Herman Miller: Creating the 'Tapestry of the Room'

Herman Miller: Creating the 'Tapestry of the Room'

In the simplest terms, “overdrive” is defined as a state of heightened activity. So when Herman Miller announced a few weeks ago it was moving from its “Shift” strategy into “Overdrive,” it wasn't really a change of direction, but more like putting the work the company has already done over the past five years into high gear.

Over the last five years, Herman Miller has established the underpinnings for its future success (through the Shift strategy), says Chief Executive Officer Brian Walker. Overdrive capitalizes on the progress already made through Shift and accelerates Herman Miller's “transformation into a modern lifestyle brand.”

The Science of Product Design: Solving Acoustics Beautifully with Burgeree

The Science of Product Design: Solving Acoustics Beautifully with Burgeree

It is amazing the lengths some workers will go to bring a bit of peace and quiet in to the open office. No one needs to point out that personal headphones are everywhere, with the idea that creating your own noise is better than listening to everyone else's. Meetings are often held in stairwells and hallways in often vain attempts just to get away from the din. Some workers simply leave the office altogether — headed to off-site locations hoping to concentrate on their work, just to get away from it all.

Headphones may not disappear from the office environment any time soon. But now, they will remain for perhaps a single reason – to enjoy the music. If Burgeree and Source Workspace has their way, visual and acoustical privacy may make a big comeback, sans the panel system. Our environment will be a winner in the process, and the design of the workspace will also improve.

Via bellow.press

Chaos, Confusion, Disruption. Office Furniture Industry Future Dims

Chaos, Confusion, Disruption. Office Furniture Industry Future Dims

The Contract Furniture Industry, often thought of as the Office Furniture Industry, exists principally on the optimism of the general business climate. When corporation profits are under pressure, companies downsize or halt hiring. They cut capital budgets and often realign their priorities. Essential employees remain, nonessential employees are dispatched. None of that results in the purchase of office furniture.

The greatest disrupter of business, short of a recession or depression, is uncertainty. Uncertainty sows doubts, which in turns closes the purse strings of the corporate world. Clarity, with a douse of optimism, is what is drives capital purchases, hiring and corporate expansion. None of those essential elements are present today. They were, however, last month.

LDI Grows its Brands and Reach Through Acquisition

LDI Grows its Brands and Reach Through Acquisition

Prior to last year, few in the office furniture industry gave much thought to Safco and its parent company, Liberty Diversified International. Safco was LDI's transactional furniture brand, selling mostly through big box stores and Internet retailers like amazon.com. All that changed when the company acquired Focal Upright Furniture, one of the most innovative, new office furniture makers to enter the market in years.

Via bellow.press

Office Furniture from Amazon? Online Retailer is Threat or Boon to Industry, Depending on Who You Ask

Office Furniture from Amazon? Online Retailer is Threat or Boon to Industry, Depending on Who You Ask

Traditional office furniture makers have carefully watched the rise of products on Amazon, but for the most part have been spared direct competition. Amazon is making a serious dent in transactional sales and accessories — sales to small start-up and mom-and-pop businesses and for accessories like monitor arms and products that turn static desks into sit-stand.

Via bellow.press

Strikeout: Why American Seating Left Stadium Seating

Strikeout: Why American Seating Left Stadium Seating

Even before the last spilled Old Style was cleaned up at Chicago’s Wrigley Field, the World Champion Chicago Cubs were breaking ground on updates to the historic baseball park. The 1060 Project is a massive overhaul of the baseball stadium that will include structural upgrades, improved player facilities, new fan amenities, outfield signage (including two video boards), new premier clubs, and expanded concessions.

The 100-year-old ballpark badly needed an upgrade, and it included many of the seats in the aging stadium. Since opening a century ago, the Cubs have had only one seating vendor, American Seating. With last week’s announcement that American Seating sold off its stadium seating division to Irwin Seating, the Cubs and many other stadiums will have a new seating vendor for the first time in decades.

Though it is assumed American Seating or Irwin will hit deadlines for opening day (American Seating is only answering general questions about the transition, explaining that “due dilligence” is not complete), ballparks under construction worry about who is going to deliver the seats.

