Hans Knoll, founder At Knoll they believe good design is good business. Since their founding in 1938, they have been recognized as a design leader worldwide. Their products are exhibited in major art museums worldwide, with more than 40 pieces in the permanent Design Collection of The Museum of Modern Art in New York.
Knoll has a commitment to innovation and modern design has yielded a comprehensive portfolio of office systems, seating, files and storage, tables and desks, wood casegoods, textiles and accessories. Knoll operates four manufacturing sites in North America: East Greenville, Pennsylvania; Grand Rapids and Muskegon, Michigan; and Toronto, Ontario. In addition, they have plants in Foligno and Graffignana, Italy.
Florence Knoll While a student at the Kingswood School on the campus of the Cranbrook Academy of Art in Bloomfield Hills, Michigan, Florence Knoll became a protege of Eero Saarinen. She worked briefly for Walter Gropius, Marcel Breuer and Wallace K. Harrison. In 1946, she became a full business and design partner and married Hans Knoll, after which they formed Knoll Associates.
She was at once a champion of world-class architects and designers and an exceptional architect in her own right. As a pioneer of the Knoll Planning Unit, she revolutionized interior space planning.
Her belief in "total design" – embracing architecture, manufacturing, interior design, textiles, graphics, advertising and presentation – and her application of design principles in solving space problems were radical departures from the standard practice in the 1950s, but were quickly adopted and remain widely used today.
Since it was founded, in 1938, Knoll has invited designers to submit proposals, and Knoll has then manufactured, and sold, this work. The list of highly regarded designers Knoll has worked with includes many of the best furniture designers, interior designers, and architects of the 20th century. http://www.knoll.com/designer/designer_category.jsp
Steelcase Steelcase began in 1912 as The Metal Office Furniture Company in Grand Rapids, Michigan. We received our first patent in 1914 for a steel wastebasket -- a major innovation at a time when straw wastebaskets were a major office fire hazard. That led to metal desks, and we've led the way with product and service innovations ever since. Today, our portfolio of solutions address the three core elements of an office environment: interior architecture, furniture and technology. We changed our name to Steelcase in 1954 and became a publicly held company in 1998.
Steelcase history 1912-Peter M. Wege, Sr., Walter Idema and 10 other stockholders form the Metal Office Furniture Company on March 14 in Grand Rapids, MI. The company has 15 employees and specializes in filing cabinets and safes. First year`s sales are $76,000. 1914-Metal Office begins diversifying with a new product, the Victor fireproof steel wastebasket. 1915-First sale of desks: 200 fireproof steel desks for Boston's first skyscraper, the Customs House Tower. 1916-E.A. Holscher starts an office furniture business in St. Louis, MO and becomes Metal Office's first dealer.
1921-Metal Office offically registers the "Steelcase" name as a trademark and adopts a new advertising slogan: "Found Where Business Succeeds. 1926-The company opens a new manufacturing plant on Division Avenue in Grand Rapids.
1937-Metal Office creates oval-shaped desks based on the design vision of Frank Lloyd Wright. They're used in the S.C. Johnson and Company building, which Life magazine calls "the most inspirational office building of the 20th century."
Johnson Wax building, Racine, Wisconsin designed by Frank Lloyd Wright, 1936-39 The Great Work Room
1945-The surrender documents ending World War II are signed by General Douglas MacArthur and Japanese officials on a Steelcase table aboard the USS Missouri
1953-Metal Office introduces Sunshine Styling, the industry's first office furniture in colors. 1954-Corporate name changes to Steelcase, which has been a brand name for many Metal Office products. Steelcase launches international operations with a 15,000 square-foot plant in Toronto, Canada. 1958-Establishes California operation with a 70,000 square-foot plant in Fullerton,
1964-Purchases Attwood Corporation in Lowell, MI, a manufacturer of marine hardware and injection-molded plastic parts. 1968-Introduces Mobiles, the first product using concepts of systems furniture.
1971-Introduces Movable Walls, Steelcase's first comprehensive systems furniture line. 1972-Enters the wood office furniture market with the introduction of Designs in Wood. 1973-Introduces Series 9000 systems furniture.Builds manufacturing facility for wood furniture in Fletcher, NC.Forms a 50 percent joint- venture interest with Kurogane Ltd., with manufacturing in Osaka, Japan. 1974-Forms a 50 percent joint-venture interest with Forges de Strasbourg (Strafor S.A.) to manufacture seating in Sarrebourg, France. 1977-Initiates an extensive dealer distribution organization in the Middle East. 1978-Purchases Vecta Contract in Grand Prairie, TX. 1979-Purchases new manufacturing plant in Athens, AL.
Office Systems Furniture Panel Systems, Workstations Office furniture has become a design specialty, and a major part of modern working life. Free standing desks, and separate, hard walled, offices, have been largely replaced with a complex of work surfaces, screen panels, and storage units that serve as partioning as well. the workstation occupies less space, and when well designed, provides a higher level of efficiency than separate office rooms. The constantly changing nature of office environments had led to the development of office systems furniture that is focused on flexibility both within the individual workstation, and in the grouping of clusters of workstations.
