Morpholio, the architect-turned-developer-run company known for its Trace app that blends augmented reality, digital hand drafting, and other architectural tools on portable devices, has brought its interior design program, Board, to desktops for the first time. Coming on the heels of the new Mac Catalina operating system update, the desktop version of Board leverages the new MacCatalyst developer tool which allows for translating iOS apps to desktop more simply. Board, which is intended to apply a mood-board logic to technical interior design problems, has been designed for not only professionals but to make home design easier for average consumers. That said, with Board for Mac, Morpholio hopes to “take advantage of the unique properties of the desktop environment," says Morpholio co-founder Mark Collins in a press release from the company, “which is essential for professional work.” The desktop app will include mood board “super tools,” such as layer control and magic wand selection and deletion, as well as a feature called “Ava,” which creates spec sheets for clients and contractors. Ava gives automatic suggestions to match color and forms, and libraries of products from larger companies like Herman Miller and Knoll and smaller designers like Eskayel. It will also include new export features and provide further compatibility with Adobe and Autodesk products (as well as Pinterest). In addition, while Board for mobile already has AR features that allow for furniture to be placed in space at scale, the desktop version will allow for VR integration. “A typical furniture catalog would rely on still images,” says Morpholio co-founder Anna Kenoff, “but Board allows you experience expertly rendered models, created by the storytellers at Theia Interactive. You can view and spin around your favorite furniture pieces and experience them in every dimension. You can zoom in to stitching and materiality and feel the shade and shadows on their forms.” Additional viewing and presentation features will be built in as well and Board will take full advantage of Catalina’s updated Dark Mode for those who prefer to use it. “When Apple released MacCatalyst, they definitely had creative professionals in mind,” says Kenoff of the recent Apple release. “They wanted to amplify the power of mobile apps by combining them with the precision capable on a Mac. Few architects and designers work exclusively on a laptop, desktop or tablet. We hope to make our apps available wherever designers are working.”
Posts tagged with "Herman Miller":
As the saying goes, a picture is worth a thousand words. Well, a video, or, if you will, a moving image, is at least double that. And so The Architect's Newspaper (AN) brings you video highlights from Milan Design Week filmed by our editors onsite at Salone del Mobile, the EuroCucina circuit, and other satellite shows. From interviews with designers to panning views of in situ installations to product install shots, we hope this roundup gives a taste of what it’s like to see and experience it all in person. Laufen’s booth installation Onsite at the fairgrounds of Salone del Mobile, our editors enjoyed this bidet toilet fountain installation by the Swiss-bathroom brand Laufen. Floating mobiles at Rossana Orlandi Watch Martens and Visser’s kinetic sculptures spin and float like bubbles at Rossana Orlandi. AN talks to Studio OEO about their new accessories collection for Mutina Thomas Lykke and Anne-Marie Buemann of Danish architectural firm OEO Studio speak about their collaboration with Mutina, a new collection of home accessories that integrate as a system with Italian manufacturer’s ceramic tiles. Hay at Palazzo Clerichi Hay introduced several new products by the Bouroullec brothers, Stefan Diez, GamFratesi, Shane Schneider, and many repeat offenders. The exhibition showcases designs for everyday living as well as everyday working in the ornate ambiance of Palazzo Clerichi. Bellissimo! AN talks to Hella Jongerius about her tapestry collage for Vitra The Dutch industrial designer talks about the new sofa she developed for Vitra. The installation highlights the textiles she created for “textile nerds.” Apparatus’ ACT III The New York-based design studio debuted their new collection, ACT III, in their Milan showroom. The launch featured a series of alabaster and fluted brass lighting that references Berber jewelry. AN talks to