Forget everything you know about desk design with this re-introduction of a classic.
September 8th, 2022
The mark of good design is longevity. Pieces that endure over years, transcending trends and design movements to take their place amongst the classics. Herman Miller has perfected the art of good design over their century of operation, where longevity has been born out of design concepts that carefully balance performance with appearance.
The latest in Herman Miller’s line of classics is the re-release of Ratio: the next generation of adaptive work solutions. Offering sit-to-stand capabilities and flexibility in design, Ratio has been created in response to the new demands of office spaces, where dynamism is an imperative and comfort is key. Reflecting Herman Miller’s intuitive understanding of market needs, Ratio delivers on all the pressure points work environments are facing – adaptability, choice, ergonomics and wellbeing – to offer a desk that has all the makings of a new-age classic.
For Herman Miller, Ratio is the perfect response to the so-called “post-covid” workplace, where the move to hybrid working has shifted offices from static to flux, with different teams occupying spaces in different ways and – more than likely – on different days. This kind of distributed work demands a level of flexibility which is difficult to find in products that haven’t been designed purely for that purpose.
So when it comes to flexibility, Ratio promises to deliver with the introduction of new features and additional customisation options.
In a departure from standard desk designs, this new evolution of Ratio allows for a selection between round or rectangular legs, with additional mobility options of casters and sliders available depending on configuration. The modern touch of rounded desk legs introduces a new feel to the classic sit-to-stand, with an in-house designed umbilical cord providing under-desk cable storage that only adds to the open, contemporary feel.
While the variability in leg designs will have workplace designers excited, new colour options raise the stakes, bringing a playful feel to the corporate world. The new Ratio comes in nine distinctive frame colourways including Studio White, Folkstone Grey, Glacier and Canyon, and even more options for the desk surface in either laminate or melamine. Colours can be used on their own or mix and matched, with monotone or dual tone leg options introducing even more colour combinations.
Colour options expand even further with the addition of Ambit Workplace Solutions, where the compatible screens and under-desk storage bring more options for expression and experimentation. These colours can now be carried through to other pieces in Herman Miller’s workplace collection to create a continuous design aesthetic. Applicable to pieces including the Cosm and Zeph task chair collections, Byne Workstation System, OE1 Workspace Collection and more, this new approach to colour application means you can create a seamless fitout from Herman Miller’s range of classics.
While we see plenty of research on the effects of sit-to-stand on overall health, we’re only just seeing the periphery of studies on colour and workplace design on employee wellbeing. From calm and zen environments, to spaces that foster creativity and inspiration, colour is a tool that we’re only just beginning to harness in corporate environments, and their introduction marks a future of workplace design which shifts from the standard to the exceptional: creating spaces where employees can come to feel part of something.
On a more micro level, Ratio is engineered to respond to changing visitor numbers and organisational needs, giving the user the power to work their own way. With one-touch electric controls, Ratio makes the transition from sitting to standing easier than ever, allowing users to choose how they move and when. Programmable pre-sets mean regular users can have their preferred position at the touch of a button, while employers can adapt the look of the desk with the option of mounting the controls on the front edge or integrating them into the desk surface.
Screen configurations can also be adapted to suit the needs of the employee, with 1, 2 and 3 sided screens can be installed in varying heights. Whether sitting or standing, collaborating or focusing, hot-desking or assigned seating – Ratio brings true flexibility to a classic design.
In its purest essence, Ratio speaks to Herman Miller’s long history of facilitating alternative working postures. Since 1960, they’ve been ahead of the sit-to-stand game, creating products that prioritise health and personal choice. And while other brands have started to deliver on high-adjustable solutions, Herman Miller has stayed ahead of the curve, with Ratio just the latest in a line of products that are recreating the standards for premium office furniture.
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