Herman Miller Lightens Up Aeron

June 20, 2003
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HOLLAND — In updating a corporate icon, Herman Miller Inc. is giving its Aeron chair a fresher look that is more reflective of the designs used in today's office environments.

Herman Miller has added new colors, finishes and weaves for Aeron, which made its debut at NeoCon in 1994 and has since become one of the company's most successful products.

Previously featuring dark materials, the Aeron chair now comes in assorted colors, including a metallic titanium finish for the base, seat and back, as well as three weaves in the Pellicle seating and backing material.

Another version features a polished aluminum base.

"The new choices provide a wealth of innovative solutions that further reinforce the Aeron chair's position as the design leader," said Randy Brown, Herman Miller's senior product manager.

Aeron over the years has received numerous industry and design awards for its function and unique aesthetic.

The chair was named by Business Week magazine as one of the 36 "designs of the decade" for the 1990s, and is on permanent display at the Museum of Modern Art in New York City.

The design updates — unveiled at last week's NeoCon in Chicago — reflect the greater use in the market today of light materials and fabrics in open-space office systems, most notably Herman Miller's own Resolve and Ethospace.

"It's had tremendous commercial success in the market, certainly there's an opportunity to refresh it," Herman Miller spokesman Bruce Buursma said.

The new design options come on the heels of Herman Miller's introduction last fall of PostureFit, a device designed to improve Aeron's ergonomic performance by providing additional support to the lower back and the pelvis.

Herman Miller unveiled the new design options for Aeron at the same time it publicly rolled out the new Mirra office chair at NeoCon.

Mirra, targeted for the mid-market price category, takes many of its design cues from Aeron without generating a corresponding sticker price.

Herman Miller plans to sell the new Mirra chair at a list price (which few customers ever pay, once volume discounts are figured in) that's 15 percent below that of Aeron, or $640 for the base Mirra model.

Mirra helps Herman Miller fill out its seating product portfolio and, by providing a strong complement in the mid-market category to Aeron's high-end category, gives the company "the best one-two combination of seating in the industry," Buursma said.

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