Zeeland, Mich: Herman Miller, the global leader in innovative design and furnishing solutions and a part of the MillerKnoll collective (NASDAQ: MLKN), today announced that the legendary partnership which has captivated the design world with the Cosm, Mirra and Setu chairs is back — this time with an office chair inspired by the iconic Eames Shell Chair. Design firm Studio 7.5 and Herman Miller have teamed up once again to unveil their latest collaboration, the Zeph Chair.
As people across the globe continue to settle into new ways of working, many will continue to need products in both homes and office environments that are as aesthetically pleasing as they are purposeful.
“Zeph marks the introduction of a chair tailored to our new ways of working. It’s an elegant, customizable and colorful addition to Herman Miller’s market-leading portfolio of high-performance seating,” says Ben Watson, President, Herman Miller.
Zeph aims to bridge the gap between Herman Miller’s iconic mid-century designs and the ergonomics of today’s office chairs. The result is an accessible design that doesn’t compromise comfort or style.
With its slim profile and an easy-to-adjust design, users will find Zeph a colorful companion capable of supporting a variety of needs while seamlessly incorporating itself into the scenery of any room. Its versatility easily translates into traditional office settings, providing architects, designers and consumers a refreshing and flexible choice.
Zeph’s clean and uninterrupted silhouette is intentional. The sculpted mono-shell seat delivers a playful nod to Herman Miller’s contoured classic Eames Shell chair. However, customers shouldn’t be deceived by its simple, organic appearance. Under the seat lies hidden technology designed to deliver a seamless ergonomic experience that leverages human-centered motion. This allows Zeph to create a natural, fluid motion that works for all body types.
“Our ambition was to create an animated shell chair. What first sounds like a contradiction became possible by utilizing the inherent materiality of plastic: being flexible and capable of providing a spring- loaded mechanism. Zeph’s joyful aesthetics provides surprising ergonomic benefits too,” said Burkhard Schmitz, who helms Studio 7.5 with Carola Zwick and her brother Roland Zwick.
After many iterations of 3-D printed prototypes, Studio 7.5 perfected a one-piece seat and back that actually moves with the person sitting in it. While most chairs are static, the kinematic plastic monoshell on Zeph offers a natural recline that uses the sitter’s pivot points to create the right counterbalance and change posture seamlessly.
The expansive color palette also took inspiration from the past. “One of the things we wanted to pick up from Herman Miller’s mid-century era was the optimistic and delightful idea of the future. We wanted Zeph to be playful and happy,” adds Zwick. The palette or “the crayon box,” as Studio 7.5 says, is intended to be inviting for a variety of tastes, and to let users have some fun.
The uniform hue design, achieved by pioneering dipped-in color options, was first introduced to Herman Miller by Studio 7.5 through the launch of the Cosm chair. Through this process, color is applied purposefully to the entire chair, all the way down to the casters, accentuating the sculptural beauty of its form.
3-D Knit Technology
In addition to the bright, dipped-in color options available for the chair, every Zeph shell can be further customized through the addition of upholstery, either as a seat pad or a unibody (which covers the entire front of the shell).
The unique construction of this upholstery is a first for Herman Miller. The upholstery can easily be mounted and replaced without tools for easy cleaning or to swap different colors, and it utilizes revolutionary 3-D knit technology, with each seat option made of 50% recycled polyester yarn — offering sophisticated color choices and cushioned comfort.
“As professionals enter a new era of empowerment and flexibility, Herman Miller is responding in kind with Zeph — a design that can continue to be customized even after it’s left our care,” adds Watson. “Between colors, shell choices and texture options, Zeph is a thoughtfully designed solution fit for any life or space.”
Zeph is launching as both a chair and work stool and is available in eight distinct colors with 20 seat pad upholstery options. The unibody upholstery options will be available later this year. A side chair version of Zeph with the same kinematic monoshell, will also be introduced early next year. Zeph is now available for contract clients at specific business pricing via an authorized MillerKnoll dealer. Zeph will also be available to purchase through store.hermanmiller.com and Herman Miller’s retail locations across the country in August. Pricing for Zeph at retail locations will start at $495.
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 midcentury greats like George Nelson, the Eames Office, and Isamu Noguchi, to research-oriented visionaries like Robert Propst and Bill Stumpf — and with today’s 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, while building a lasting legacy of design, innovation and social good. Herman Miller is a part of MillerKnoll, a collective of dynamic brands that comes together to design the world we live in.
Senior Public Relations Manager
Senior Public Relations Specialist