Monday, February 23, 2015

How to Build a Classic Design Collection with Herman Miller

What would we buy if we had Herman Miller's product line at our disposal? We've gathered a group of what we deem essentials from the American furniture icon. These products will help kick-start any design collection-in-the-making. Start shopping now!

No design collection is complete without a nod to the dynamic duo, Charles and Ray Eames. An icon of the 20th-century, the Eames lounge and ottoman—which has been produced by Herman Miller since 1956—showcases carefully molded Santos Palisander veneer (a more sustainable variety than the original endangered Brazilian species) and buttery leather.

Another midcentury icon, George Nelson's Marshmallow sofa features 18 circular cushions in a surprisingly comfortable arrangement. Introduced by Herman Miller in 1956, the piece can be upholstered in a number of fabric or leather options.

Japanese-American sculptor Isamu Noguchi designed his famous three-legged coffee table in 1948. The perfect balance of forms, the piece has become a staple in modern homes.

Though designed for children, Charles and Ray Eames' Hang-It-All coat rack suits modernists of any age. Herman Miller also offers the playful piece in all-white or all-black models.

The secret to a successful design collection is showcasing a range that is not limited to a single decade or style. Konstantin Grcic's Chair_One, designed in 2004 and available from Herman Miller, is a stackable staple often seen in contemporary houses, restaurants, and bars.

The Aeron office chair, designed by Don Chadwick and Bill Stumpf for Herman Miller in 1994, is a classic addition to modern office design. In the Museum of Modern Art's permanent collection, the chair is not only ergonomic, but green too—it's 94% recyclable. 

The Eames' modular desk and storage collection is another timeless staple. Developed out of the work the duo did for an 1949 exhibition at the Detroit Institute of Arts, the set features industrial-inspired cross-supports, uprights, and perforated panels.

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Friday, February 20, 2015

When Bad Acoustics Happen to Good Workplaces

When all the pieces are in place, the radius of distraction will shrink down to 10-15 feet. Photo by Steve Johnson

Bad acoustics are the culprit in many unsuccessful workplace design projects. Below, Steve Johnson, a principal at ADI Workplace Acoustics, explains how and why the proper use of sound absorbing materials and sound masking can make all the difference.

What an exciting time to be involved in the design and construction of the workplace. Amazing changes are taking place: technology is allowing for more mobility, and mobility is changing many concepts of assigned space. The result, in many diverse ways, is a more open workplace with less personal space. It seems every week there is major publication that is showing off a new workplace full of bright light, low or no panels, few assigned spaces, and loads of amenities.

In the articles, the advocates talk about collaboration and serendipitous interaction. But the comment sections are full of messages from employees in similar space that are screaming, “I don’t like it here,” “I can’t concentrate,” and “It’s too loud.”

Continue reading article at

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Ugh, Collaboration

We asked a group of designers to sketch spaces for collaboration. Here’s what we got.

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Five Ways to Make Your Office a Happier, More Productive Place

Photo Credit: Flickr, Kompania Piwowarska

According to Gallup’s 2013 State of the American Workplace Report, which surveyed more than 150,000 full- and part-time workers, only 30 percent of employees are engaged and inspired at work. A happy worker means a more productive worker, so it’s important that managers make serious efforts to make their workplace more enjoyable. So what is it that today’s workforce wants? And how can you give it to them in a way that’s cost-effective and best for your company? Elizabeth Dukes, co-author of Wide Open Workspace and co-founder of iOffice, has five suggestions.

1. Focus on Making the Office a Welcoming Place

2. Be Sure the Space Meets Employees’ Needs

3. Offer Eco-Friendly Amenities

4. Get Your Technology Up-To-Date

5. Don’t Overlook Social Media

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Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Forget the hype, buzzwords, and trends. The key to designing an effective workspace lies with a concept as old as life itself: balance.

With all the mobile and digital technology available, it seems like setting up an office should be easy. Workspace is no longer dictated by having to access a computer mainframe or unwieldy filing system. Most things that workers need to do their jobs are inside their laptops and smartphones. All people should need are places to sit—either together or alone.

But it turns out that what arguably should be simple is anything but. Workers are looking for something more than a desk: they want to spend their days in an inspiring space that contributes to their purpose, facilitates their cognitive and physical well-being, and allows them to concentrate and interact productively with their colleagues. Yet companies that may be considering how to design an up-to-date, effective office space for their employees are confronted with an ever-changing and contradictory range of options.

Continue reading A Well-Balanced Feel