Brussels-based designer Alain Gilles about his acoustic lighting designs Alain Gilles discusses his new acoustic lighting collection for BuzziSpace in the Brera district for Milan Design week. Gufram’s club-inspired furniture collection Disco Gufram is an electronic soundscape outfitted with furniture inspired by original 1970s designs by the studio. Loosely interpreted based on the found archival images, the series features sofas, coffee tables, and cabinets complete with Dali-esque melting disco balls based on their predecessors at disco clubs in the 70s. AN talks to Berlin-based Studio 7.5 about their new seating series for Herman Miller Burkhard Schmitz and Roland Zwick of Studio 7.5 talk about their new seating collection “For You Everyone” at the Herman Miller Showroom in Milan. The exhibition showcased the Cosm series, inviting visitors to sit back and recline. Nendo’s exhibition: Forms of Movement Nendo’s self-exploratory exhibition, Forms of Movement, surveys materials and technologies in 10 conceptual iterations of an object’s function, material, or production process. Here we see a series of furnishings articulated by different shapes and formations of plasticized fabric. AN talks to Space Copenhagen about their collection for Stellar Works Danish design duo Signe Bindslev Henriksen and Peter Bundgaard Rützou of Space Copenhagen detail the inspiration behind the new series and how similarities in Asian and Scandinavian cultures transpire in their designs. A 1929 tram by Christina Celestino renovated as a traveling saloon AN rode the Corallo tram with designer Christina Celestino to hear about her inspiration behind the exhibition on wheels. Traveling to-and-fro between three stops in the Brera design district, the interior is reminiscent of 1920s art moderne interiors, specifically the cinema and screening rooms. AN talks to Icelandic designer Hlynur V. Atlason about his commercial series for Ercol Icelandic designer Hlynur V. Atlason details his collection of modular furnishings for Ercol, their first venture in commercial design. He explains this new take and his inspiration point that departed from the English brand’s seminal reference, the traditional Windsor chair. The Diner by Rockwell Group The design world crowds into the American-style diner installation inside a railway arch designed by The New York-based firm. Rockwell Group teamed up with Surface magazine, design consultancy 2x4, and Design Within Reach on the American-inspired establishment located beneath the tracks that lead to Milan's Centrale railway station. See more videos and photos on our Instagram @archpaper
Lispenard is Tribeca’s northernmost street, just parallel to and south of Canal Street a short block away. It’s only two blocks in length and the last one in Triburbia (or Tribeca, a neighborhood in transition on the lower west side of Manhattan) to be gentrified with fancy shops and expensive loft residences. It’s one of the few Manhattan streets that long-time cabbies have never heard of, but that is about to change. Not only is the street finally gentrifying, but it now has a line of beautiful furniture named after it. Herman Miller's Lispenard sofa line is designed by architect Neil Logan. The collection by Herman Miller is elegant and contemporary, befitting its Manhattan origins. Emphasizing balance and proportion, the stumpy round legs keep it real—offsetting the sleek, cushioned seating proportions—like the street: funky and a little grody. Looking back, I have lived on the street since the 1970s and have always appreciated the streets: narrow, dirty, and raffish. Images come to mind of the dilapidated marble and weathered brick buildings at Canal Street, so many that drew little attention from most at the time. What we now see as routine storefront and luxury residences, I lament as corroboration of the loss of the former Tribeca. Fortunately though, Miller’s Lispenard sofa line reads to me like a kind of tribute to that bygone era. Swathed in a rough-hewn upholstery, the collection comprises a club chair, three-seat sofa, sectional, and ottoman. I think it would look perfect in my polyurethaned oak floored loft, the place I have called home for nearly five decades. More so, I like to see the series not as an impediment to the character of the neighborhood, but actually as a part of the character of the neighborhood, only in a contemporary context.
