Herman Miller®

Founded 1923 (Zeeland, Michigan)

Herman Miller is a design and manufacturing company based in Michigan. There really was a Mr. Herman Miller, but he never worked for the company. (He was the father-in-law of the company president, D.J. De Pree.) The company continues to produce licensed works by Charles and Ray Eames, George Nelson, Alexander Girard and Isamu Noguchi, as well as Bill Stumpf, Don Chadwick and a continuing list of today’s top talent.

Herman Miller’s Honeybees. In 1995, Herman Miller moved into its new manufacturing facility, named the “GreenHouse” because its interior resembles that of a greenhouse. The name also acknowledges the fact that this William McDonough-designed structure was selected by the U.S. Green Building Council as a pilot for the development of its LEED certification process. A few years after the company moved into the building, thousands of paper wasps appeared and began building nests on its exterior, eventually making their way inside. So came an opportunity for creative problem solving, as Herman Miller was committed to avoiding chemical insecticides.

Instead, they turned to nature, bringing in 12 honeybee hives, with approximately 600,000 honeybees. Wasps and bees are not natural friends, and once the bees took over the area, the wasps moved on. Bonus: The bees cross-pollinate the 45 acres of meadows that surround the building, resulting in a luscious sea of wildflowers – and even better, lots of sweet honey. As a result, Herman Miller has karma-rich GreenHouse Honey to share with clients and visitors.


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