Easily one of the most influential producers of furniture and decor pieces, the Herman Miller brand is legendary in the world of furniture – and it’s easy to understand why.
Originally founded in 1905 as Star Furniture Company in Michigan, the company started by producing high grade furniture pieces and bedroom sets in the Historic Revival style, up until about 1923. In this year, 51% of the company was purchased by Herman Miller and Dirk Jan De Pree, and from that moment on the company really focused on creating truly American designs using traditional native wood from the region – and their design really started to become popular throughout the world.
Architects were brought on board and heavily influenced the furniture designers that worked at Herman Miller during the early 1930s and 1940s. It wasn’t until 1945, when Charles and Ray Eames joined the company and the iconic Eames Chair was created, that things really started to accelerate for the Herman Miller company.
Perhaps the most iconic of all American furniture pieces ever created, you may have possibly seen the Eames chair at least a handful of times – if not in one of your relatives, probably in a famous movie or in a well-known Tv series. These chairs featured in the TV show Mad Men and The Simpsons, for example, but were also present in The Wolf of Wall Street movie and many other movies and series.
Today, Herman Miller continues the tradition of excellence that they established in the early 1900s as the American furniture pioneer. Even though their pieces are relatively expensive compared to other contemporary options, when they are acquired they pass from one generation to another, bringing with them many years of stories to be told.
On top of that, many Herman Miller furniture pieces continue to rise in value – specially early Eames Chair pieces that are only available as reproductions today.
A relatively new division of Herman Miller, the Herman Miller Research Division, was created in 1961, which is based in Ann Arbor, Michigan. This division has been responsible for new pieces of office furniture like the Aeron Chair, designed by Don Chadwick and Bill Stumpf. It is the most ergonomic and the most comfortable of all office chair options, available on the market today. An entire generation of American business people, designers, homeowners, and furniture appreciators are falling in love all over again with Herman Miller designs from the past as well as those from today!
But Herman Miller is not a company which only focus is the financial success. Social and environmental responsibility are also main worries. The most part of raw material used in any product, has organic or recycled origin, harmless for health. For example, 94% of the material used in Aeron is recyclable.
Beyond environmental worries, Herman Miller promotes community service, as well as health and well being of their workers and customers.
In this health and well being context, ergonomics and design are the brand’s DNA. Thinking about the number of hours that many employees spend sit per day (maybe as many or even more they pass resting), having a chair that perfectly fits any position, providing a comfort feeling while working, is fundamental. You will work better and produce more. Each chair is submitted to rigorous wear tests by simulators that replicate daily usage until the limit.
As mentioned before, innovation has been part of the brand history and for the last years Herman Miller has been working on the development of the Living Office idea, e.g. spaces where working must be a pleasant experience and not a sacrifice.
Summing up, when thinking about Herman Miller there are words or concepts that are part of the brand: history, design, ergonomics, innovation, quality and comfort.