Robb Report

Herman Miller Reimagines the Office With a Collection of Endlessly Customizable Furniture


The cubicle gets a much-needed update, By Helena Madden

What will the office look like in a post-Covid world? It’s anyone’s guess, really, so all the more reason for one of the category experts to jump in and give their two cents. Herman Miller, the manufacturer of the much-beloved Aeron chair, has reimagined our corporate environments with a new collection, OE1, that’s endlessly adaptable. So no matter what your desk ends up looking like when you finally return to on-site work, one of these pared-back pieces will likely suit your needs.

One of the most essential entries in the OE1 lineup is the Micro Pack, a sit-stand desk that can be used on its own or pieced together with its brethren to create a much larger system. It’s a bit on the small side—it kind of looks like a more structured version of when you’d put folders up around your math tests as a kid—but that’s intentional. Since it’s not too gargantuan, it can easily fit in hallways and corners.

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The OE1 Micro Packs. Herman Miller

Another piece that can reshape a workspace is the Agile Wall, which, because it has wheels, can be rolled around to block off different areas of the office. The Mobile Easel is similar, except for the fact that you can draw on it, which may prove useful during an intense brainstorming session. Moveable and Boundary Screens help to block off and create individual workspaces on a more desk-to-desk basis.

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The Mobile Easel. Herman Miller

Even the file cabinet can be quickly moved from point A to point B. Should you want to move your desk—an easy feat, as most of the OE1 tables are on wheels—you can easily bring all your paperwork and files along with the Storage Trolley.

Herman Miller OED1 Storage Trolley

The OE1 Storage Trolley.

Naturally, because this collection is made to be mobile, its design is relatively unobtrusive. All of the pieces are available in a myriad of different colorways, but as you would expect from the brand, clean lines and simple shapes are the theme here. “From a design point of view, what we wanted to do was to design pieces that talked to each other, have a conversation with each other, but equally be able to be absorbed and used within existing environments,” designer Sam Hecht tells Fast Company. “Everything in the design is fairly essential . . . [with] an almost ridiculously basic presence.”

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