Another year, another NeoCon—the annual design expo that showcases the innovation, creativity, and reimagination of how we will live and work. NeoCon 2017 boasted a higher attendance than last year—by over 7 percent—and according to Byron Morton, vice president of leasing for the Merchandise Mart Properties, this was a growth both in terms of registered attendance and the uniqueness of its attendees, as nearly 20 percent of the attendees were corporate end users. These numbers aren’t surprising; has any other space changed as much as the workplace in the past five years? This year’s colors waxed largely neutral in shades of ash, taupe, beige, and light sepia, and large block patterns took precedence over the detailed textiles of yesteryear. But nuance is everything: Wolf-Gordon’s Infinite Neutral, for instance, created a fabric that appeared gray but was spangled with nearly 30 shades of bold color in its warp and weft to create depth, and DesignTex’s Acoustic Drapery collection takes textiles even further by making it acoustic-friendly—promising to let light in and keep sound out. While displays of customizable desks for the workspace were predictably plenty, so were their insistence on concealing levers, widgets, and wires in order give furniture an organic appearance despite tech-savvy designs. Herman Miller’s height adjustable desk “Live OS” (created in partnership with designer Yves Behar) and Knoll’s “Universal Height-Adjustable Table” both were customizable, wooden desks smart enough to collect user data to remember preferences and sense movement. This extended beyond the desk as well: the Vitra Pacific chair by Barber & Ogersby, for example, automatically adjusts to the sitter’s weight and position with very minimal manual adjustment. Many brands at Neocon continued to straddle the lines between the personal and the professional, collaborative and private, indoor and outdoor. The most explicit trend this year was reversal: Returning toward privacy and controlling the collaborative, open workspace by offering solutions to create seclusion. This, among other things, created an industry-wide pivot back to the phone booth: sound-muffling booths by Jabbrrbox and Framery were two examples of spaces designed to carve privacy in the noisy, open workspace. A hyperawareness of the speed of innovation to come was also central—from apps that control movement and send haptic buzzes to the user like Herman Miller’s Live OS, to DIRTT’s mixed-reality goggles featuring a custom-designed 3-D program that helps designers and architects envision partially-virtual interior spaces. Here are just a few standout products and highlights from the show: Impressions, An Acoustical Solution Knoll Six classic KnollTextiles patterns are impressed onto an ultra-thin tile, with each tile wrapped in 100 percent polyester. The tiles slide onto a Z-clip rail system, which offers a consistent architectural base for creating a tiled wall. Tiles are available in 16 colors, including warm and cool gray, as well as more bold, bright colors. Different levels of impression add dimension and texture to the tiles turning walls into sculptural surfaces. The Universal Height-Adjustable Screen Ki The Universal Height-Adjustable Screen can be easily affixed to a work surface or table, allowing employees the freedom to position themselves in sitting or standing configurations. Users can change their work setting by pulling up for privacy or pushing down for collaboration. Screens come in acoustic, tackable PET felt and opaque acrylic in a variety of colors. Poema Koleksiyon Koleksiyon collaborated with HOK and Studio Kairos to develop its new, flexible collection. Although the HOK pieces will debut later this year, Studio Kairos’s Poema sofa design for alternative workplace settings was a standout. The seating’s low height and worktop elements replace standard-height chairs and tables, creating a more space for meetings and creative teamwork sessions and collaborations. Alphabet Sheer and Stars Sheer by Alexander Girard Maharam Maharam will reintroduce two iconic Alexander Girard designs—originally wall coverings—that will now be available as window covering applications. This geometrically patterned drapery underwent an industrial silk screen process in order to be reimagined as a “burnout drapery”— a fabric with dissolved fibers that give the entire material a semi-transparent effect. Live OS sit/stand desk Herman Miller The Live OS sit/stand desk includes an app and dashboard to offer data-based insights in the workplace. With the launch of Live OS, Herman Miller extends its traditional product offering to include this subscription-based service. Live OS will connect Herman Miller furnishings, including sit-to-stand and fixed height desks. Either when first installed, or retrofitted later, Live desks are equipped with sensors that are continuously connected to the cloud using a secure cellular network. The sit-to-stand desk remembers preferred postures. If an individual chooses to receive reminders, the desk control will light up and vibrate, reminding them to switch positions. QuickStand Eco Humanscale QuickStand can sit on any desktop and the height-adjustable work surface arrives ready to use. QuickStand Eco features a self-locking mechanism and is designed to accommodate a variety of heights and can support single or dual monitors up to 35 pounds in weight. Xorel Artform Carnegie Carnegie is introducing three new textile panels that boast sound-absorbing capabilities. New 3-D panel options are also available in several shapes, including the classic Waveline and Hex as well as Diamond and Square shapes. These can be used alongside existing shapes to create dimensional wall or ceiling installations. Casper Cloaking Technology Designtex Casper™ Cloaking Technology by Designtex is an architectural film for glass walls that obscures digital screens to outside view. It acts as a smart shield to ensure data privacy. A passerby will see nothing but black screens as they go by a conference room full of them—whether in use or not. Metrik Chair Wilkhahn Wilkhahn’s cantilever chair has a monolithic look—the chair’s lines, volume, and defined surfaces form a shape that integrates the armrests with a tubular steel frame.
