Today's generation no longer sees work in the same way as previous generations. New company models and occupation possibilities have changed the spaces where people develop their professional activities. Working from home, from coworking spaces, or remotely from anywhere in the world is already a fairly common reality. But a number of companies still do not utilize or create spaces where their employees can work together, collaborating in the same environment. In addition to shared culture that companies often try to create, it is essential that the design of an office takes into account the needs and particularities of each type of work and encourages communication and interaction, while providing places for concentration and focus. As generations and corporate cultures change, it is natural for the office space to move away from traditional layouts with cubicles, tables, and meeting rooms.
Herman Miller: The Latest Architecture and News
Many people's way of working has changed, but most offices remain the same.
However, innovating doesn't necessarily mean breaking down every wall and creating a play space; the design of an office must take into account the needs and details of each type of work separately. For every function, there are better and worse ways to organize spaces, and some configurations work better for certain activities but not for others. The most important consideration is that the workplace allows interactions while providing spaces for concentration and focus.
While the United States’ green-building industry was still relatively slow in the early 1990’s, Herman Miller, who are known for their architectural experimentation, decided to construct a new facility for Simple, Quick, Affordable (SQA), a company that bought used office furniture to refurbish them and sell them to smaller businesses. To do so, they chose to build sustainably, a design approach that was not yet utilized in the region.
Designed by New York architect William McDonough, the 295,000 sq ft building (approx. 90,000 sqm) was built in Holland, Michigan in 1995. The facility’s design qualities, such as storm-water management, air-filtering systems, and 66 skylights, helped set the standards for the U.S. Green Building Council LEED Certification.
It's common sense: a good design is based on people and what they really need. As architects, are we deepening enough to give the correct answers to the requirements we face in each project?
Herman Miller is a great example of this understanding. Founded in 1905 by Dirk Jan De Pree, the American company produces equipment and furnishings for offices and housing, including a high level of research to understand the human body and the way we inhabit our daily spaces. These investigations, supported by usability testing and multidisciplinary work, results in a large number of furniture pieces and spatial designs that are now used by people around the world.
We had the opportunity to visit their headquarters in Zeeland, Michigan to understand how these studies have been carried out for several decades.
Some love them, some loath them: open-plan office spaces are either conducive to conversation and collaboration or nothing more than noisy environments defined by distractions. Much, for instance, has been questioned recently about the "innovative" open working environments in Apple's new Cupertino campus. In a new series by Vox, overlooked, misrepresented, and overrated phenomena are put under the microscope. By exploring the work of Frank Lloyd Wright, Herman Miller, and others, this episode posits that open office spaces are, contrary to popular assumption, "misunderstood for their role in workplace culture."
Where did open offices and cubicles come from, and are they really what we want?
It is difficult to understand and quantify the importance of design in our lives. However, when we take a closer look at the pieces that inspire and transform our daily life, innovative furniture brings us new ways of seeing the world, further enhancing the meaning of simple concepts like beauty, comfort, and quality.
Furniture and design retailer XTRA's new flagship store in Singapore's Marina Square includes a Herman Miller "Shop-in-Shop" that draws inspiration from the furniture it showcases. Encircling the space is a 20-meter arched structure that, from a distance, gives the appearance of tufted fabric pulled taught over a frame. But in fact, this structure is built from a plywood "skin" that designer Pan Yicheng of PRODUCE Workshop has dubbed "fabricwood."
In this post originally published on Metropolis, former ArchDaily Managing Editor Vanessa Quirk explores a client's expectations, and how Nicholas Grimshaw treated them--in both built and book form.
It is not often a client states that their aim is “to build the indeterminate building.” But so Max De Pree, the son of Herman Miller founder D.J. De Pree, expressed his hope for his company’s new manufacturing facility in 1975. Following the ideas of designers such as Charles and Ray Eames and Alexander Girard, De Pree compiled a long list of philosophical guidelines for the project, which he summed up under the laconic heading, “A Statement of Expectations.”
The young architect Nicholas Grimshaw, who had been hand-picked by De Pree for the project, was immensely inspired by the Statement, particularly its emphasis on the longevity and flexibility of the facility, its integration into context (the city of Bath, England), and the necessity for the building to empower its workers. In Grimshaw’s response to the brief, he noted: “Many of the views expressed about the well-being of the users, flexibility, and non-monumentality agree very closely with the approach we have built up since the founding of our practice ten years ago. We feel particularly that any new building should not impose itself on the occupiers, but that it should be a tool in their hands.”
Consistently ranked as among some of the best digital tools available for architects and designers, the team behind the Morpholio Project today release Board 2.0., the second version of their moodboard and layout app for iOS. The app has been made possible by a number of collaborations with high profile interior designers in order to develop a 'gallery' of "significant design objects", with contributions from the likes of Dyson, Herman Miller, and Knoll. For the past year Morpholio have "assembled research groups and canvased design leaders worldwide" in order to better understand the power and potential of the 'board'. The general consensus was that getting style, products, and sketching onto a single platform could "change the way designers access, build, and share ideas."
Points of View (POV) is a Herman Miller series sharing architects’ perspective on design. Directed by Hello Design, POV provides five different California architects’ step by step process from approach and design development to materials choices. Architects include Leo Marmol and Ron Radziner of Marmol Radziner, Kim Coleman of Cigolle X Coleman, James Meyer of LeanArch, Jim Jennings of Jennings Architecture, and John Friedman of JFAK Architects.