Bill Stumpf once said: “I work best when I’m pushed to the edge. When I’m at the point where my pride is subdued, where I’m innocent again. Herman Miller knows how to push me that way, mainly because the company still believes – years after D.J. De Pree first told me – that good design isn’t just good business, it’s a moral obligation. Now that’s pressure”.
Stumpf’s association with Herman Miller began in 1970 when he joined the staff of the Herman Miller Research Corporation. After establishing his own firm in 1972, Stumpf created the Ergon chair, the first ergonomic work chair. Later, in collaboration with Don Chadwick, he produced the ground-breaking Equa and iconic Aeron chairs. He was also principal designer for the Ethospace system.
Even though Don Chadwick has achieved acclaim for his work on some of the world’s most iconic furniture, he’s still at it. He’s still in Southern California. He’s still getting his hands dirty. He’s still refining his process and sharpening his eye for design. He’s still having fun.
He continues to consider his constraints, using ergonomic elements like tilt mechanisms, elastomeric materials and casters to arrive at new designs. Having nearly half a century of celebrated innovations, he remains influential to industrial designers and furniture manufacturers the world over. His Modular Seating design for Herman Miller, which was originally introduced in 1974, relaunched at NeoCon in 2015.