I don’t care what people say. There are not enough well-designed office chairs in this world. From stumps of wood and rubber balls to cockpit office consoles that come with a 5,000 page manual, we’ll always need some way of looking ultra-efficient and ultra-stylish while our butt and legs slowly blend into two slender columns of skin and bone. Doing that in comfort is of extreme importance and if you’re a fan of Herman Miller’s design aesthetic and love their cushy office chairs, you’re familiar with the beautiful Mirra office chair. I swore I was going to get one, delayed, but am spinning circles in my current, worn office chair at the site of the Mirra 2. Once again developed by Studio 7.5, introduced at the 2013 Salone Del Mobile Milano and a feature at the upcoming NeoCon 2013, the chair is a complete redesign, lighter and sleeker than ever before.

Mirra 2

It’s been 10 years since the Mirra chair came out. Since then, you can imagine the expectation of comfort hasn’t changed all that much, but the materials and manufacturing process that deliver the essence of the design in a physical form surely have. The team says, the Mirra 2 is “a reincarnation of Mirra. It feels reassuringly familiar because we maintained its soul and essential DNA, but we advanced the materialization and manifestation of this idea in virtually every aspect.” That’s all designery talk for, “we rocked the redesign of our own freakin’ chair, bizatches.”

The biggest difference you’ll see between the Mirra and Mirra 2 is the size. The Mirra 2 has a substantially smaller frame–open, airy with more adjustability in the arms. Instead of a chunky control pod beneath your buttocks, you have a minimal, much more elegant looking structure. The plastic webbing of the Mirra gets a fabric overlay, the “results from the invention of a new method for merging a fabric layer with polymer veins to create an intelligent support structure.” The two materials are molded against each other, not bonded, whereby reducing weight, improving airflow and increasing comfort for the odd shapes and sitting positions of people around the world.

All of the changes together reduce the weight of the original chair by a whopping 25%, almost 18 pounds. Be looking for the chair to become available Summer 2013 with retail hitting this Fall and price to be announce soon.




Press Release / Click to expand

Herman Miller Showcases Latest Advance in Performance Seating at NeoCon
May 1, 2013 – Ten years and more than 1.5 million chairs later, a successful design is transformed for today’s dynamic workplace: Introducing Mirra 2.

As work evolves, people are more agile, shifting from individual to collaborative work in an instant. With all that motion, they need support that moves with them. In response, Herman Miller, Inc., the global leader in high-performance seating, announces its latest advance, the Mirra 2 work chair.

Designed by Studio 7.5 of Berlin, Germany—the quartet of Burkhard Schmitz, Carola Zwick, Claudia Plikat, and Roland Zwick—it is built on the same principles as their best-selling original, but is completely redesigned from the casters up. The result is a leaner, lighter, more responsive chair moves as one with the sitter and dynamically supports even a person’s slightest movements, so important as people work more agilely than ever.

In commenting on the design, the Studio 7.5 team, who prefers to speak with one voice, noted that the chair is “a reincarnation of Mirra. It feels reassuringly familiar because we maintained its soul and essential DNA, but we advanced the materialization and manifestation of this idea in virtually every aspect.”

Mirra 2 will be featured during NeoCon 2013 June 10-12 in Herman Miller’s 3rd floor Merchandise Mart Showroom (#3-321). The chair will be commercially available for purchase worldwide Summer 2013, with retail availability in the Fall.

Together in Motion
Mirra 2 moves as people do, at one with their body. By purposefully rethinking every part of a successful design, Mirra 2 provides instant feedback for everything the sitter does, offering an intimate connection where the person and the chair move as one.

“We always knew that for an ergonomic work chair the same rules apply as for a pair of running shoes,” says Studio 7.5. “Both need to balance adaptability and support in order to be health positive. At the same time the gear needs to provide just the right amount of firmness and support in order to help the person’s body adopt healthy postures.”

