Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Why Herman Miller Redesigned Its Bestselling Aeron Chair

Should you redesign a bestselling classic? Herman Miller's iconic Aeron chair offers a helpful case study.

We've all heard that old saying 'if it isn't broken, don't fix it.' But that's not what the maker of the bestselling office chair of all time said. Let's go back to 1994, the year a global design manufacturer by the name of Herman Miller presented the first generation Aeron Chair. The chairs designers Don Chadwick and Bill Stumpf created an instant icon for office workers around the world. Yes, really, around the world. The first-gen chair saw over 7-million sold in 134 countries.

And with such great success, you might be wondering what in the world would be cause for a redesign on such an iconic classic. Because I worked on the original version, I was very curious to know also, so I sat down with Tom Niergarth, VP of Platform Design at Herman Miller, to find out. Tom led development and production of the new Aeron and he had a lot to say about taking on the task of improving on a classic bestselling product.


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