Herman Miller Resolve®: Working Ahead

26 Feb 2006|Added Value

Office cubicles aren’t just efficient partitions. They’re wired systems that structure people’s experiences of privacy, community, and interaction, as well as their health and comfort.

The Opportunity
To meet these needs, plus practical considerations of cost and square footage, Herman Miller sought to design a revolutionary product that could replace cubicles. This called for a revolutionary approach to design—and research.

The project started with the observation that work had changed and that cubicles were no longer working. As such, what kinds of new products could facilitate thinking, collaboration, technology, and mobility—while giving people the ability to adjust and control their space?


Herman Miller wanted to design a revolutionary product that could replace cubicles
 
Our Contribution
Starting with what we’ve learned from years of monitoring change in the workplace, we designed a research program to address the specific goals of this project, integrating trend tracking, observational research and user testing with qualitative interviews.

Working closely with in-house Herman Miller designers and design consultant Ayse Birsel, we helped establish design principles for collaborative workstations, guided design refinements throughout the process, and discovered the best way to market the resulting office system—Resolve.

The Result
Think honeycomb. A central pillar supplies cables to workstations. Each station occupies an open, 120-degree v-shape, with space for vertical displays and adjustable work surfaces. People who like working collaboratively like it very much.

Resolve’s design and its marketing materials have won numerous awards, including NeoCon Gold Awards for Best of Competition and Most Innovative. Better yet, sales have far exceeded projections (competitors were developing new products based on similar principles within the year). Good design, based on good research, has changed the entire category.

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