Mirra 2 also advances on its predecessor’s intuitive and easy-to-adjust controls, helping people make the right adjustment decisions on the fly without reading a manual. The sitter can make all adjustments while seated, allowing instant feedback to fine-tune the fit to the individual.

Support in Motion
The Mirra 2 Butterfly Back™, with its exceptional responsiveness and intuitive feel, results from the invention of a new method for merging a fabric layer with polymer veins to create an intelligent support structure. The hybrid structure, shaped for dynamic support, keeps the body in healthy alignment. Combined with a new loop spine, enhanced passive PostureFit™ and independently adjustable lumbar support, Mirra 2’s back design is extraordinarily responsive to the body’s slightest movements needs for support.

“The Butterfly Back provides another degree of flexibility, or more resolution, as we could call it,” says Studio 7.5. “This provides a better fit for the back. We think of this as similar to the sensitivity and resolution achieved in high-fidelity sound. The result of these advances is a new level of contouring and support for micro motion.”

The Butterfly Back shell also maximizes breathability using a reversed ratio of openings to support structure, and the same fabric used in technical clothing to avoid heat and moisture build-up. In addition, a redesigned seat frame allows for the removal of foam under the front of the seat, further increasing the seat’s breathability and comfort. And a reinvented  Harmonic™ tilt provides a smooth and balanced feel as people move from one posture to another, whatever their size and stature.

Beauty in Motion
The lean design of Mirra 2 brings a sophisticated profile and visual lightness to any space. Added selections for textile and back colors—and the opportunity to combine them creatively—along with new options for base finishes increase the range of choices.

Responsibility in Motion
The original Mirra design broke new ground, becoming the world’s first highly engineered, multi-component product designed from the ground up using Cradle-to-Cradle principles. That process helped Herman Miller and Studio 7.5 maximize the use of recycled content, ensure easy disassembly for ready recyclability, and made sure the materials used were the safest available.

Mirra 2 builds on that legacy and brings sustainable design another step forward by using fewer materials more intelligently. The result is a chair that is more responsive to the person, and more responsible to the earth. Mirra 2 is 25 percent lighter than the original yet can accommodate a person weighting up to 350 lb/150 kg.

“We think every design should be sustainable, and one way is to make sure a design lasts,” said Studio 7.5. “By rethinking every component of the chair we were able to improve its performance and reduce its carbon footprint by 25 percent. We took something good and made it even better.”

About Studio 7.5
There is nothing commonplace about this Berlin design group, that functions without bosses and titles and that eats a home-cooked lunch together in the studio every work day. The four designers that make up this group—Claudia Plikat, Roland Zwick, Carola Zwick, and Burkhard Schmitz—describe themselves as “partially anthropologists,” relying on the precise observation of the man-made environment. The four designers find designing work chairs to be particularly rewarding—in part because of their experience working with us on their award-winning Mirra and Setu chairs, and now the advanced Mirra 2.

About Herman Miller, Inc.
Herman Miller works for a better world around you—with inspiring designs, inventive technologies and strategic services that help people do great things and organizations to perform at their best, improving the human experience wherever people work, heal, learn, and live. Its award-winning products and services generated more than $1.7 billion in revenue in fiscal 2012. Innovative business practices and a commitment to social responsibility have also helped establish Herman Miller as a recognized global company. A past recipient of the Smithsonian Institution’s Cooper-Hewitt “National Design Award,” in 2012, Herman Miller again received the Human Rights Campaign Foundation’s top rating in its annual Corporate Equality Index and was named among the 50 Best U.S. Manufacturers byIndustry Week.  Herman Miller is included in the Dow Jones Sustainability World Index and trades on the NASDAQ Global Select Market under the symbol MLHR.

Image: Herman Miller


Josh is founder and editor at SolidSmack.com, founder at Aimsift Inc., and co-founder of EvD Media. He is involved in engineering, design, visualization, the technology making it happen, and the content developed around it. He is a SolidWorks Certified Professional and excels at falling awkwardly.