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Everson Announces Herman Miller Exhibition
Herman Miller, 2000, Marshmallow Sofa, Herman Miller for the Home/Nelson Office.

SYRACUSE, NY.- The Everson Museum of Art announced that long awaited exhibition Good Design: Stories from Herman Miller will open to the public on Saturday, August 14, 2010. The exhibition will remain on view through October 17, 2010.

The interpretive exhibition explores the collaborative problem-solving design process employed at the world-renowned furniture company, Herman Miller, Inc., using vintage and contemporary product displays, storyboard installations, and audiovisual recorded interviews of modern masters of design.

“This exhibition really asks the questions about how good design explores, inquires, engages and endures,” said Steven Kern, Everson Museum of Art Executive Director. “The stories told through the Herman Miller design process offer inspiration as to how we can all adapt, change and challenge ourselves in our everyday lives.”

Muskegon Museum of Art Executive Director Judith A. Hayner’s long-standing interest in modern design sparked a dream of showcasing original designed artifacts along with their drawings and prototypes. “With Herman Miller operating in our back yard, it is important for the Muskegon Museum to hold up and examine the process of design as it’s been practiced in West Michigan for nearly eight decades. We decided to focus on case studies that explore design problems and solutions created by some of the talented artists who have created masterpieces of modern design for the company, and continue to do so today.”

The inspiration for the exhibition came from the recent book Herman Miller: the Purpose of Design by design scholar and authority John R. Berry, who is also the exhibition’s guest curator. The Henry Ford made available the vast resources of its Herman Miller Design Collection, most of which has never before been on public view.

Commenting on the idea behind the exhibition, 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.”

“At Herman Miller, design is the means and the end,” said Berry . “It is the starting point and the destination. Since 1931, not long after its founding, Herman Miller had embraced design as a way to improve people’s lives, and through that goal, they created new industries and some of the most iconic objects of the last century. Charles and Ray Eames’s molded plywood Lounge Chair, George Nelson’s Marshmallow Sofa, and Bill Stumpf and Don Chadwick’s Aeron Chair which populates so many offices today, are all products of Herman Miller, Inc.”

The Everson Museum of Art | John R. Berry | Herman Miller |

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