A Sad Day for Design and Seating

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This was a sad story to learn by way of the always informative Dezain. Bill Stumpf, a very famous, impossibly skilled designer and a partner at Herman Miller, passed away a short while ago due to surgery complications. Mr. Stumpf was best known for a wide variety of things, but most often is referred to as the creator of the Ergon chair in 1972, the groundbreaking design that helped create modern ergonomic seating, leading to his later design in 1994 of the Aeron chair. He also won countless awards throughout his time, including the IDSA’s Lifetime Achievement Award in 2001. The Herman Miller site has a great deal more information on Bill Stumpf in the press release about his passing.

“I work best when I’m pushed to the edge,” he once said, “when I’m at the point where my pride is subdued, where I’m an innocent again. Herman Miller knows how to push me that way, mainly because the company still believes — years after D.J. DePree first told me — that good design isn’t just good business, it’s a moral obligation. Now that’s pressure.”