Herman Miller’s latest office furniture range abandons the ‘cubicle’ and promotes social freedom

With changing times, social spaces need to change too… and it seems like Herman Miller has noticed that. As a world that’s slowly preparing to step out of their homes and go back to offices again, this unique window of time we’ve got is perfect to redefine productivity and how offices should look in this new future. Herman Miller’s OE1 series of furniture helps define the ‘new age’ office by creating a space that’s more conducive to co-working and socializing, instead of locking people in cubicles to make them more productive. The OE1 series brings an element of openness, dynamism, and fun to the workplace, giving it a unique facelift that definitely contrasts from the restrictive atmosphere created by working from home.

Short for Optimized Essentials, the OE1 range is “designed to help people experiment with space, discover what works in the moment, and change rapidly for the future”. It focuses on adaptability and on agility, by allowing modules to interconnect or separate, and work well both as a part of a team or as individual units… sort of like humans. The furniture elements can be scaled up, scaled down, or fine-tuned to create the workspace you need. Filled with basic forms and vibrant colors, the OE1 series has just the right amount of character to ad a minimalist yet vibrant touch to the workspace.

“The ideas behind OE1 predate COVID-19. The collection is the result of two years of development, driven by an international research project, in which the team interviewed everyone from office managers to sci-fi writers about the future of work. But as the collection came to a crest in 2020, amid a rise of remote work in response to the global pandemic, this future-forward design became a much more urgent one”, reports Fast Company.

“I often say with a mixture of pride and sorrow that Herman Miller invented the cubicle… probably envisioning a utopia, and it became something different,” says CEO of Herman Miller, Andi Owen. “We envision a future where [modular, flexible] furniture styles are the ones that are most dominant” Owen replies, indicating the demise of the restrictive cubicle, and the creation of what is referred to as an “unsystem” – or a series of individual elements that can be mixed and matched in a variety of ways, without ever really ‘going wrong’.

What’s immediately characteristic of the OE1 is that even as it creates separate, independent workspaces, it does so without putting the user in a bubble. People are still welcome to look each other in the eye, exchange pleasantries and ideas, and work as a collective whole instead of as individual cogs in a machine.

The Agile Wall [above and below] is a series of vertical panels that act as functional elements even serving as room dividers. The upper example showcases a wall-hung whiteboard that even has a soft-board attached to it, while below, a series of shelves helps functionally partition a space without visually creating a partition.

The OE1 series even relooks desks, with the Micro Pack [above] and a more traditional seating arrangement below. Each Micro Pack comes with an adjustable desk system, letting you choose between sitting and standing formats, while even organizing your cables into a central channel. Along with it all, the Micro Pack even lets you hang your bag or backpack on a hook placed right beneath the desk, so you don’t have to drop your purse on the ground when you sit at your desk.

For more traditional sitting desks, you’ve got OE1 Storage Trolleys that nest nicely under them, allowing you to cut the clutter on your table yet still have all your stuff at hand. The trolleys can be moved around as you shift workspaces, and can even be turned into stools by popping a seat on top, so you can have a quick conversation with your colleagues without dragging your chair around.

Ultimately, with the OE1 series, Herman Miller aims at building up the workplace by breaking it down. Plagued by the ‘cubicle culture’ that they themselves created, the OE1 is Herman Miller’s way of going back to the drawing board and redefining creativity and productivity in a way that is less bound by rules and is more accommodating of diverse work cultures. In a rather bittersweet way, it also takes into account the fact that workplaces may see downsizing, budget cuts, and migration to smaller office spaces. With the modular design of the OE1 and those innovative Micro Packs, Herman Miller hopes to create a workplace that fits ‘more into less’ while still “making [the workplace] as comfortable as possible.”

Designers: Herman Miller in collaboration with Kim Colin and Sam Hecht

This foldable, space-saving Herman Miller-inspired office chair is the 2021 wfh investment you need!

This Sayl concept chair by Charley takes into account the larger shift in our habits as homes have become hybrid offices and our flexible lifestyle (psst! He also keeps in mind the hours we spend as gamers or serial binge-watchers).

Now more than ever we demand more from the spaces we live in, our homes are now our workplaces, our workout spaces, and also the places we socialize and relax – the pieces of furniture we choose have to be optimized for our space and be more compact without sacrificing on the functionalities or luxuries in the case of a high-end furniture design brand like Herman Miller. We need chairs that can allow us to do more and this Sayl chair lets you maximize your space whether you are working, playing games at your desk, or chilling in a VR universe. The aesthetics of the design uses muted greys to blend into every home interior design with orange accents in the chair that call to attention pivotal touchpoints, making the design as intuitive as possible. Simply push the foot pedal mechanism to collapse the chair’s design, making it an easy-to-store, space-saving solution we all need!

Furniture design has seen a shift since the pandemic and brands are pivoting towards making pieces that are modular, flexible, multifunctional, and above all, space-savers!

