In the last couple of years, the concept of the ‘workplace’ has taken on a new meaning for many, and subsequently what we look for in our workplace furniture has evolved. Demand has never been greater for versatile pieces that merge timeless aesthetics with today’s research-backed ergonomics. Herman Miller’s new Zeph Chair captures the spirit of the contemporary office — balancing an attractive Eames-inspired form with the functionality you’d expect from Herman Miller performance seating — and is well poised for the future of the workplace.
“Workplace design has been moving towards a more residential direction for the past few years,” says Richard Healy, Associate at Carr whose work is focused within the workplace and commercial interiors team. He explains: “Post-pandemic research is telling us this is still the case, but the workplace needs to offer a point of difference to our homes. Therefore, the furniture selection and overall design direction needs to be a careful balance of comfort, texture, natural light, planting and personalisation.” Noting his work at Carr: “Through design, we’re looking to combine the positives of working from home with the functional, practical and ergonomic aspects of workplace design and furniture.”
The selection of each furniture piece has become even more considered over the past few years, especially post pandemic. Richard explains: “We now have a wider variety of spaces available in our offices to work from, and the chair we use should be flexible enough to be used in different ways, by a wide variety of people.” Furthermore, a specific blend of form and function is now particularly important. “People want furniture that has a residential look and feel but all the ergonomics and functionality they expect when they’re in the office — they want to escape the dining chair when they’re in the office,” says Richard.
For the Zeph Chair, designers Studio 7.5 aimed to bridge the gap between Herman Miller’s iconic mid-century design and the ergonomics of today’s work chairs. This required a design that achieved the difficult task of animating a shell chair. After many iterations of 3D printed prototypes, the Berlin-based studio perfected a one-piece seat and back that actually moves with the person sitting in it. It provides a recline that feels natural, in a chair that moves with you. The geometry of the design allows your body’s pivot points to create the right counterbalance for a proper ergonomic sit. “The simple approach to achieving all the ergonomics and comfort people expect today is one of the stand-out features of the Zeph Chair,” adds Richard.
Having specified Herman Miller products for as long as he’s been working as a professional interior designer, Richard explains his thoughts on the experience the brand provides. “I choose Herman Miller as their pieces always have significant research behind the designs. They always look to improve the ergonomics and user experience to provide new solutions to meet ever-evolving workplace needs.” When asked about where he sees the new chair excelling, he adds: “The Zeph chair is perfect for meeting rooms and collaboration areas across a variety of workplace and education environments. The colour range and interchangeable 3D Knit allow the user the opportunity to refresh the look and feel easily over time.” With no tools required, the chair’s optional, removable and interchangeable 3D Knit conveniently slides directly onto the shell and comes in 20 textile colour choices.
With Zeph, Studio 7.5 have designed a work chair with an entry-level price point that doesn’t compromise comfort or style. Richard says in summary, “The clean lines and simple design make the piece timeless, ensuring it can suit a variety of spaces and functions.” Coming soon is an entire Zeph family, and even more ways to customise the Zeph Chair — including additional base and knit options to perfectly suit any office, home, campus and anywhere in between.