“The most important thing in the room is not the furniture â€” itâ€™s the people.”
Almost 50 years after the Action Office, Herman Miller embarks on the next big rethinking of the workplace: the Living Office. It is the ultimate twenty-first-century work-in-progress.
“Though in places the old model still prevails, todayâ€™s ideal office paradigm could not be more different: fluid rather than fixed, less hierarchical and more egalitarian, and encouraging (mostly) of individuality, creativity, and choice.
A new story requires a new stage, and into this brave new world comes Herman Millerâ€™s Living Office, the initial components of which the Zeeland, Michigan, furniture company is introducing at this yearâ€™s edition of NeoCon. The first wave of an anticipated two-year rollout, the Living Officeâ€™s first three product portfoliosâ€”called PUBLIC Office Landscape, Metaform Portfolio, and Locale, and designed, respectively, by fuseproject, Studio 7.5, and Industrial Facilityâ€”represent the companyâ€™s carefully considered response, not only to the ways in which a changed business culture has transformed workplace design, but to where our personal aspirations may be headed, and how the office can support them.
Itâ€™s a resolutely forward-looking vision. Yet this emphasis on what the company calls â€œhuman-centered problem-solvingâ€ has been the hallmark of Herman Miller since 1930, when Gilbert Rohde, its first design director, famously declared, â€œThe most important thing in the room is not the furnitureâ€”itâ€™s the people.â€