Herman Miller Gets Students To Create Office Furniture For Privacy And Comfort [NY Design Week 2012]

Pupils from the Cranbrook Academy of Art presented their concepts for rest and relaxation in the workplace at ICFF in New York.

Many of today’s workplaces are open-concept spaces that encourage teamwork and sharing, but sometimes neglect the worker’s need for comfort and private time. Using this challenge as their inspiration, students from the Cranbrook Academy of Art explored new ideas for rest, relaxation and concentration in the workplace for Herman Miller International. They recently presented their office furniture prototypes at the International Contemporary Furniture Fair in New York City.

Below are a selection of the prototypes from the students’ collection:

The Integrated Workstation by Matthew Plumstead integrates a horizontal space into the more traditional sitting and standing workstation, allowing for a comfortable cycle of positions throughout the day and ‘multiple points of entry’ for doing work. Plumstead believes his horizontal daybed design successfully introduces the viability of a ‘third element’ into the workplace and encourages maximum flexibility and comfort in a limited space.

Mike Haley’s Alcove Chair was inspired by the designer’s bad experiences with a call center’s break room. Frustrated that the room offered no comfort or privacy and little chance to rejuvenate and reinvigorate, Haley created a large, comfortable lounge chair that gives the user a little escape from work and ‘a spot’ for a refreshing 15 minute break. He sees his chair being used in airport lounges and other public spaces where people are tired and need a comfortable, private space to relax.

The Private Rocker by Kyle Fleet, a design that plays with the idea of an enlarged, classic rocking chair, provides a small, concealed space that signals ‘in use’ while in motion, preventing disturbances for those seeking some quiet privacy. The chair muffles sound, and according to the designer, acts as a transition between pure work and comfort spaces.

Click through more images of the three designs below:

Cranbrook Academy of Art / Herman Miller

See more of our NY Design Week coverage here.

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