Designer: Charley Bircumshaw

Logitech and Herman Miller team up to design ergonomic gaming furniture

Plenty of gaming chairs look cool, but whether or not they're actually good for your back is another question. Furniture company Herman Miller and Logitech's gaming hardware brand Logitech G want to change that. They're teaming up to create a line of...

Herman Miller needs a Vice President and General Manager, Global Workplace

Herman Miller is a globally recognized provider of furnishings and related technologies and services. Headquartered in West Michigan, they have relied on innovative design for over 100 years to solve problems for people wherever they work, live, learn, and heal. Herman Miller’s designs are part of museum collections worldwide. Known and respected for their leadership in corporate social responsibility, Herman Miller has been included in the Dow Jones Sustainability World Index for the past 12 years, and have earned the Human Rights Campaign Foundation’s top rating in its Corporate Equality Index for the past nine years. You can make a salary making furniture. Or you can make a difference. Or you can work at Herman Miller and make both.

The iconic brand houses the classic Eames Lounge Chair and Ottoman, created by American designers Charles and Ray Eames.

The Opportunity

As Vice President and General Manager, Global Workplace, you’ll oversee and drive the performance of the Product category and serve as its General Manager, owning global growth and profitability. You will deeply understand the current and future needs of customers and their regional differences – thinking locally while acting globally. You’ll optimize spend and activities to address total opportunity, maximizing return on investment. You will coordinate Product Management practices across regions, managing pricing, portfolio additions, and deletions. You’ll also prioritize the product creation queue and own ROI for developments in the category.

Responsibilities

You’ll have opportunities to speak up, solve problems, lead others, and be an owner every day as you:

– Partner with other categories General Managers, Design and Development leadership, Portfolio Leads, and Brand Creative Directors as a senior leader on our Global Product Team to build best practices, organizational efficiency, and a strong talent pool.
– Continuously evolve the overall assortment to ensure we meet and exceed customer needs. You will ensure products are compelling to the customer, differentiated from the competition, priced appropriately, and enable revenue growth.
– Create a point of view (POV) on future needs and the likely wants of the customers we serve.
– Develop and lead a team of direct reports to ensure that product-level merchandising strategies are clear and well-executed. You will nurture and grow merchandising and product management skills across the organization.
– Establish long-term product portfolio strategies and annual plans to drive sales and profits. You’ll oversee pricing strategies to maximize profitability and remove redundant and laggard products from the portfolio.
– Form a deep understanding of a category competitive set in all markets and keep information and analysis current.

– Listen to customers locally to uncover product opportunities across brands and regions. You will weave together diverse localized interests into a cohesive whole, capitalizing on commonalities yet addressing nuance.
– Partner with Brand Creative Directors to ensure that our products are compelling and brand right, and appeal to both existing and target customers. You’ll assimilate creative inputs that make products compelling and brand enhancing.
– Partner with Business Unit leadership to grow awareness of the category portfolio and priorities, and to build shared goals for revenue and profitability.
– Partner with Innovation Teams to identify and prioritize customer problem areas for our innovation agenda.
– Partner with the Marketing, Brand Design, and Visual Merchandising Teams to ensure that the presentation of the product is aligned with the merchandising strategy.
– Provide clear briefs and partnership to Creative, Operations, and Product Development partners to ensure that we are developing products that deliver strong margins and top-line revenue growth. You will prioritize the product development queue and own ROI for new developments.
– Provide leadership to cross-functional integrated product teams, working to align product management, product development, purchasing, operations, sales, and marketing efforts with our merchandise strategies and initiatives.
– Perform additional responsibilities as requested to achieve business objectives.

Requirements

You might be just who we’re looking for if you have…
– A Bachelor’s degree in Marketing, Product Development, Business, or a related area. A Master’s degree is preferred.
– 15+ years of progressive product management and merchandising experience.
– Five or more years of project leadership experience. Global project leadership experience is preferred.
– Prior senior merchant leadership experience with profit and loss responsibility, with a proven ability to deliver measurable financial results.
– A strong understanding of financial measures and the ability to evaluate financial indicators and translate data into actionable information to drive results.
– The ability to both think strategically and execute tactically.
– Demonstrated expert written/verbal communication skills, and the capability to present complex concepts in a concise and understandable way to a variety of audiences.
– A strong aptitude for leading through influence and setting direction for cross-functional groups.
– Strong relationship and consensus-building skills to manage projects in a matrixed environment.
– A demonstrated ability to lead, influence, and work with all levels in the organization.
– The ability to perform all essential job functions of the position with or without accommodations.

How to Apply

Herman Miller is committed to diversity and inclusion. We are an equal opportunity employer including veterans and people with disabilities.

Location

Michigan, United States.

Click Here to Apply Now!


