Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Herman Miller, Inc., Snags Best of Show, Two Golds and Silver at NeoCon 2006

Herman Miller's My Studio Environments captured the coveted Best of Competition in the annual Best of NeoCon Awards announced Monday morning at the opening of the three-day contract furnishings trade show in Chicago.

The striking system, designed by Doug Ball, also won the Gold Award in the Furniture Systems category.

Herman Miller also won the Gold Award in the Lighting category for the Yves Behar-designed Leaf personal light, and Geiger International, a Herman Miller subsidiary, won the Silver for Ergonomic Task Seating.

The awards, now in their 17th year, drew nearly 360 entries in almost 30 categories, and were judged by designers and facility managers who are members of the IIDA and IFMA. The competition is sponsored and organized by Contract magazine, which will feature My Studio Environments on the cover of its August issue.

Monday, June 12, 2006

My Studio Environments 'all about the person who's working there'

With the introduction of My Studio Environments, Herman Miller and dealer salespeople have an exciting, innovative solution to offer their customers.

"There's nothing else like it on the market, and we expect it to have a major impact," says Senior Product Manager Joel VanWyk. "Early response has been very positive, and customers are anxious to see My Studio and learn what it can do for them."

He notes that My Studio Environments is another major step by Herman Miller in the evolution of office furniture. "It fits perfectly with our history of systems furniture research, innovation, and problem solving. It also is a nice addition to our portfolio of systems products and enhances its range."

Available for order now, My Studio Environments will be introduced to the public at NeoCon 2006.

"For companies that view knowledge workers as strategic elements of their business," says VanWyk, "My Studio offers compelling advantages."

Designed by Douglas Ball, My Studio Environments is a human-centered solution. It fosters comfort, well-being, and productivity in personal, human-scaled offices that let people control their privacy and work processes.

Ball has been solving problems for people in offices for over 30 years, with an array of successful office furniture, computer workstations, and seating to show for it. "It's all about the person who's working there," he says of his approach to designing work environments.

For My Studio Environments, he reinvented the existing systems paradigm. "Workers have not only had to give up offices with doors, they've also had to give up space," he says, "so my goal was to optimize their work area."

"My Studio has the feel of a private office, even in a 6' x 8' footprint," says Eric Moes, senior product manager. "People can open up their offices to collaborate or close up their offices for work that requires concentration. This balance makes My Studio unique among open-plan products.

"For companies looking to optimize their real estate investment," he says, "My Studio is space efficient, but not at the expense of the individual."

Friday, June 09, 2006

Herman Miller, Inc., Offers "Real Choices" at NeoCon 2006

Herman Miller, Inc., will introduce a bevy of new products at NeoCon 2006 in Chicago's Merchandise Mart from June 12-14. The additions to the portfolio include two office systems, an LED table top light, and an executive office chair from its Geiger subsidiary.

The theme for Herman Miller this year is "Real Choices," illustrated through interactive product displays, graphics, and alluring colors in textiles and finishes to reflect the company's myriad solutions for workspace design, comfort, and performance.

Learn more about Real Choices at NeoCon 2006.

"We realize there are multiple and specific customer needs in the marketplace," says Herman Miller President and CEO Brian Walker. "Our new and existing products represent our researched and thoughtful response to those needs and symbolize our long-standing commitment to offering customers the best choices for attracting, supporting, and retaining top talent."

More than a System

My Studio Environments is one of two new systems designed by Doug Ball. An innovative concept in open-plan workspace design, it is a user-centered solution featuring elements that enhance physical and psychological well-being and instill a personal sense of ownership.

My Studio can be utilized for privacy or collaboration and supports spaces with a reduced footprint. The office layout provides capability for creating, displaying, and organizing work. It also incorporates a personal closet for the storage of personal items. Adds Ball: "My Studio can adapt without being moved. It was specifically designed to conform to a variety of work styles without the need for reconfiguration."

The second system, Vivo Interiors, is a frame-and-tile system that offers a clean, fresh aesthetic. In Vivo, Ball reveals crisp edges for a straight, well-defined appearance, while its trim pieces interlock for exceptional alignment and fit. A horizontal bead defines the tiles and reflects light, providing added visual interest.

The placement of Vivo's work surface is also unique for a frame-and-tile system. Its sidelong placement allows for a wider range of view. The new orientation helps people feel more secure and increases awareness of teammates and environmental changes.

See and Experience Vivo.