Thanks to the increasingly sophisticated tastes of clients and consumers, it’s becoming harder to discern a distinct boundary between residential and commercial furnishings. These tables, chairs, benches, and stools attest to the success of such stylistic crossovers. Los Andes Tables Bernhardt Design This collection of beautifully crafted tables takes inspiration from the lush landscapes and natural elements of the Andes Mountain Range. Nature and modern design take shape in the solid walnut Los Andes collection, with the raised rim mimicking the peaks and plateaus of the rugged mountains in Chile. Designed by Ignacia Murtagh. Okura Ligne Roset This curvy, cushiony settee could anchor a cocktail lounge or a living room with equal aplomb. The collection includes a footrest, armchair, and medium and large settees, available with a high or low backrest. The base is offered in chromed or lacquered steel. Designed by Eric Jourdan. Polygon Tables Herman Miller In their expression of pure geometry, the Polygon Table series provides an elegant solution to the need for all manner of surfaces, at home, the office, and elsewhere. The structure of the table’s wire base yields a dual advantage: a symmetry of form that uses minimal material for maximum strength and a logical method for scaling up or down in size and height to accommodate various dimensions of round, triangle, and hexagon tops of painted Formcoat. By unifying the color of base and top—in a choice of black, white, or gray/graphite—a single table has a subtle appearance, and a gathering of tables, nested or stacked, create an organic composition. Each shape is available in three sizes and heights. Designed by Studio 7.5. Roi, Mat, Fou Avenue Road The three stools, each subtly different, feature a French walnut varnished base and a leather seat. Designed by Christophe Delcourt. Press Room Chair Suite NY In 1958, the Dutch government commissioned famed architect and designer Gerrit Rietveld to design a chair for the press room of the new UNESCO building in Paris. Rietveld was part of an elite group of designers who had been tapped to collaborate on the new building, including Hans J. Wegner, Le Corbusier, Walter Gropius, and Marcel Breuer. Rietveld's chair was meant as a comfortable lounge chair for the low reading table for journalists. However, due to budget limitations, Rietveld's new chair was never produced—but the original design drawings and scale models were preserved, and the chair has been launched for the first time in 2015 exactly as Rietveld had envisioned it. On the underside of each chair is a poem by Christian Morgenstern entitled "The Aesthete," one that Rietveld sometimes printed underneath his designs, reflecting his opinion that a chair was not meant to rest, so it didn't need the comfort of a bed. With solid oak or walnut armrests. Available in 18 fabric options and 9 leather options. Designed by Gerrit Reitveld. Fawley Bench e15 This new product family consisting of a solid wood table, bench, and stool emphasizes the pure use of material and a clear design language. In addition to European walnut and solid oak in oiled or white pigmented finishes, the collection is also offered in black, highlighting the elegant silhouette. Designed by David Chipperfield.
Vitra—Design, Architecture, Communication: A European Project with American Roots Philadelphia Museum of Art, Perelman Building, Collab Gallery 2525 Pennsylvania Avenue, Philadelphia, PA Through April 26, 2015 In its new exhibition, Vitra—Design, Architecture, Communication: A European Project with American Roots, the Philadelphia Museum of Art explores the history of the famous Swiss furniture company from its early licensing partnership with Herman Miller to new collaborations with world-renowned contemporary designers, such as Verner Panton, Antonio Citterio, and Jasper Morrison. Vitra’s evolution will be tracked through a collection of about 120 design objects, furniture, models, publications, and videos. This will be supplemented by archival material and historic objects from the Vitra Design Museum in Germany. These materials include a plywood toy elephant by Charles and Ray Eames, a series of Alexander Girard’s Wooden Dolls, and George Nelson’s 1948 furniture catalogue for Herman Miller.
Two of the biggest names in American design are joining forces. Famed furniture manufacturer Herman Miller has bought a controlling stake in Design Within Reach (DWR), the modern furniture retailer. According to a release, Herman Miller has purchased an 84 percent stake in DWR for a price of $154 million. DWR's CEO John Edelman and president John McPhee will continue to lead the retailer, which currently has 38 locations in North America, as well as e-commerce and the popular catalogue. DWR has recently been upgrading their stores and refocusing on architects and interior designers as well as consumers. A new Manhattan flagship store opened this spring. “The addition of DWR is a transformational step forward in realizing our strategy for diversified growth and establishing Herman Miller as a premier lifestyle brand, helping people create inspiring places where they work, live, heal and learn," Herman Miller CEO Brian Walker said in a statement. "This combination expands our reach in the higher margin consumer sector and we have identified multiple points of strategic leverage that will benefit our other segments and operations, as well as DWR’s own growth plans.” The move may be a canny one for Zeeland, Michigan–based Herman Miller. DWR already sells many Herman Miller products as well as pieces by Herman Miller's competitors including Knoll, Vitra, and Cassina. Herman Miller has been on a buying spree; last year they acquired the renowned textile company Maharam.
