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Updated: April 10, 2010 14:03 IST

Aiming to be the best, not the biggest

a. b. sudhindr
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OFFICE ELEGANCE: Setting new standards of comfort and functionality.
Special Arrangement OFFICE ELEGANCE: Setting new standards of comfort and functionality.

Herman Miller's eco-friendly designs are the fruit of painstaking research

It's avowed aim is to create innovative designs making for an effective work spot.

“We want to be the best, not the biggest in our domain,” says Jeremy Hocking, Vice-President (Asia Pacific), Herman Miller Inc., an American manufacturer of office furniture and equipment as well as furniture for the home.

Herman Miller designs are geared to enhance human habitats worldwide, making customers' lives “more productive, rewarding, delightful, and meaningful,” he says.

“We begin each product design and every customer solution with clear criteria born out of sound research into client needs. Our research summaries gather and interpret studies of workplace issues.” These studies address key issues behind the design of office furniture and working environment.

The papers draw on the research of subject experts, in fields as diverse as ergonomics and the environment, to present an overview of current trends and innovative approaches.”

The products are eco-friendly as they are made of reused materials.

The company has a “reduce, reuse, and recycle” approach to the environment and this has slowed the consumption of natural resources, company officials say.

The company also believes that this is not enough. Meeting the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs is the thinking at Herman Miller.

Speaking about their “Setu” family of chairs, Hocking says it provides new standards of comfort, performance, and value. The chairs are made from an innovative combination of materials to provide high levels of strength, flexibility and simplicity.

“Simplicity is especially important in multipurpose seating, where chairs may be used in many places, and many different people may use the same chair during the day.

“Setu is elegant and organic, yet is simple and easy to use. To achieve that, it contains embedded design intelligence, with form and function working in harmony,” Hocking says.

Herman Miller has established an Asian Research and Development Centre to identify the trends, habits and needs of people in Asia.

Quality counts

“We have great hopes from the Asian market, especially India, and we have huge plans for India. We know that Indian customers are price-conscious but we are also aware that they yearn for world-class products,” he says.

The starting price of their Aeron range of chairs is over Rs. 65,000, while that of Embody is over Rs. 1 lakh.

After achieving considerable success in India, Herman Miller plans to increase its distributorship and presence in the country.

The company also plans to launch an exclusive workstation in May.

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