Ward Bennett I-Beam Coffee Table
Herman MillerHerman Miller has been dedicated to design for more than 75 years. With a design legacy that began under the leadership of Gilbert Rohde and George Nelson in the 1930s and 40s, the company gained a worldwide following for its modern furniture collection by the early 1950s, with chairs, sofas and tables for home and office by designers like Charles & Ray Eames, Alexander Girard, George Nelson, and Isamu Noguchi. These icons of modern design developed products that still endure today. And, through continued innovation at the company and a new generation of designers and ideas, the products that Herman Miller makes today will endure for decades to come. Herman Miller works for a better world around you. They do this by designing furnishings that improve the human experience - from pioneering the way for ergonomic office seating and furniture to stewarding environmental leadership in its business and manufacturing processes, product material usage and product life cycles. Herman Miller's longstanding commitment to the world around us continues to drive design solutions for the modern home and workspace. The company continues to develop its designer relationships with names like Yves Behar, Jeff Weber and Studio 7 adding lighting, storage and office collections to its catalog of design classics.
Ward Bennett began his design career at age 13, when he quit school to work in the garment district in New York City. At age 15, he designed his first clothing collection; at age 16 he left for Europe where he continued working on fashions. It was while Bennett was in Europe that he attended art schools in Florence and Paris. But the designer considered himself mostly self-taught, with skills that ranged from illustrating, sculpting and jewelry-making to furniture, interior and home design.
Bennett eventually settled back in New York where his reputation earned him some of the day's most affluent clients: David Rockefeller and Chase Manhattan Bank, Tiffany & Co., Sasaki, Italian industrialist Gianni Agnelli and Rolling Stone founder Jann Wenner. Former President Lyndon Johnson asked Bennett to design a chair for his presidential library that would be "a cross between a barroom chair and a courtroom chair with a little Western saddle."
Simplicity and comfort were always his goals and Bennett says he learned a great deal about lumbar support, the importance of chair arms, and designing the right "pitch". Ward Bennett designed more than 150 chairs in his lifetime.
Bennett, who died in 2003, is considered the first American to use industrial materials for home furnishings, well before the high-tech look of the 1970s became popular. He was hailed by the American Institute of Architects for "transforming industrial hardware into sublime objects." Many of Bennett's designs are in the Museum of Modern Art's permanent collection as well as in the Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum; he is also in Interior Design magazine's Hall of Fame.View other products by Ward Bennett