The Herman Miller office system Ethospace designed in 1984 by Jack Kelley
Ethospace is based on a 120 degree angle, which opens up workspaces to teamwork and communication
Ethospace--a frame-and-tile system In the Ethospace frame-and-tile system, structural steel frames define the work space, provide the foundation for hang-on components, and house electrical and data wires. Individual segments called tiles attach to the frames, allowing tremendous variety and control of the design and function of individual frames.
Application freedom. Designers can create a variety of layouts, from individual workstations to collaborative spaces to enclosed offices; the choice of 90-, 120-, and 135-degree connectors maximizes planning possibilities.
Supports Technology Huge capacity. The open frame interior holds up to 49 Category 5e, 4-pair UTP cables in the base and an additional 32 cables at every 8 inches of frame height. Flexible power. The 8-wire, 4-circuit electrical system allows circuit configurations of 3 general and 1 dedicated, 2 general and 2 dedicated, or 1 general and 3 dedicated. Wide corners. Corner connectors turn with a wide arc, safely accommodating stiff or fragile fiber optics cables.
Earth-Conscious Design 100 percent recyclable steel frames. Strong and durable for a long life; the system is 78 percent recyclable, and recycled content is 35 percent. Powder coating. On all metal parts and Formcoat surfaces; no VOCs. Water-based stains. No solvents. Sustainable wood supplies. Only from managed forest resources.
Herman Miller Resolve system, designed in 1997 by Ayse Birsel
The elegantly simple structure is based on poles with screens attached at 120-degree angles. This inventive approach provides all the intelligence and function of panels while allowing greater diversity of workstation patterns and more cost-effective use of real estate. There's also more openness and flexibility for collaborative environments.
Rolling screens let users adjust privacy and reduce glare on computer screens
Resolve--a pole-based system Vertical poles in three heights (96, 60, and 48 inches), work with horizontal support arms to define work areas, provide a structural foundation, support hang-on components, and make power and data accessible to the user. Trusses attach to tall pole tops to route power and data cables overhead and delineate space. They can also help people find their way in a workspace.
Personalization Screens, canopies, and floor mats. Define personal territory. Rolling screens. Users control privacy and enclosure. Custom graphics. With the Customer's Own Image (COI) program, customers can have their own graphics digitally printed on screens, canopies, and flags. Work tools. People can place and move them right where they're needed. Human scale. The design is based on the size, reach, and movements of people
V-Wall works in any environment, with any furniture requirement. A two-person crew can reconfigure walls with minimum disruption. Single-source supply simplifies coordination, reduces trades in the work area, and reduces interruption in occupied workspaces. V-Wall is available in a variety of vinyls, fabrics, veneers and glazing options. Herman Miller trims and finishes make coordination easy with all freestanding and office system solutions. Panel modules come in standard heights of 9' and 10', and widths of 24-30", but custom widths and heights to 12' are also available. also available
V-Wall offers panel and component integration with Action Office Series 1 & 2, Prospects and Ethospace. V-Wall can be pre-wired with UL-labeled power or open boxes for field applications. Telecommunications and power can be distributed both vertically and horizontally, allowing walls to provide cabling to systems as required by project design. V-Wall can be installed directly over carpeting, reducing waste and labor costs. Unlike drywall, V-Wall is up to 99 percent reusable, making it the environmentally friendly alternative.
Crisp Aesthetic Clean lines. Trim pieces have a thin profile and interlock for precise alignment. Visual highlights. Furniture-style glides have a progressive appearance and let in light; open work surface supports are light scaled; a horizontal bead between tiles has a reflective surface. Purposeful palette. The concise selection features light- to-dark, warm-to-cool finishes that combine harmoniously; glass, laminate, veneer, and textiles offer sophisticated choices.
Sustainable Design Strict standards. Vivo was designed according to Herman Miller's cradle-to-cradle protocol; also GreenGuard certified. Recyclable. Vivo is 69 percent recyclable; frames are 100 percent recyclable steel; a typical workstation has 36 percent recycled content. Powder coated. All trim, supports, and storage components are powder coated, eliminating polluting VOCs. No solvents. Stains are water based. Good wood. All wood is harvested from managed forest resources. Earth-friendly textiles. Most textiles are made of a single material for easier recycling; many lines are 100 percent recycled polyester.
Steelcase Pathways technology wall and ports system
Ports to manage your tools and technology Maximum flexibility for planning Unmatched cable capacity and access virtually anywhere on the panel Wide array of aesthetic options with refined details Environmentally-friendly wheatboard worksurfaces available
Wide range of function and aesthetics Flexible layouts, including 120 degree Kick Freestanding blends seamlessly with Kick and other Steelcase systems Stackable panels are load-bearing and stack to 78" h Easy to order, simple to install and reconfigure
From looking at just a few examples of current systems furniture it is clear that there is an increasing emphasis on team organization in office work. Privacy has been replaced by organizations that allow for easy voice and visual communication among team members. Office chairs have been the subject of intense, focused study of ergonomics. The shape, dimension, and adjustability of a chair directly affects human comfort and muscular stress.
Office systems furniture are a direct response to a space utilization concept called open office, or landscape planning.
A typical open office, or landscape environment