Herman Miller + Knoll become Unified
June 29, 2022
Two iconic brands harmonized into one!
If you haven’t already heard about the big news, we’re here to tell you! Well…. What is it you ask?!! The two most iconic brands in the design and architecture industry known as Knoll and Herman Miller have become an integrated institution. These two brands now as one unit, offers something so unimaginable and amazing that is going to be a driving force in the design and architecture world.
Miller Knoll, now one of the largest and most influential modern design companies in the world, is uniquely positioned to catalyze the transformation of the industry and redefine modern design. It’s safe to say that the design industry wouldn’t be what it is today without the Herman Miller and Knoll’s long history of creativity and modernization.
You’re probably reading and asking yourself what does this mean?
June 1st, 2022 marks a momentous milestone on our integration roadmap as Herman Miller and Knoll become unified as MillerKnoll.
Moving forward, MillerKnoll’s portfolio includes these brands:
Each one of these individual brands, that are now a part of the MillerKnoll collective, offer a distinct perspective on design and a full portfolio to suit diverse needs. Unifying these brands under one company has been aided by feedback from dealers, customers, and other important voices within the industry such as architects and designers.
The MillerKnoll collective has such a powerful and positive influence in the design world. These two iconic brands have brought us offers unique perspectives on design and that combined strength of values, people, and expertise, that these brands design the world we live in.
The history of both Knoll and Herman Miller has stood the test of time in the design world and has proved every tenent that both companies are founded upon. Their influence has shaped the way people think and feel about design. The design industry wouldn’t be what it is today without the influence of Herman Miller and Knoll’s extensive history. Tracing back to the origins of both companies, you can see that the integration of Herman Miller and Knoll are very complementary of each other, taking similar design approaches.
History of Knoll:
Founded in 1938, Knoll has been an international leader in utilizing the power of modern design to create environments where people aspire to work. Florence Schust was the starter of the idea of the modern office and pioneered the interior design profession. At an early age, Florence established her interest in architecture and was enrolled at the Kingswood School for girls across from the Cranbrook academy for work.
While attending Kingswood, Florence met Eliel Saarinen, who she became close friends with and established a strong relationship with the Saarinen family. From there, Florence made important connections and developed skills by attending Cranbrook that later launched her career in design. The connections Florence made throughout her journey lead to her to study under some of the greatest architects of the 20th century including Walter Gropius and Marcel Breuer in Cambridge, Massachusetts and Ludwig Mies van de Rohe at the Illinois Institute of Technology.
After some time, Florence moved to New York where she met Hans Knoll who was in the process of building his furniture company. With an interest in both design and business, Florence and Hans were able to grow the company into an international arbiter of style and design. After a few years of working together as business partners and friends, Florence and Hans Knoll were married.
Florence Knoll created the standard of modern corporate interiors post-war. She focused on space planning, and comprehensive design to office planning and really focused on each client and their needs, defining patterns of use, and understanding company hierarchies.
“She had that ability, to critique [something], to tear It apart and put it back together. She was something else.” Bob Longwell
The Knoll Planning Unit was founded by Florence Knoll in 1946 as an interior planning service working on projects for some of the biggest corporations in America. The team quickly became renowned for revolutionizing the American business environment with its unique, detail-oriented approach. Over the years, the Knoll Planning Unit designed interiors across the programmatic spectrum, from individual residences to restaurants to large corporate offices. In doing so, the division redefined the conventions of the 20th century office design, cementing the role of Knoll not simply as a company selling individual pieces of furniture, but as highly regarded curator of spaces.
Florence Knoll worked with some of the largest corporate offices in America such as IBM, GM, and CBS. With Florence’s attention to detail, eye for proportion and command of the modern aesthetic she often contributed her furniture designs to the Knoll catalog and referred her to her furniture designs as “Meat and Potatoes.” Many of her designs have been admired by her colleagues and are still celebrated today.
History of Herman Miller:
If you work in any type of office setting, you probably have heard the name Herman Miller. Herman Miller has been the leading ergonomic office chair manufacturer since the 1990’s.
100-years ago, Herman Miller was born into a company that puts emphasizes on great design, the environment, community service, and health and well-being of customers and employees. The company’s innovative, problem-solving designs and furnishings have inspired the best in people wherever they live, work, learn, heal, and play.
The Herman Miller Furniture line began when a determined young boy found himself at the helm of a new furniture company in Zeeland Michigan. As that company grew, they needed 18-year-old D.J De Pree to serve as a clerk for Michigan Star furniture. After ten years of working at Michigan Star Furniture, D.J proved himself and was named president of the company in 1919. After a few years of experience of being a president, he approached his father-in-law, Herman Miller, and asked Miller to buy most of the shares in the Michigan Star Furniture Company. He agreed, and the company was then named The Herman Miller Furniture Company.
In the 1930’s De Pree altered the company’s path, transforming Herman Miller into the first company in the United States to produce modern furniture for the masses. Since that time, the company’s growth has been extraordinary journey.
