VP of Design Herman Miller

Franco Lodato is the new VP of Design for Herman Miller, this was recently announced. Franco’s has been with Motorola iDEN for 6+ years and prior with Gillette. Look forward to amazing technology products from Herman Miller and a shift in furniture design overall.

shameless self-promotion…or…major ass-licker

Wow… incredibly surprised to see uneducated people respond in this manner, what a shame and a waist of time.

Franco who???


why would hiring a motorola designer make you think that herman miller would be getting into technology products?

does anyone have examples of things franco had a hand in in the past? interesting to see how a consumer products designer/manager can transition to furniture industry…

Thought this was an interesting post, but it doesn’t seem to be going anywhere, so here’s a little info I just dug up…

Herman Miller Tech Product, just released…

Franco was iDEN’s Design Director for most, if not all, of the past 6 years. The iDEN group is responsible for all Nextel phones, so I think it’s safe to say he had a hand in just about everything that has been launched during that 6 year time period.

iDEN design:


I’d say HM is in for a period of bad design then. Those Nextel phones are probably the ugliest things I’ve seen in years when it comes to mobile phone design.

Product design is more than just look and feel. Those phones could very well have ended up looking that way due to the way users/consumers wanted them to look based on focus group and design research.

An important thing to keep in mind is that a VP of design is not necessarily an art director, but key in making decisions about business direction and it says something about the investment a company makes towards good design practices.

Additional products by Lodato…not so bad.

iDEN has used Frog (where those wearable concepts came from ) and IDEO in the past and more recently they’ve worked with Pininfarina Extra - www.extra.pininfarina.it/

The Ferrari Phone

The Baby Phat Phone

Maybe this should be moved to a different forum?


Why is it that only the Nextel phones look this way then? You telling me that the remaining 95% of phones out there aren’t well designed? I find it hard to believe that Nextel customers are such a different demographic from the rest of the mobile phone world…

it’s about innovative thinking. do you actually think phones and technology is the limit of lodato’s thinking? that was retorical. he’s an innovator and that’s what franco is for herman miller. the furniture industry gives him a new platform to be creative and innovative within.

The man will clearly author an innovative agenda at HM, pushing a technology-based approach focused on human interface. His reliance on bionic/biomimetic design principles and processes will only strengthen his position there and give new product development a stable foundation for success.

If this breakdown of Mr. Lodato’s thought process is any indication of what the future holds, Herman Miller is in for a period of renewed thinking and great design. I think it was a very positive hire.

to ny design guy. or what ever, i suppose you are an expert on all things design.

again, typical of most on these boards. assumptions and arrogance.
you put words in my mouth and you didn’t even address the issue i raised.
learn to argue please.

besides that, those phones could have been based on a difficult hardware platform that made it even harder to develop ‘sleek’ or modern and avoid bulky looking forms simply due to the shear size of the internals. Then, couple that with somewhat conservative thinking in harwdare development and architecture and you are left with polishing a turd. That is what 95% of real world ID is about. making something you know will look like shit look good becasue you don’t have the HW firepower behind you.

again, please remember that ID is more than what you learned in school.

it’s sometimes about the aggreed upon design polemic, the marketing and sometimes what you end up doing when the boss isn’t looking.

I honestly thought that a year later, this thread would be revived because of the launch of Leaf at ICFF.

Instead, beesign seems disturbed about something I wrote almost year ago. It would be one thing if I were critiquing your work, but instead you are defending home half ass design work with no major market appeal or financial success. So, who has the big, bruised ego here?

In the meantime, Moto/Ed Zander have been innovating and making tons of money worldwide with product like the SLVR, RAZR and Q making this discussion about obscure Nextel phones mute.

Nextel phones are usually corporate account phones- For example, All guys on a construction management crew for US-home are stuck with a nextel phone.

Since office furnature is a line item in the budget, maybe Franco is perfect for the job? He knows how corporations open their wallets.

I guess this means we can now expect Herman Miller to start making the most radioactive furniture in the industry.