Student designers, in partnership with award-winning, century old furniture manufacturer, Herman Miller, will address the factors and challenges associated with building and enhancing relationships in the workplace, whether that be in-person, digitally-mediated, or those that exist between people and their tools. Focusing primarily on the Living Office vision and Herman Miller’s recent history, students will debate the evolution of work and the current definition of a “relationship”, and test how furnishings and space empower and enable interactions that extend beyond a simple point of connection. Primary focus should be placed on one of the three relationship archetypes listed below, however, solutions may crossover to provide value to any and all of the three: Face-to-Face, Digitally Mediated, Human-to-Tools.
Students will each design and produce a high-quality, finished functional prototype from actual materials using available on and off-campus resources. They will be expected to carefully archive their process and document their final product with design-control drawings, graphically compelling use-scenarios and the written word to convey their overall concept. Students will be given the opportunity to art-direct the final documentation of their product using a professional product photographer to deliver press-quality communication materials. Final results will be judged by a team of Herman Miller representatives. At the time of the final presentation, the jury will decide how many of the projects will be further developed for presentation in New York City in May.