Bestselling Book and Chicago Pop-Up Exhibition Offer Unique Deep Dive into Brand’s 117-Year History
Zeeland, Mich.: On its third printing after selling out its first two runs, Herman Miller: A Way of Living continues to captivate audiences with its unmatched collection of brand stories, historical artifacts, documents and photographs from one of the world’s most influential design companies.
The first full monograph of Herman Miller, Herman Miller: A Way of Living (Phaidon, 2019) immerses readers in the story of how a furniture company founded in a small Michigan community rose to achieve worldwide acclaim for its innovative, problem-solving designs and influence on the mid-century modern design movement. Divided into 10 sections, each chapter explores a pivotal part of Herman Miller history, highlighting not only the significance of these critical ideas, moments and decisions at the time, but also how they ultimately shaped the future of the contract market, furniture industry, and culture at large.
With over 2,000 images curated from the Herman Miller Archives and collections from the Vitra Design Museum, Library of Congress, UCLA Libraries, Eames Office, Museum of Modern Art, Cooper Hewitt Smithsonian Design Museum and the Henry Ford Museum of American Innovation, A Way of Living delves deep into the Herman Miller story that is now being redefined for the next generation.
“It has been fun to watch the book become a coffee table and bookshelf classic for design fans,” says Amy Auscherman, Director of Archives and Brand Heritage at MillerKnoll. Auscherman collaborated with co-editors Sam Grawe and Leon Ransmeier to research and edit the 614-page monograph. “Attempting to condense over a century of history of such a storied brand and manufacturing company was a massive undertaking,” says Auscherman, “but also a dream project to map and document the many people, products, and ideas that have made Herman Miller the extraordinary design-led company it is today.”
To celebrate the century-spanning storytelling accomplished by A Way of Living, Herman Miller is offering the rare opportunity to interact with the company’s archives through a special exhibition housed at Herman Miller’s Fulton Market location in Chicago.
“The evolution of the modern office is woven into Chicago’s long-standing legacy of cutting-edge architecture and design,” says Ben Watson, President, Herman Miller. “These stories of innovation at Herman Miller continue to resonate where we live and work, today and into the future.”
The book is brought to life through artifacts, ephemera, graphics, textiles, and rare furniture pieces that are typically unavailable to the public. Focused exhibit areas within the larger exhibition—all housed in the building’s purpose-built third-floor pavilion—includes such highlights as Irving Harper paper sculptures, a contemporary glass model by Phillip Low, pop-out sections dedicated to Nelson and Girard, and treasures from the Herman Miller vault, like Gilbert Rohde’s early modernist designs.
To see the exhibition in person during Design Days, visit the third floor of the Herman Miller Chicago showroom at 1100 W. Fulton Market, Monday through Friday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. After Design Days, access is limited, but interested visitors can check with the retail team at Fulton Street to see if the exhibit is available for showing. To purchase a copy of Herman Miller: A Way of Living, visit any retail location or the Herman Miller Store Online.
About Herman Miller
Since 1905, Herman Miller has been guided by a commitment to problem-solving designs that inspire the best in people. Along the way, Herman Miller has forged critical relationships with the most visionary designers of the day, from mid-century greats like George Nelson, the Eames Office, and Isamu Noguchi; to research-oriented visionaries like Robert Propst and Bill Stumpf and groundbreaking studios like Industrial Facility and Studio 7.5. From the birth of ergonomic furniture to manufacturing some of the twentieth century’s most iconic pieces, Herman Miller has spent the last century pioneering original, timeless design that makes an enduring impact.
Senior Public Relations Manager
Senior Public Relations Specialist