Founded as the Star Furniture Company in 1905 in Zeeland, Michigan, the name changed to Herman Miller after the president of Star Furniture (Dirk Jan De Pree) offered stock to his father-in-law who purchased 51% of the company. His father-in-law’s name? You guessed it: Herman Miller. Eventually the name would become synonymous with some of the world’s most iconic furniture designs that were conceived by some of the best industrial designers that have ever lived. In this wonderful new animated short film by Part of a Bigger Plan to mark the launch of a new website for Herman Miller, we get a chance to see (and/or remember!) some of the highlights over the past 108 years that have come from the iconic company.

A [Short] History of Herman Miller

For those interested in Herman Miller’s plans for the next 108 years, start by checking out their new digital platform WHY:

At Herman Miller we think, learn, and communicate through design. It is the language with which we share new ideas and address the problems people face. Before we decide what we do and how we do it, we must first ask “why?” It is in this spirit of inquiry that we approach the stories we tell on WHY. For us, design is never just about a finished product. It is a narrative that extends from the designer’s vision to the people it touches and places it transforms. With WHY, we invite you to discover why we do what we do at Herman Miller.


Simon is a Brooklyn-based industrial designer and Managing Editor of EVD Media. When he finds the time to design, his focus is on helping startups develop branding and design solutions to realize their product design vision. In addition to his work at Nike and various other clients, he is the main reason anything gets done at EvD Media. He once wrestled an Alaskan alligator buzzard to the ground with his bare hands… to rescue Josh.