Let it Snowsound, Let it Snowsound, Let it Snowsound!

Let it Snowsound, Let it Snowsound, Let it Snowsound!

Since Snowsound burst onto the North American office scene in 2014, the company that makes acoustical architecture has won three top awards at NeoCon. That’s an impressive achievement by any standard, but what makes it especially impressive is that Snowsound won in three different categories, testament to the growing breadth of its product line and the versatility of what it creates.

Add to the accolades a market that has grown to embrace acoustical solutions for increasingly loud offices, and you have the recipe for success. Snowsound’s sales grew 100 percent last year. This year, the company is projected to grow an additional 150 percent to 200 percent, says Mike Dardashti, executive vice president of Snowsound in North America. Not bad for a company that has only been shipping products for 27 months or so.

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Matchmaking in the Workplace

Matchmaking in the Workplace

As businesses become more dynamic, traditional real estate setups in the commercial sector aren't practical, or even available, to startups. Small companies typically can't sign big leases because they aren't even sure if they're going to be in business in six months or even two years from now. A ten-year lease in a prime downtown location in any big city across America is completely out of reach.

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Wolf-Gordon Continues to Excavate Office Ideas

Wolf-Gordon Continues to Excavate Office Ideas

For several years, Wolf-Gordon built fantastic sculptures above the escalators that link the floors at the Merchandise Mart during NeoCon. They were abstract representations of the company and its wallcovering and textile capabilities.

But in 2016, because of ongoing construction projects at the Mart, Wolf-Gordon had to come up with a different idea to wow show-goers. The company and its design partners came up with Office_Excavate, an 18-foot-long sculptural work grotto using asymmetrical forms to display more than 100 of its textiles and create a sitting area for NeoCon attendees. Recently, Wolf-Gordon brought a slightly smaller version of Office_Excavate to Philadelphia for NeoCon East.

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NeoCon East: Did it Suffer from Post-Prez Hangover?

NeoCon East: Did it Suffer from Post-Prez Hangover?

More than a few at NeoCon East were bleary eyed and tired as the show opened, having spent the night before glued to cable news channels watching as election results rolled in. After a slow start Wednesday, NeoCon East got going as East Coast designers and government specifiers finally made it to the Pennsylvania Convention Center for the annual event.

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PODCAST: Herman Miller archivist Amy Auscherman on the midcentury craze and what Mad Men got wrong

PODCAST: Herman Miller archivist Amy Auscherman on the midcentury craze and what Mad Men got wrong

Attention: If you are notorious perfectionist and Mad Men creator Matthew Weiner, stop reading this right now, because what follows is probably going to upset you. Herman Miller archivist Amy Auscherman has some bad news: the show didn’t get its famed midcentury styling right 100 percent of the time, despite consulting Herman Miller at some stages in the set-design-and-dressing process.

“There is an organization named BIFMA that sort of sets the regulations for the office furniture industry,” Amy tells us, “so the chairs that we’re sitting on have five legs on their casters...in an effort to make them more stable. Before, in the ‘70s, chairs were on four legs, and so it was a lot easier to sort of fall over. In one of the episodes, [Mad Men] had Eames Time-Life chairs on five-star bases.”

That’s right, Matthew, hang your head in shame.

Auscherman, who joined the hosts of our podcast, the Curbed Appeal, this week, also talked to us about Herman Miller’s long, illustrious history, and the renowned designers whose work the Michigan-based company has produced (like George Nelson, Alexander Girard, and, of course, Ray and Charles Eames).

Listen to the episode or read it in full via curbed.com >

Mary Kay Goes Pink in Shanghai

Mary Kay Goes Pink in Shanghai

Mary Kay entered the Chinese cosmetics market in 1995 in a rented hotel room with a grand total of three employees. This year, the company moved into its new headquarters in China with 600 employees and six floors in the heart of Shanghai, the country's most dynamic city.

The Shanghai headquarters is a testament to the brand and the Chinese market's growing thirst for beauty products. And that beauty is reflected in the space, a remarkable office that holds the company's founding principles of empowering women and entrepreneurship dear.

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