design awards

erman Miller Ltd. takes environmental stewardship seriously. In fact, the company’s eco-friendly attitude is one of the things that sets it apart from competitors.

Category: International Designer
Exhibitor: Herman Miller Ltd.
Design: Totems Communication B.V., Hoofddorp, The Netherlands,
Fabrication: Artec GmbH,
Heinsberg, Germany,
49-2453-383-615; Zeissig GmbH & Co. KG, Hannover, Germany, 49-5041-649-0,
Show: Orgatec, 2006
Budget: $484,260
Size: 46-by-164 feet
Cost/Square Foot: $64

So when Herman Miller asked Peter van Lier to design its exhibit for Orgatec 2006, the company wanted an exhibit that would reflect its dedication to the environment.

Using the company’s eco-friendly ethics as inspiration, van Lier divided the exhibit into five display areas — a studio, a street, a lab, an office, and a lounge — using “resource screens” made from natural and renewable materials. Each area highlighted products designed for its respective environment. For example, oak flooring and warm lighting enveloped the studio, which featured a flexible cubicle system.

Crafted of aluminum, wood, cardboard, ivy, and paper, the resource screens were used to define the space and served as backdrops for various product displays. One exterior wall featured six office chairs suspended from a truss by thin steel cables in front of a screen made of more than 5,000 aluminum rings hand-tied together.

A second screen, made of vertical planks of the company’s cardboard shipping cartons, looked like giant Venetian blinds, while a third featured more than 600 natural oak blocks on wires so thin the blocks seemed to levitate. One screen required daily watering, as it was made from more than 3,000 living ivy plants. On each screen, a placard listed the recycled and/or reused materials that went into its construction.

“The level of innovation is remarkable,” said one judge. “Each screen was a new play with structure, density, and sensibility,” van Lier said. “Just as Herman Miller is always trying to find new ways and new forms, we were trying something new and different as well.” e

Screen Play

Herman Miller Ltd.’s exhibit defined five product areas with “resource screens” made of natural materials and other goods salvaged from its own packaging and manufacturing processes, cost-effectively showcasing both its high-end wares and high-test commitment to waste reduction.

Janet Van Vleet, staff writer;


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