Both My Studio and Vivo are the first systems to be designed according to the McDonough Braungart Design Chemistry's (MBDC) Cradle to Cradle protocol, adopted within Herman Miller as Design for the Environment. The protocol informs the safety of a product's material chemistry, the ease of disassembly, the percentage of recycled content in the product, along with the recyclability of the product's parts. Similarly, both systems have been awarded GreenGuard certification.

Touch the Light

The new Leaf personal light by Yves Behar and his San Francisco-based design firm, fuseproject, represents the future of lighting. Twenty LEDs (light emitting diodes) create an interactive experience, allowing control of both the color and intensity of illumination. With the touch of a finger, Leaf emits a warm, ambient glow or a cool, blue affect.

Its propriety heat dissipation system coupled with the energy efficiency of LED technology also makes Leaf a smart choice for the home or office environment. It too was designed according to Herman Miller's Design for the Environment protocol and utilizes 40 percent less energy than compact fluorescent lighting. Says Behar, "The real magic behind Leaf is the way it translates human touch--it creates a compelling way to experience the art of light."

Sitting in Style

The new Foray chair is the first collaborative design from Geiger International and Herman Miller. Designed by Eric Chan, Foray's intelligent design offers elegance matched with the latest in ergonomic seating technology. Foray also was designed according to Herman Miller's Design for the Environment protocol and is expected to receive GreenGuard certification in July 2006.

"We wanted to produce a chair that would be attractive to a technology-reliant executive," says Geiger President Dave Guy. "Its user-defined settings and materials combine for the ultimate experience in comfort and durability," he adds.

A Golden Anniversary and a Reintroduction with Swagger

The Eames Lounge and Ottoman, designed by Charles and Ray Eames, is commemorating its 50th anniversary with a lively celebration and a new veneer that hearkens back to its original, lustrous rosewood. The new sustainable veneer option is called santos palisander. At NeoCon there will also be a display of invited designers' interpretations of the iconic lounge, in the form of three stylish sets whose cushions have been transformed into impressionistic canvasses.

Herman Miller also is showing at NeoCon its reintroduction of the Nelson Swag Leg group, a set of desks, tables and chairs designed by George Nelson, Herman Miller's longtime director of design. The chair, originally produced in fiberglass-reinforced plastic, is being reissued in earth-friendly and recylcable polypropolene. The collection also includes two dining tables, a work table and the elegant Nelson Swag Leg Desk.

The Sounds of Sonare

Sonare Technologies/A Herman Miller Company will demonstrate its next generation of the Babble voice privacy technology with Multivoice in the 11th floor Herman Miller for Healthcare showroom. Multivoice can be placed in any workspace and activated to protect private face-to-face conversations. Designed to operate independently of the telephone, Multivoice allows the freedom to speak securely within an open-plan office, conference room, or lobby setting.

Sonare's showing at NeoCon includes Roomtune. Displayed within the Herman Miller showroom, Roomtune turns tack boards, whiteboards, and artwork into sophisticated panels that remove excess sound energy, improving the overall acoustic performance of an interior space. Sonare President Bill DeKruif noted, "Babble opened the door for us to explore new ideas about protecting privacy and confidentiality. We're thrilled to add Multivoice and Roomtune to our sound management portfolio and the range of our interior applications."

Building Bridges with Alliance Partners

Herman Miller for Healthcare will reside in its own showroom this year at NeoCon. Its new location on the 11th floor of the Merchandise Mart in Suite 113a marks the first opportunity to fully demonstrate its range of products, knowledge and services in a variety of simulated applications.

Along with its casework, systems, and clinical furnishings, Healthcare will be displaying a new seating option from alliance partner Brandrud. Brandrud offers a comprehensive furnishings portfolio for patient rooms, exam rooms, treatments areas, and lobby and lounge areas.

Herman Miller's alliance with Bretford, Inc., expands its ability to serve a variety of learning environments in corporate facilities, colleges, and universities. Bretford offers innovative tables and visual display products for meeting and conference rooms, as well as learning spaces.

Several other alliances enhance Herman Miller's ability to provide customers with powerful choices for creating great places. Baker Manufacturing, Edelman Leather, First Office, Luna Textiles, Maharam, SCA Wall Services, SitOnIt, Inc., and Theatre Solutions, Inc., broaden and deepen the portfolio of products and services available through Herman Miller.

"We are making history at this NeoCon--and a strong statement about the future--as we bring to market an unprecedented set of new solutions and an amazing array of choices," said CEO Walker. "We have never been better positioned to serve our customers with the innovative product solutions that we can offer through Herman Miller and through our valued partners."