Designing for a specific space can be a challenge, but try designing a chair predestined to become a contemporary statement in the newly-refurbished Weston Library, part of the Bodleian Libraries at Oxford, which has commissioned only its third new chair in 400 years. Earlier this year, three partnerships—Amanda Levete and Herman Miller, Barber Osgerby and Isokon Plus, and Matthew Hilton and SCP Ltd—were shortlisted to compete for the prestigious prize, which has officially been awarded to Edward Barber and Jay Osgerby with Isokon, for their low, round-backed design. Barber Osgerby's contemporary interpretation of the competition brief resulted in a surprisingly slender, three-legged oak design that unites craft heritage and sculptural form to inventively meet reader requirements. The victorious prototype represents a scholarly design approach, with early inspiration drawn from awareness of the library's history and culture. The chair will be produced for installation in the newly-renovated Weston Library over the next year. Bodleian’s estates manager Toby Kirtley told The Guardian that the institution “wanted something that would be iconic and representative of the library. It should be contemporary in style, but not out of place in a heritage setting—innovative and original, without being too experimental and risky.” Barber Osgerby seems to have hit the mark, as Bodley's Interim Librarian Richard Ovenden said, "the winning chair is characterized by a strong identity, creative approach, comfort and suitability for intense study and research." The commission was last granted in 1936 to Giles Gilbert Scott, who designed two heavy, leather-clad bucket seats to furnish the New Bodleian Library building, which is currently undergoing an approximately $105 million renovation by Wilkinson Eyre Architects, and it is set to open in October 2014. Judges included Librarian Sarah Thomas, Director of the V&A Professor Martin Roth, and industrial designer of Kenneth Grange, among others.
Nearly 42,000 architects, interior designers, facilities planners, furniture dealers, and distributors converged on NeoCon, the A&D industry's largest exhibition of office, residential, health care, hospitality, institutional, and government design products. Held from June 10–12, the show included education components and keynote presentations from Bjarke Ingels, founder of BIG; Michael Vanderbyl, principal of Vanderbyl Design; Holly Hunt, president & CEO of Holly Hunt; and Lauren Rottet, interior architect and founder of Rottet Studio. AN was present to cover a handful of educational seminars and sessions (see our live tweets from Ingels's presentation on our Twitter feed), and we scoured the showrooms in search of 2013's new product trends. Following are a few we saw at the show. COLOR Manufacturers touted a vibrant range of colors across their new product collections. Some say this is indicative of a sustainable economic upturn, while others are just sick of playing it safe. The Us Family American Seating Company A collection of adaptable seating and tables for education environments from American Seating Company was designed with the help of color expert Laura Guido-Clark. As an expert in the color, material, and finish of consumer products, she helped select a palette of 15 colors and 450 fabric options in colorways that improve the learning environment. Eames Molded Fiberglass Side Chair Herman Miller Thanks to advances in sustainable manufacturing technology, Herman Miller reintroduced the molded plastic Arm and Side chairs in fiberglass. A reformulation of the collection's color pigments have also facilitated a commitment to the original nine color options envisioned by the Eameses. Both models are available with a wire, dowel, four leg, stackable, or rocking base. Soon KnollTextiles The Alejandro Cardenas–designed collection of bright colors and graphic patterns was inspired by a song from one of the designer's favorite bands: My Bloody Valentine. The song's rhythm was translated to texture on a textile of 100 percent cotton. The collection exceeds 60,000 Wyzenbeek rubs. PARAMETRICS Design complexities are increasingly achieved via digital design and fabrication methods, and that trend was very much present at NeoCon this year. From furniture to finishings, parametric