Herman Miller reopens manufacturing to produce urgently needed healthcare supplies Posted April 17, 2020 by Daniel Ostroff

The Eames Office has been a proud partner of Herman Miller since 1946. We salute them now for their remarkable response to the current COVID-19 emergency.

On March 30, Herman Miller welcomed back approximately 30% of its manufacturing workforce across its West Michigan facilities to help support customers who are actively engaged in the COVID-19 response, including the health care industry as well as federal, state, and local governments. This work is coupled with using the company’s design, development, and manufacturing capabilities to help in communities around the globe. Efforts include providing frontline health care workers with necessary face masks and shields and partnering with local companies to divert operational capabilities to support the demand for temporary health care facilities. Donations and delivery of supplies are being managed by Herman Miller Cares, the company’s private foundation, and global giving program.

Herman Miller is taking precautions to keep their employees safe, including maintaining a 6-foot distance between employees on production lines. They will also have a 30-minute window between shifts to allow the equipment to be cleaned and limit employee crossover.

Herman Miller has almost fifty years of experience in the healthcare field. Their involvement in this field dates back to the early 1970s when they introduced a new product expressly for hospitals and medical laboratories: Co/Struc, designed by Robert Propst.


1972 Herman Miller Co/Struc Catalog

The introduction of Co/Struc coincided with a new line of Eames chairs: the two-piece Secretarial and Operational Chairs, known as the EC228, EC328 (the same as the EC228 but with thinner upholstery pads), and EC428.

These were available from 1971 to 1981. Many were specified as seating for the Co/Struc installations.

Here is the entire line of Eames Molded Fiberglass Chairs available in the 1970s from Herman Miller. The illustrations shown are scans from a vintage 1970s Herman Miller catalog.