100 Years of Herman Miller - Part Two

For the past 50 years, Herman Miller has been a pioneering force in the furniture industry, constantly pushing boundaries and redefining what it means to create functional, beautiful and sustainable furniture.

Part two of our timeline of Herman Miller’s 100 years of design.

From its inception, Herman Miller has been a company that values design, innovation, and craftsmanship, and over the years, it has consistently demonstrated these values in its products and practices. Over the past five decades, Herman Miller has remained a steadfast leader in the world of design and furniture manufacturing. From pioneering ergonomic solutions to embracing sustainability and adapting to changing workplace dynamics. Herman Miller continues to shape the way we live, work, and connect with the spaces around us.

In the 1960’s the Herman Miller Research Division opened as a wholly owned subsidiary, its president was inventor and teacher Robert Propst. Herman Miller also introduced the Action Office system, the world's first open-plan modular system of panels and attaching components - revolutionising office design.

Aeron Chair

In the 1970s and 1980’s, Herman Miller continued to grow as a company, expanding its product lines and collaborating with designers to create iconic pieces that are still celebrated today. The company's commitment to sustainability was also evident during this time, as it implemented policies to reduce waste and promote environmental responsibility.

One of the most notable collaborations during this era was with designer Bill Stumpf, who designed the famous Aeron chair in the 1990s. The Aeron chair became an instant icon, praised for its innovative design, comfort, and support. Its impact on the furniture industry was profound, setting new standards for ergonomics and sustainability.

BassamFellows Geiger Herman Miller

In 1999, Geiger joined Herman Miller, a company known for its human-centered designs and pioneering sustainability practices. To help evolve the Geiger brand to better meet our customers’ changing needs, Herman Miller brought on BassamFellows as creative directors from 2010 to 2013. Not only did they add their own exquisite designs to the Geiger catalog—including the Clamshell Chair and Tuxedo Sofa—but the introduction of these BassamFellows designs drew more widespread attention to our skilled and precise manufacturing capabilities. Soon, even more world-class design talent began working with Geiger, including EOOS, Naoto Fukasawa, Vincent Van Duysen, and Isay Weinfeld.

Herman Miller 100 Years
In the 2000s, Herman Miller continued to innovate, partnering with designers and engineers to develop new materials and manufacturing techniques. One of the most significant innovations during this time was the development of the Mirra chair, which was designed to be even more sustainable than the Aeron chair. The Mirra chair was made from 42% recycled materials, and its design incorporated a number of features that made it more environmentally friendly, such as easy disassembly for recycling and the use of water-based adhesives.

Herman Miller's commitment to sustainability continued to be a driving force in its product development, and in 2010, it launched the first "Cradle to Cradle" certified office chair, the Celle chair. The Cradle-to-Cradle certification recognises products that are designed to be safe, sustainable, and recyclable, and the Celle chair was the first product in the furniture industry to receive this certification.

In recent years, Herman Miller has continued to lead the way in sustainable design, incorporating renewable and recycled materials into its products and implementing environmentally responsible manufacturing practices. The company's commitment to sustainability has not gone unnoticed, as it has been recognized by numerous organisations for its efforts, including being named one of the "World's Most Ethical Companies" by the Ethisphere Institute for 11 consecutive years.


In just the first few years of the 2020’s Herman Miller have acquired Knoll Inc., creating the preeminent leader in modern design, guided new company name: MillerKnoll. Herman Miller have also introduced a new sustainable textile collection, including fabric made from all recycled and ocean-bound plastic materials and an industry-leading 100 percent post-consumer biodegradable polyester.

From pioneering ergonomic solutions to embracing sustainability and adapting to changing workplace dynamics. Herman Miller continues to shape the way we live, work, and connect with the spaces around us.

Throughout the last 50-years, Herman Miller has demonstrated a relentless commitment to design, innovation, and sustainability. Its iconic pieces have become fixtures in homes, offices, and public spaces around the world, and its influence on the furniture industry cannot be overstated. As the company looks toward the future, it is clear that its’ commitment to sustainable design and responsible business practices will continue to be a driving force in everything it does.

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