design visuals were everywhere—and not only in the abundance of hexagonal designs we saw on each floor of the Mart. Off the Wall Mohawk Group Street art finds its way to interior finishes with Off the Wall, a pattern from artist Aakash Nhihalani, who uses neon painter's tape to create illusions of depth in urban environments. These dimensions were translated algorithmically to a linear pattern in Off the Wall, part of the Street Thread Collection, and can be reconfigured to suggest way finding, define an area within a room, or recreate classic textile patterns. Hexagon Shaw Contract Group Bold portrayal of the hexagonal trend was exhibited in Shaw Contract's aptly named carpet tile collection. Developed in collaboration with Chris Heard and Stephen Wells of Atlanta-based design firm Hendricks; John Peterson of Public Architecture; and Michael Murphy of MASS Design Group, six-sided geometric patterns are generatively configured across each tile to continue the pattern in any direction. Cliffy 6000 SIXINCH At nearly 20 feet in length, the curvilinear Cliffy 6000 is part of SIXINCH's U.S. debut of contract-ready, three-step foam-coated furniture. Designed by Rainer Mutsch, repeating sections of the bench curve smoothly along both planes for back-supported seating, lounging, and perching. MATERIAL RESPONSIBILITY Sustainability commitments are not the differentiating factor they once were but manufacturers went beyond predictable promises with their 2013 product launches. In addition to the burgeoning use of rapidly renewable materials, companies looked beyond land masses and focused on preserving the ocean's ecosystems. Blazer Camira Available in 60 new shades, Blazer is made with Laneve-branded wool that features a trace code to identify the material's source in New Zealand. For every yard purchased, Camira donates to the New Zealand Whale and Dolphin Trust to help protect the endangered Hector's Dolphin population off the nation's Banks Peninsula. 2013 Collection with TerraStrand Chilewich Chilewich has substituted petroleum-based plasticizers for TerraStrand, a phthalate-free fiber made from renewable vegetable compounds. Combined with its PVC-free BioFelt backing system, Chilewich products now boast lower greenhouse gas emissions and a lower carbon footprint than traditional vinyl products. Net Effect Interface Designed by David Oakey to convey the movement of water, the yarn fluff on both 20-square-inch tiles and 10- by 40-inch planks is made of 100 percent recycled content from Interface's ReEntry program. Carpet fibers will eventually constructed from nets gathered from the Net-Works project, a joint venture in the Danajon Bank area of the Philippines with the Zoological Society of London that collects and repurposes the discarded fishing nets from some of the world's poorest fishing communities. TECHNOLOGY INTEGRATION The effect technology has had on the workplace is undeniable. The ability to work anywhere at any time has changed not only the way we work but where we work and the new corporate environment accommodates everything from advanced integration to stylish simplicity. Bluescape Haworth Developed with Obscura Digital, Bluescape is a cloud-based software and surface that can be accessed on multi-panel high definition touch screens, laptops, and mobile devices simultaneously from anywhere in the world. More than 160 acres of visual data can be stored within the system and does not require a WiFi signal to function across long distances. Element Desk Moser Contract Taking a low-tech approach to workplace technology integration, Adam Rogers's design for the Element desk's classic lines are uninterrupted by cord management strategies. Made from solid, domestically sourced hardwood, hollowed desk legs hide desktop wires and a keyboard drawer with a collapsible front conceals multiple power and data ports. V.I.A. Steelcase Vertical Intelligent Architecture, or V.I.A., makes use of the most underutilized real estate in the office: the walls. Video conferencing capabilities, writable and tackable surfaces, multiple display screens, and acoustical privacy are integrated into a modular system of walls that can be reconfigured and adapted to automatically meet the way people work with embedded sensors, activators, and microprocessors.
Herman Miller is acquiring the renowned textile firm, Maharam, bringing together two of America's most design-centric companies. Founded in 1902 in New York, Maharam has gained a reputation in recent decades for commissioning textile designs by leading contemporary designers like Hella Jongerius, Tord Boontje, and Paul Smith, and reissuing classic designs by Verner Panton, Gio Ponti, Alexander Girard, and many others. Led by Michael and Stephen Maraham, the company has cultivated a strong connection to the design community and developed products guided by the taste and vision of the brothers. According to a release by Herman Miller, both Maharam brothers will stay involved in the company for at least the next two years. Senior executives with the company will also stay in place. Herman Miller, of course, has very strong design credentials as well. The Zeeland, Michigan-based company is indelibly linked to the hey day of midcentury modernism, having produced iconic pieces by Charles and Ray Eames, George Nelson, Isamu Noguchi and others. The company's Aeron chair redefined workplace seating in the 1990s. Like Maharam, Herman Miller commissions leading contemporary designers under the creative direction of Ben Watson. “The cultures of the combined organizations are highly compatible—we share an unwavering dedication to authored design, product innovation, and operational excellence in service to our customers," said Watson in a statement. "We are also unified in our commitment to sharing our success with employees and in giving back to our communities through environmental sustainability and socially responsible business practices.” "Much as we’ve struggled with this decision, our philosophical kinship with Herman Miller helped make this difficult step a far easier one. Beyond our shared objectives in design leadership, we consider Herman Miller to be an esteemed organization intent on doing well by its staff, clientele and the community. We believe they have the complementary intellect and resources to ensure Maharam a bright future while valuing our spirit and ways, and permitting the continued evolution of our unique approach," Michael Maharam said in a statement. "Herman Miller’s potential to provide the wherewithal to pursue important new initiatives, as well as an established reach into both retail and international markets and the greatest possible strength of association, offers a powerful lever in achieving our design-centered strategic vision.”
Herman Miller launched their Select Program in 2008 to offer their customers an extra way to connect with the brand and enhance their collections with limited edition pieces. As part of their 2012 program, Herman Miller is offering the Eames Wire Base Low Table (also referred to as the LTR table) in three special colors on sale now until Spring 2013, when production will end. You might be asking yourself what's so special about red, yellow and blue that gives the beloved wire base tables limited edition status. Ray Eames, who many acknowledge for her gift of using color and for her reintroduction of bright color choices into the home, studied under abstract expressionist Hans Hoffman, whose bold blocks of primary colors had a clear influence on her. To celebrate Ray's 100th birthday this year, Herman Miller chose to release the LTR table in her three favorite colors, cobalt blue, red-orange and yellow gold, which she used for the exterior panels of the Case Study House #8 she and Charles designed. Eames fans who can't afford to collect their properties can at least take home a part of their inspiration with the LTR table. And for young furniture collectors just starting out, the LTR is a great place to begin. The Wire Base Low Tables, first introduced in 1950, are veneered in ash, treated with a rich aniline stain with a corresponding powder coated wire base. They're available for $294.
The mood was noticeably subdued at this year’s NeoCon World’s Trade Fair in Chicago, which ends today, but many attractive and innovative new products were introduced. For our special Midwest issue we offered a preview of things to look for at the show. Here are a few additional products that stood out at the Merchandise Mart. LIM lighting, Haworth Designed by Pablo Pardo of Pablo Design and the Haworth Design Studio, LIM is an ultra thin aluminum LED task light. LIM is available in desktop, slot or panel mount, and floor-based versions, and is 85 percent more efficient than comparable incandescent lamps. The minimal design keeps sightlines unobstructed and desktops uncluttered. Setu chair, Herman Miller The profile of the new Setu chair evokes the classic Eames Aluminum Group seating, but the plastic spine—polyester to be exact—bends and tilts with the body, unlike the more rigid Eames design. Designed by Berlin-based Studio 7.5, Setu’s spine also includes a high level of recycled content, and is one of the more affordable multipurpose chairs in its class and weighs less than 20 pounds. It is designed for office and home office settings, and includes versions with and without arms, as well as an ottoman and lounge version. It is available to the trade now and will be sold at retail stores beginning in September. Denizen case goods, Coalesse In keeping the Coalesse’s idea of blurring the boundaries between home and office furnishings, the Denizen case goods system brings a distinctly residential feel to private offices. The series, which includes a secretary, tables, benches, towers, overhead storage and display storage, is available in oak, teak, and ash gray. Designed by WilliamsSorel, Denizen’s strong lines and high quality materials make it appropriate for a office/guest rooms or living areas. Stride office system, Allsteel Many of the office systems at NeoCon had clean, horizon lines (unlike all those curvy systems aimed at tech start-ups in the early 2000s), but one of the best looking was Stride from Allsteel. The surfaces have a thin outer edge, but are actually thick and sturdy, thanks to a stepped back design. The system is a kit of parts that can be adapted to a variety of configurations, from traditional cubicles to shared more, open arrangements. Available in a variety of materials, the painted wood storage units in particular feel more like furniture than parts of an office system.