric designer Alexander Girard came to the company in 1952. The line of furniture published by Herman Miller in their catalogs from 1948 to 1952 is considered to be among the most influential in modern design.

Herman Miller is consistently recognized as one of Fortune Magazine's "Most Admired Companies", having placed at the top of the list for Furniture companies for the past 18 consecutive years.

The company is also noted for its dedication to a people focused employee culture, following a servant leadership concept.[citation needed]

In March 2008, Herman Miller settled an antitrust lawsuit with the states of New York, Michigan, and Illinois for $750,000 [2]. The lawsuit focused on Herman Miller's use of a suggested retail pricing policy, which was found to be within the bounds of the law. Today, many companies employ such policies to avoid price erosion in the internet channel.


[edit] Sustainability

Herman Miller has engaged in a number of initiatives to promote sustainability, and many of them have had cost-saving implications for the company. The company has developed a technique of mixing sawdust with chicken manure to produce topsoil. The company also uses a database to track every chemical in each product used by the company, in order to eliminate harmful chemicals from their products. Management of the company has expressed concerns about global warming, and the company was using 27% renewable energy as of 2007. The company also issues a sustainability report.[3]

Many of Herman Miller's products are designed to be ecologically sound, and many are good examples of ecodesign techniques for achieving sustainability include saving materials, energy efficient manufacturing, recycled content, and recyclable content, including design for disassembly. The design process also utilizes life cycle assessment.[citation needed]

Herman Miller helped fund the start of the United States Green Building Council, and hired architect William McDonough to design a factory incorporating green design principles. The building is known as the Greenhouse and is an example of green building.[citation needed]

[edit] Objects

  • Folding Screen (1950s by Charles & Ray Eames)[4]
  • The Rocker Chair (1948 by Charles & Ray Eames)
  • The Marshmallow Chair (1956 by George Nelson)

[edit] References

[edit] External links

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