George Nelson, Herman Miller’s design director from 1945 to 1972, viewed design as a response to social change. The Herman Miller Collection exemplifies that view. Now, as then, we work with the world’s leading designers to understand the problems one may encounter in daily living and solve for them in the light of an ever-changing society. New and archival designs translate this understanding into empathy, thus anchoring a setting as open as a reception area, or as focused as a small business office, with both purpose and beauty.
The Herman Miller Collection
- Ward Bennett
- Bruce Burdick
- Carol Catalano
- Mark Goetz
- Sam Hecht and Kim Colin
- Isamu Noguchi
- Studio 7.5
- Vincent Van Duysen
Architect/designer Craig Bassam and brand strategist/creative director Scott Fellows joined forces in 2003 to form BassamFellows. On the heels of successful solo ventures and with a single, shared vision in mind—to return true craftsmanship and beauty to contemporary living—the duo quickly garnered attention.
Ward Bennett was hailed by the American Institute of Architects for "transforming industrial hardware into sublime objects". His reputation earned him some of the day's most affluent clients: David Rockefeller and Chase Manhattan Bank, Tiffany & Co. and Rolling Stone founder Jann Wenner. Simplicity and comfort were always his goals. Bennett designed more than 150 chairs, many of which have become classics, such as the Landmark chair.
Bruce Burdick was exposed early on to the industrial dynamics, creative lifestyle and architectural activity of California. Born and raised in Los Angeles, he is a graduate of the University of Southern California and the Art Center College in Pasadena, California. While a junior at the Art Center, Burdick worked with Charles and Ray Eames at the Eames Office.
When Carol Catalano was seven years old, her father gave her books on drawing. "They opened a whole new world for me. That's when I decided I wanted to do something creative in my life." Catalano has since applied this creativity as a designer. "I love giving artistic expression to things I've learnt," she says, "and I'm always looking for ways to 'cross-pollinate'."
People feel close to their furniture. They get attached. "So my goal is to design furniture that fits into someone's life," Mark Goetz says. "I want even office furniture to feel as personal as any object someone has at home."
Contrasts, and holding them in creative tension, define the work of Sam Hecht and Kim Colin. Their designs reflect both a meticulous attention to an object's details and a thoughtful consideration of its context. Thus, they measure the success of their designs, "not only in sales or notoriety but also in the contribution to the greater good of the industry (and, we hope, the planet)."
"Everything is sculpture," said Isamu Noguchi. He believed the sculptor's task was to shape space, to give it order and meaning, and that art should "disappear", or be as one with its surroundings. His relationship with Herman Miller came about when a design of his was used to illustrate an article written by George Nelson called "How to Make a Table". It became his famous "coffee table", originally introduced in 1947.
Burkhard Schmitz, Claudia Plikat, Roland Zwick and Carola Zwick began their partnership in 1992. They were looking for the freedom to work on projects that interested them, and to do so without bosses or titles. The group’s name, Studio 7.5, comes from an early idea to rent a 7.5-ton truck, put a model shop in it, and drive from one project site to another. Obviously, freedom of movement is important for these designers.
Clean lines and uncomplicated form characterize the work of Belgian architect and designer Vincent Van Duysen. For over two decades, he has created a broad range of projects that extend from sinks and chairs to interiors and buildings. His refined sense for material and classical form have helped him achieve a body of work that champions understated elegance and warmth above all else.
The enduring designs of the Herman Miller Collection strike a delicate balance between craft and industrial processes. While the Collection moves forward by utilising the latest technologies and materials, it remains grounded in the quality and value produced by the craftsmanship and human touch of the workers who assemble many of its pieces by hand.
Materials in the Collection amplify its design philosophy of elegant pragmatism and industrial craft. Decades of continual learning and investigation yield carefully chosen materials that utilise new technologies or embrace our design heritage. By making materiality integral to design, we ensure each product best serves the person using it.
Building a Collection
George Nelson's 1948 catalogue introduction still speaks volumes about where we've been as a company and serves as a guiding light for where we're going.
Down to a Minimum
Ward Bennett's clean lines and exquisite materials defined late twentieth-century design. WHY celebrates his career and the reissue of some of his classic pieces.
What's in a Frame?
Designers Sam Hecht and Kim Colin consider the humble wire basket and explore a line of thinking that informs the design of the new Wireframe Sofa Group.