Mod Squad: Inside Herman Miller’s NYC Pop-Up Shop

At the Herman Miller pop-up shop, a family of Alexander Girard figures implore visitors to peruse Todd Oldham and Kiera Coffee’s mega-monograph on the designer. At right, an Eames lounge and ottoman with pedestal tables and an asterisk clock designed by George Nelson. (Photos: UnBeige)

The International Contemporary Furniture Fair doesn’t kick off until next Saturday, but Herman Miller is getting a jump on New York design week with a pop-up shop in Soho. The 6,000-square-foot showroom, open to the public through July 1, is arranged as a series of vignettes sprinkled with whimsical objects and designer-friendly books as well as art from Portland’s PDX gallery. It’s also the first place to see the Herman Miller Collection, a mix of classic pieces (Eames chairs, Noguchi tables, George Nelson‘s enduringly endearing Marshmallow sofa) and the work of contemporary designers such as Konstantin Grcic, Jasper Morrison, and Naoto Fukasawa. The portfolio of freestanding furniture for home and office is a revival of sorts. Ben Watson, executive creative director of Herman Miller, looked to heed Nelson’s 1948 call for “the continuing creation of a permanent collection designed to meet the requirements for modern living.” And so Ward Bennett credenzas mix with Stefano Giovannoni‘s swooping Paso Doble chairs, and BassamFellows’ elegant Tuxedo sofas cozy up to Nelson’s own mod tables. Watson has lined up future Collection pieces from the likes of Leon Ransmeier and Ayse Birsel and Bibi Seck.

Wooden bears by David Weeks prowl a table of books and accessories. At right, Grcic’s new Medici chair, produced by Mattiazzi, has a mod Adirondack vibe.

A rainbow of Eames molded plastic chairs around a Nelson X-Leg table.

From left, Konstantin Grcic’s Chair_One and a living room vignette bracketed by Eames molded plywood lounge chairs.

The Eames Hang-It-All is part of the new Herman Miller Collection. Here it shares wall space with Girard’s “Internationl Love Heart,” originally created for Santa Fe’s The Compound restaurant. At right, shelves stocked with colorful pillows in textiles designed by Girard.