The Design of Herman Miller

Posted January 21, 2015

Scholar Ralph Caplan’s survey of the first generations of Herman Miller designers, from the beginning through the 1970s.


Herman Miller, Inc., based in Zeeland, Michigan, is a major American manufacturer of office furniture and equipment, as well as furniture for the home. It is notable as one of the first companies to produce modern furniture and, under the guidance of Design Director George Nelson, is likely the most prolific and influential producer of furniture of the modernist style.

Among classic Herman Miller products are the Equa chair, Aeron chair, Noguchi table, Marshmallow sofa, and the Eames Lounge Chair. Herman Miller is credited with the invention of the office cubicle (originally known as the “Action Office II”) in 1968 under then-director of research Robert Propst.

Herman Miller holds a unique position among furniture manufacturers for having cultivated the talents of a large number of modernist designers, producing a significant number of pieces that are now considered icons of industrial design.

Publisher: Whitney Library of Design | 1976 | Paperback: 119 pages | Language: English | ISBN-10: 0823071413 | ISBN-13: 978-0823071418 | Product Dimensions: 8.6 x 8.6 x 0.8 inches |Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds