Tsunami Axis & Herman Miller host a great group of designers and architects on a trip to Chicago. Thank you to everyone for the engaging discussions and the interest shown!
First up is a trip to the Design Yard in Holland. The tour highlights the Living Office set ups which encouraged an interesting discussion on the topic of agile working between the designers and Jon Campbell, who is the Senior Product Manager at Herman Miller. This sparked a great exchange of questions regarding how they specify furniture for loose settings and the restrictions they experience. The restrictions are essentially budget, frameworks and contractors. Great discussion! We next introduce the team to the latest task chair designed by Studio 7.5 for Herman Miller, the Cosm.
Next, a tour of the test lab was lapped up by all designers. The lab gives you an insight into the 12 year 24 hour use warranty applicable to the HM Task Chairs. Consequently, they were thoroughly impressed with the rigorous HM testing.
Following the test lab, we meet up with Gary Smith who articulates the passion HM has for every product they produce and the nature of its origin. This lead to a tour of the Eames archives and house in Zeeland which was like a candy land for the designers! Everyone is blown away by the access to such an iconic designer.
First of all, we give the team a tour of the manufacturing facility who were very impressed with the efficiency and methods of manufacture. The Live OS talk is of particular interest with lots of designers taking notes and asking questions to Chris Hoyt. Currently only available in North America, this new product from Herman Miller uses sensors to capture space utilisation data, has an app to allow the employees to set their personal preferences, encourages activity and analyses the data to enhance workplace performance for the employees. The designers seem to have particular interest in its physical application and the service package for the maintenance/data output.
After a morning exploring the city of Chicago, the team then hop on the Architectural Boat Tour of Chicago. We thoroughly recommend this to anyone visiting the city (you do not have to be an architect to love this). The tour goes to a great level of detail and history given by the tour guide. Finally, we top off the day with dinner at Shaw’s and a roof top bar with fabulous views over the city.
Now, it wouldn’t be right to come to Chicago and not visit the epic Frank Lloyd Wright House – arguably the greatest American architect of all time. During the Studio Tour, there were lots of architectural discussions – we think it went down well!