“In 1939, the company was opening its first showroom in Chicago’s Merchandise Mart. From that point on, company growth increased every year with more plants, offices, and showrooms opening around this country and eventually around the world.”
Herman Miller throughout its time, hasn’t been afraid to take risks and the company continues to provide trendy, cutting edge design for homes, offices, and healthcare environments.
One of Herman Miller’s main philosophies has been based on always being a human-centered design, which is proven by their products like the Aeron Chair. This designers of this chair Bill Stumpf and Don Chadwick set out to create a chair that was health-positive, cross-performing, inclusively sized, and environmentally sensitive. They crafted a chair unlike the word had ever seen, providing a comfortable solution without the standard use of foam, fabric, or leather. Aeron demonstrated a pioneering step in ergonomics and material innovation.
- Modern furniture should complement architectural spaces, not complete with it.
- MillerKnoll is a collective of brands that represents over 100 years of design research to serve humanity
- MillerKnoll is a collective of dynamic brands that comes together to design the world.
- Minimize the harmful effects on the environment and achieve ongoing improvements in environmental performance.
- Success in greenhouse gas emissions at our manufacturing facilities, exceeding our goal by 23%, we redefined our Carbon Disclosure Project, which commits to further reductions and public disclosure.
Herman Miller and Knoll combined into one:
As you may already know, both Herman Miller and Knoll were industry leaders separately, but now are a powerful force together by combining each company’s unique individuality together as one in the A+D industry.
“MillerKnoll is a collective of dynamic brands that comes together to design the world we live in. We design for the good of humankind, shaping a future that’s more sustainable, caring, and beautiful for all people and our planet.”
Knoll and Herman Miller were industry leaders on their own, both companies having such well-known history and legendary backgrounds. MillerKnoll will now continue to build on their legacies within the design and architectural world.
With the Official MillerKnoll launch, MillerKnoll will:
- Catalyze the transformation of the home and office through a united portfolio of complementary brands
- Support and grow existing Contract and Retail channels, as well as explore new ideas and business innovations, to ensure they meet the highest level of manufacturing excellence, customer sales and service, and idea experience.
- Compromise global functional teams that serve the entire enterprise, including Manufacturing, Digital, Technology, Marketing, Strategy, Finance, Human Resources and Legal.
- Drive growth and profitably with a scaled US and international footprint, maintain strong brand ownership designed to preserve and nurture the essence of the brands within the combines company’s portfolio, which includes the Herman Miller and Knoll brands
MillerKnoll now benefits from increased reach and the ability to better serve customers across the contract furnishing sectors, residential trade segment and retail audience. In addition, MillerKnoll is well positioned to enhance engagement with architects and interior designers, who support the decision making for both Contract and Residential customers.
MillerKnoll will be led by legacy Herman Miller President and CEO, Andi Own. In addition to Owen, the combined company will be led by a world-class executive team made up of executives from both Herman Miller and Knoll.
According to Miller Knoll President and CEO Andi Owen, the merger will be symbiotic- the new structure will allow the brands to play off each other’s strengths and exceed what they could accomplish previously.
“Herman Miller and Knoll were on parallel paths in their approach to design: rooted in strong business principles, centered on fusing industry and craft, focused on problem solving, and deeply ingrained with spaces and places.”
Herman Miller and Knoll have continued with complementary approaches to making products for people in all places. These two design brands have been traveling alongside one another and intersecting for over 100 years. Herman Miller and Knoll’s shared DNA in design is the thread that invites MillerKnoll. As Hans and Florence once said, “good design is good business.” This guiding principle is even truer today and tomorrow was it was then.
What does this merger mean for Corporate Environments?
Corporate Environments is officially a MillerKnoll certified dealer, granting our clients access to the most comprehensive collection of design brands in the industry. Our company has created a long and trusting relationship with Knoll and Herman Miller and now get to access the best of both worlds that will provide immeasurable benefits to our clients. Our talented designers can provide a variety of solutions for any project and will customize spaces to meet the needs of every client.
With the long-lasting relationship Corporate Environments has with Knoll and the influence it has formed in the design word, we wanted to celebrate the legacy of partnerships and collaborations of Knoll with the most iconic designers like Eero Saarinen, Ludwig Mies can der Rohe and Harry Bertoia. At Corporate Environments, each conference room name is dedicated these iconic interior designers and to pay tribute to the legacy that they brought into the design community. Next time you visit our showroom, take notice of our nod to these incredible designers. Each room has its own design and uniqueness to the room that represents how different each designer was, but all shared the common theme of modernism in design.
If you think about it, Knoll has been around for quite some time, and it has not been outdated in any space or room. That because Knoll stood on the philosophy of “Modern is always good design” which has been proven time and again.
In summary, harmonious relationships are both functional and aesthetic, with MillerKnoll harmonizing together, the range of offerings allow designers to create tailored, cohesive spaces and scale to meet any challenge. Corporate Environments would love to show you all the possibilities on your next project!