Herman Miller's Dynamic Duo, Steve Frykholm + Clark Malcolm, shared stories about their time [72 years+] at the western Michigan-based furniture company.
Frykholm + Malcolm discussed the people, products and events behind the company- from its inception to present day.
And what a story it was! These two came packed with lively banter that would put any comedy act to shame. They riffed off one another and kept the intimate group gathered at Patrick Thompson Design laughing full throttle. They tag-teamed the jokes, interspersed with interesting conversations about design. They came armed and ready with chapters to discuss- the audience shouted out a topic we were interested in and the two got down to it.
The story goes like this: in 1905, DJ De Pree borrowed some money from money to start a furniture company from his father-in-law, Herman Miller. Things happened. De Pree had an epiphany about his workers in 1927, prompting him to alter how he viewed and treated his workers. His philosophy was that all people are extraordinary, a tenet that has stuck with the company all these years.
Herman Miller is seemingly run based upon a series of philosophies that stemmed with De Pree and have grown to encompass the entire company, and continue to evolve to this day. On a personal note, I would like to share that I found these core beliefs firmly in place. I was lucky to visit the company years ago and found it not only bursting at the seams with creative energy, but also a warm and inviting place. Everyone I came in contact with- from the barista to the VP, was gracious. It was one of the greatest experiences I have had.
Our speakers were so engaging that I would venture to guess that everyone left wanting to hear more. There were so many fantastic stories and comedic moments, it was like sitting in the living room with a gang of friends- so great.