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Mich. Office Furniture Exhibit Emphasizes Design

JAMES PRICHARD

MUSKEGON, Mich. (AP) ¿ It is a museum show about office furniture as art ¿ but with designs on being more.

So the ways in which furniture maker Herman Miller Inc. has used design to improve people's lives at work is the focus of the new exhibit at the Muskegon Museum of Art.

"This is not just about cool furniture," says the museum's executive director, Judy Hayner ¿ although examples such as the Marshmallow sofa and the Aeron desk chair will be on prominent display.

"Good Design: Stories from Herman Miller," which opens Friday, showcases the development and evolution of many of the company's significant designs of the past 80 years.

Visitors will see sketches, production notes, photographs, models, prototypes and original examples of standout products. Hanging from the walls will be examples of the colorful posters printed by Herman Miller to tout its annual summer picnic for employees.

The show examines the design process the company has used since the 1930s as a "kind of problem-solving research-based approach," said Mark Schurman, who oversees Herman Miller's archive, rather than simply "a retrospective of a particular designer or an homage to a particular body of work. It's really more about the process."

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