exhibitions > past > Good Design: Stories from Herman Miller

Good Design: Stories from Herman Miller

Opens July 13 through October 6, 2013

Serving as the final and only California venue for this popular exhibition, Good Design: Stories from Herman Miller explores the collaborative problem-solving design process employed at the world-renowned West Michigan-based furniture company, Herman Miller, Inc. and draws upon work from the Herman Miller Design Collection—a comprehensive archive of the company’s innovative processes and products—most of which had never before been on public view.

Commenting on the idea behind the exhibition’s creation, guest curator Mr. Berry observed, “Many people are confused by the difference between art and design. Design is a noun, a verb, and a problem solving process. It is art with a purpose. Good design requires a clear understanding of the particular need, conditions, constraints, and opportunities. Good design does not happen in a vacuum.”

Good Design: Stories from Herman Miller will present museum visitors with “stories” chosen to embody four different active characteristics of “good design,” reflecting the problem-solving ethos of Herman Miller, Inc.: Ergonomics,  White Collar Work, Graphic Communications, and Mid-Century Classics.

Using drawings, models, prototypes, photographs, oral histories, and original designed objects, the exhibition showcases the creation and evolution of many masterpieces of 20th and 21st century design by such artists as Gilbert Rohde, Ray & Charles Eames, George Nelson, Isamu Noguchi, Alexander Girard, Robert Probst, Steve Frykholm, Bill Stumpf and Don Chadwick, and others.

Good Design: Stories from Herman Miller was organized by the Muskegon Museum of Art, Michigan, in collaboration with The Henry Ford in Dearborn, Michigan, through the support of Herman Miller, Inc. The exhibition is curated by John Berry, Holland; coordinated by Timothy Chester, Grand Rapids; designed by Judy Hillman and Barb Loveland, Hillman Associates, Saugatuck; and fabricated by Vincent Faust, Kalamazoo. Exhibition Design: Ted Cohen, San Francisco. The exhibition is generously supported by the Windgate Charitable Foundation and Grants for the Arts / San Francisco Hotel Tax Fund.

Photo: George Nelson, Marshmallow Sofa, 1956. Photography: Frederic A. Reniecke, FAR Photography.


108 years of Herman Miller in 108 seconds from Christian Borstlap on Vimeo.