The Mirra Chair's Design Story
To create the Mirra Chair, Herman Miller teamed with Studio 7.5, a German design firm.
Composed of five designers — Claudia Plikat, Burkhard Schmitz, Nicolai Neubert, Carola Zwick, and Roland Zwick — Studio 7.5 has been involved for over 10 years in the design and development of products that improve the way people work.
They consider themselves "the grandchildren of the Eameses" and, like those pioneering designers, they are experts at observing how workers interact with their environments and finding ways to make that interaction more natural. Sharing a genuine passion for seating, they know seating as a science and work to bring it to another level.
Rather than relying on any individual in the firm, Studio 7.5 works as a team, without titles or hierarchy. The Mirra chair is a product of their collective imagination, talent, and persistence — along with a willingness to break the mold in order to create a chair that sets a new standard for comfort, fit, balanced ride, and visual refinement in its price range.
Studio 7.5 envisioned a chair that reacts to what people do. Part of the concept was to make the chair like a second skin, like a shadow of the sitter.
From this concept, Mirra's passive adjustability was born. From the TriFlex back to the AireWeave seat suspension to the Harmonic tilt, Mirra does just what Studio 7.5 worked to achieve: Just sit on it, and it fits. There are only a few adjustment controls, and they are designed to be very intuitive.
Mirra features common materials applied in original ways — such as the elastomeric seat suspension and molded polymer back that are used instead of foam and fabric. The relationship between materials and technology was optimized to achieve maximum performance with minimal materials.
User testing, benchmarking, focus groups, tilt performance studies, and other methods were used to ensure the chair meets customer needs and provides advanced ergonomic performance. For example, research over the years has shown that the biggest concern users have is back support. In fact, back issues account for the second highest number of work illnesses. The designers took this to heart and focused on the back as an area of differentiation.
Herman Miller and Studio 7.5 also used results from the Civilian American and European Surface Anthropometry Resource (CAESAR) study, which surveyed body measurements of people aged 18-65, using the latest 3D technology. Data from the study — the first full-body, 3D surface anthropometry survey of the U.S. and Europe — helped ensure the chair fits people from the 5th percentile woman to the 95th percentile man.