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YD Talks: The Making of SPUN, the most exhilarating chair in the world

I remember the very first time I walked into a Herman Miller outlet. I walked right past the Aeron chair, Yves Behar’s SAYL chair, and even probably the most iconic thing in the room… the Eames Lounge Chair. I walked past all these hallmarks of great industrial design, because I had my eyes affixed on the most interesting object in the room. I say object because you couldn’t really call it a chair. It was an experience. It was the Spun.

“There was no intention to design a chair”, says Thomas Heatherwick in the video above. The Spun was the result of an experiment, rather than a conscious decision to make a seating device. This experiment finally evolved into a chair that was unlike anything I’ve ever experienced. It was the furniture-equivalent of a rollercoaster ride. You feel uncertainty, surprise, thrill, joy, euphoria, in a matter of seconds, which is more than you can say of any seating device on this planet. Designed as an unstable seating device that could rotate on its rim and axis, the Spun literally spins you around, tilting you ever so gently that you get this feeling of almost falling over, but never actually ever falling over, thanks to some incredibly precise design engineering. The spinning action gives you a quick burst of adrenaline and a release of endorphins that bring about childlike joy no matter how old you are. The minute you complete half a rotation, there’s a sudden awareness as you feel you’re about to topple backward, but you never do. The immediate relief of anxiety is quite literally a stress buster, and the cycle continues with each subsequent rotation.

The Spun Chair was designed back in 2010 by Thomas Heatherwick of Heatherwick Studios for Magis (eventually finding a home in Herman Miller too). Stand it upright and it doesn’t look like a chair at all… it only becomes a chair when you incline it. The rotationally symmetrical Spun is a rare type of chair that finds itself fitting perfectly into domestic as well as commercial spaces, and indoors as well as outdoors. Made using rotational molding (so it’s hollow on the inside) with polyethylene, the Spun comes with bands or lines across its surface that serve multiple purposes. The lines form a texture that prevents you from slipping off the chair. They provide a gripping surface not just for your backside, but also your hands that are bound to grip the chair as you find yourself feeling stable at one moment and unstable at another. Forming an element of CMF, the ribbed lines give the Spun a distinct play of light and shade, while also quite literally making it look like blur-lines from the spinning chair!

Watch the video above where Thomas Heatherwick breaks down the creation process for Spun in a video directed by Juriaan Booij.

Designers: Thomas Heatherwick (Heatherwick Studios) and Magis Design

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2 Office Chairs That Will Help Save Your Back

If you want to improve your posture and ward off any back problems, purchasing the best office chair with good ergonomics is key, especially if your job is sedentary. Many office chairs try to advertise their ergonomics: but what chairs actually work if you have real needs to address? There are a select few chairs that consistently receive high ratings when it comes to ergonomics and over healthy sitting – and we have a couple prime examples for you. But first, let’s talk about the features to look for in the best office chairs.

What to Look for in Healthy Office Chairs

One of the biggest factors in a quality, good-for-your-back chair is adjustability. You need a chair that allows you to adjust the back rest, seat depth, and more. Of course, you also need to spend some time making these adjustments, but that’s a strictly after-purchase step!

Next, the chair should easily meet basic ergonomic requirements. This means there should an inch or so of space between the chair and the back of your knees when sitting, and that your feet should rest easily against the floor and your legs should form a 90-degree angle around your knees. The back should follow the curve of your spine while providing solid support.

You’ll notice that our top chair picks – and related office chairs out on the market – have a certain look to them, a shape that looks molded to the human body. Here, it’s okay to trust your eyes: This is a good sign because it’s more likely that you naturally fit in the chair without striking awkward poses or hunches.

Herman Miller Aeron – $940

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Herman Miller is a byname in the ergonomic chair world, and is often tipped as the best-of-the-best for those suffering from back problems. There’s good reason to recommend Miller models, and our favorite is the highly accessible Aeron (other Miller chairs tend to look a little… weird).

The Aeron comes in three different sizes, plus adjustable everything. The tilt mechanism and suspension are popular marketing points – and take note of that flowing seat, how it is designed to both hold you in place and pour your legs down toward the floor. This is supposed to keep your body alert and ready to go, no matter how long the day.

Buy on Amazon

Steelcase Leap Chair – $919

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The Leap is designed to be flexible – literally. The chair’s materials will bend and give to your body’s movements, ensuring that there’s no sore spots no matter how long you sit. The armrests are telescoping, sliding in and out and nearly every other direction depending on how you prefer to use (or ignore) them. Steelcase also gets points for creating an eco-friendly chair that is made of up to 30% recycled materials and is almost entirely recyclable in its own right.

Buy on Amazon

Herman Miller Launches Why Design Series, Profiles Yves Behar

Herman Miller just launched a new video series called Why Design. Each week profiles a designer. This week’s profile features Yves Behar. What makes him tick, how he works and answers that question – why design? Hit the jump for the video.

Herman Miller Why Design

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(Herman Miller Launches Why Design Series, Profiles Yves Behar was originally posted on Yanko Design)

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