Wednesday, August 24, 2005

Herman Miller and Edelman form alliance

Herman Miller and Edelman Leather are combining furniture designs with exquisite leathers. The alliance will make available on many products in Herman Miller's modern classics furniture line an array of Edelman upholstery leather in various colors.

"We're delighted to have Edelman Leather as an option for our most discerning customers," said Rick Duffy, vice president at Herman Miller. "The quality and range of color and finish is a wonderful complement to our design collection."

Edelman Leather can be specified in September, in either the all-grain or dream cow leathers for the following: Eames sofa, Eames soft pad and aluminum group seating, Eames chaise, Eames executive chair, Eames lounge chair and ottoman, Goetz sofa and Nelson marshmallow sofa.

"We're thrilled to be able to offer Herman Miller's customers unprecedented freedom in color, texture and quality of leather," said Arthur Edelman, chairman of Teddy & Arthur Edelman Ltd. "Imagine an Eames lounge chair available in over 600 colors. This relationship helps us to share our passion with even more people, on many of the most celebrated furniture designs of the 20th century."

Edelman Leathers are full grain and aniline dyed, made in Edelman tanneries. "Good leather doesn't wear out; it wears in," said John Edelman, president of Arthur & Teddy Edelman.

The Cella Chair Design Story

The Cella chair began in the imagination of designer Jerome Caruso. He envisioned a highly engineered, intelligent seating surface composed of hundreds of small cells and loops that would support and respond to different areas of the body. To implement this vision, research focused on optimizing the chair's performance, particularly the patented Cellular Suspension.

To meet the project mandate that Cella be more comfortable than other chairs in its price segment, several research methodologies were used, including end-user evaluations, benchmarking, and expert-opinion research by ergonomists and biomechanical professionals from around the country.

From an ergonomics standpoint, Cella follows the lead of Herman Miller's Aeron and Mirra work chairs, with five ergonomics issues integral to the design all three:
- Size and fit. Anthropometric data from CAESAR (Civilian American and European Surface Anthropometry Resource) and other sources was used to ensure the chair fits different body shapes and sizes.
- Pelvic stabilization. The Cella backrest has Herman Miller's integrated, passive PostureFit contour.
- Kinematics. Herman Miller's proven Harmonic tilt mechanism was applied on Cella.
- Pressure distribution. Throughout Cella's development process, Herman Miller used its pressure-mapping capabilities to inform the design of the cellular size, flex regions, and contouring.
- Thermal comfort. Special temperature sensors, called thermocouples, were used to evaluate upholstery options and inform textile selection.

From an aesthetics standpoint, Cellular Suspension was designed to update and redefine the look of low- to mid-price work chairs, where thick foam-and-fabric seats and backs remain the norm. The color offering was created to support the chair's application flexibility and address important trends. Inspirations for the palette include:
- New architecture. The trend is toward darker, warmer tones in architecture and interior design.
- Nature. Rich, saturated tones for a timeless, classic look.
- Global influences. Colors that appeal to international customers.
- Design trends. Chairs are being specified to have a more neutral presence in office environments so they don't compete visually with other design elements.

With these trends as a guide, Cella's broad yet concise color selection goes beyond what is expected in the price range.

From an environmental standpoint, Cella was developed using Herman Miller's Design for Environment cradle-to-cradle protocol, which establishes strict standards for recyclability, safe content, easy disassembly, minimal packaging, and minimal waste. As a result, like all Herman Miller products, Cella fits into the company's vision of sustainable design.

bfi is an authorized Herman Miller Dealer servicing the NJ/NY area. For more information on the Herman Miller Cella Chair visit our Cella Chair page at:

Monday, August 15, 2005

The Man Behind the Cella Chair

Meet designer Jerome Caruso, creator of the Herman Miller Cella Chair, Sub-Zero fridge/freezer, plus an array of other innovations

At 12 years old, Jerome Caruso discovered his career when a friend of his father introduced him to industrial design--and he heard about a General Motors contest for futuristic car concepts. "I worked in the basement every day after school for months," Caruso remembers, "developing a clay model for the car, transferring the design to a block of wood, and carving it out by hand. That was when I realized what I wanted to do--especially after winning an award."

Caruso refined his design sensibilities in Europe in the 1960s. While a graduate student at the University of Copenhagen, he also worked at that city's premier design office. "There was a sensitive approach to European design that made an indelible impression on me," he recalls.

Deciding to go it alone, he lined up projects in Scandinavia; at age 26 he opened a practice in Brussels with clients in Belgium, England, France, and Germany. Later he returned to the U.S. and again established a one-man studio. His diverse projects ranged from spearheading Motorola's entry into the manufacture of LCD watch modules to designing and engineering the first completely machine-produced stack chair for the U.S. contract market (now in the American Arts collection at the Chicago Art Institute).

Caruso is most noted as Sub-Zero's first and only designer for more than 20 years, responsible for their entire line of sophisticated refrigeration icons and industry-leading firsts, including winestorage units. He invented Sub-Zero's revolutionary drawer-and-cabinet system, named one of the 10 best products of '95 by Time magazine. For the 2002 debut of Wolf, Sub-Zero's corporate companion, he designed 25 new cooking appliances within 18 months.

With more than 75 design patents to his credit, Caruso takes a hands-on approach and enjoys doing it all--concepts, drawings, prototypes, and engineering. "The bigger the challenge, the more fun it is to work out the solution," he says. He's especially intrigued with chairs and vividly recalls the challenge of Herman Miller's high-performance, award-winning Reaction chair, which he designed with his son, Steven.

But Herman Miller's Cella chair, he smiles, was the "Mt. Everest of fun. At the beginning, I imagined a highly engineered, 'intelligent' surface that could be the ultimate in seating comfort. I envisioned hundreds of tiny 'cells'--each one consisting of a pad with spring-like loops that would both support and respond to different anatomical areas." And after years of development and experimentation, the Cella chair closely follows that original concept.

Today, from his spacious, sky-lit studio in Lake Forest, Illinois, Caruso continues to enjoy the design process as much as he did when he first discovered it as a boy. "My goal has always been to bring function and art together in products that perform superbly and look great," he says.

Herman Miller Designs
Cella Chairs
Reaction Chairs

Jerome Caruso Design, Lake Forest, Illinois

Good Design Awards, Chicago Athenaeum, 2003, Convection Oven Line, Radiant Cooktop Line/Wolf Appliance Company
IDSA Awards, 2002, Convection Oven Line, Radiant Cooktop Line/Wolf Appliance Company
IDSA Award, 2002, Reaction Chair/Herman Miller
IDSA Award, 2001, Wine Storage Units/Sub-Zero Freezer Co.
Best of NeoCon Gold Award, 1998, Reaction Chair/Herman Miller
Design Excellence Award, Design Journal, 1998, Reaction Chair/Herman Miller
Annual Design Review, I.D. magazine, 1998, Reaction Chair/Herman Miller
Year's 10 Best Products, Time magazine, 1995, Sub-Zero 700 Series
IDSA Award, 1991, Attiva Seating System/Thonet Industries
IDSA Award, 1987, Sub-Zero 500 Series

Related Information:
Introducing the Cella Chair by Herman Miller
Herman Miller's Cella Chair and Babble Voice Privacy Technology Win "Best of NeoCon 2005" Awards

bfi is an authorized Herman Miller Dealer servicing the NJ/NY area. For more information on the Herman Miller Cella Chair visit our Cella Chair page at: