‘Stories from Herman Miller’

Museum of Craft and Design’s upcoming exhibit focuses on iconic furniture maker
Herman Miller
Marshmallow Sofa: strikingly stylish.

Few furnishings are as strikingly stylish as the Marshmallow Sofa, designed using plastic disks in 1956 by George Nelson and Irving Harper for the Herman Miller, Inc.

But the furniture manufacturer, which has produced such modern marvels as the Eames lounge chair and the Noguchi table, has never been about “style,” says John Berry, guest curator of the exhibit ‘Good Design: Stories from Herman Miller,’ opening July 13 at the Museum of Craft and Design in San Francisco.

The exhibit runs through September 22 at 2569 Third Street in the City’s Dogpatch neighborhood. The exhibit was organized by the Muskegon Museum of Art.

Opening day will include a family workshop on designing a chair. Other events take place July 27 and August 8.

Herman Miller designers focus on “understanding people’s needs and meeting real needs, not, ‘here’s a cool idea, let’s see where it fits,’” says Berry, a designer who was a Herman Miller vice president and is the author of Herman Miller: the Purpose of Design.

“It’s not about creating museum pieces,” he says. But because designers focus on function and use materials honestly, Berry says, “the result is, these are good-looking things.”

For more on the ‘Good Design’ exhibit, click here.