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© Herman Miller, circa 1999

Herman Miller's Aeron chair

During the design of this award winning chair, the designers broke away from convention in search of a better solution.  As a result they had a fresh canvas to start from and were able to bring in a number of ecodesign considerations such as making provision for disassembly and the refurbishment of old parts:

  • Herman Miller formed a subsidiary, Phoenix Design, to buy back and remanufacture its systems furniture products.
    • the 'AsNew' production process combines parts of used furniture with new pieces allowing products to be offered at substantial savings [1]. 
  • The aeron chair has a 12 year guarantee 

Herman Miller also reduced material use and incorporated recycled materials:

  • the aeron chair is made from 60.41% recycled content including steel, polypropylene, nylon, GF, PET 30% Glass Fibre and aluminium 
  • recycled drinks bottles are the primary source of plastic for the Aeron seat shells (~36 x 2-litre bottles per shell)

For More Information

For more information on Herman Millers eco-design activities visit their 'Design for the Environment' webpages at:,1564,a10-c382,00.html


[1] Pacific Northwest Pollution Prevention Resource Center (1999) "Product Stewardship for manufacturers (Summarized from: Return to Sender Case Studies by The National Centre for Design at RMIT University, August 1998)"  (accessed 30th September 2004)

[2] McDonough, W. and Braungart, M. (2002) "Anatomy of a Transformation - Herman Miller's Journey to Sustainability" (accessed 30th September 2004).

[3] HermanMiller Inc. (2004) "Environmental concerns"   (accessed 30th September 2004)