We have some of the Herman Miller lines on our state contract and use their products in a lot of projects, including some recent ones like the UO Portland Library & Learning Commons. You are correct that it is not cheap, but furniture in a student lab environment takes a horrendous beating and it is worth it to get the good stuff. Back in the mid-90s, we didn't have as many options and wound up with some low-bid state contract chairs for a 92-station lab in the main library, a facility that was almost always packed with users from 8 am - midnight. The chairs had a 10-year warranty but almost all of them were dead after 3-4 years, and by then the company was out of business. We replaced them with HM Equa task chairs and most of them are still going strong.
Here's an alternative that is worth a look:
Kinnarps is a major Swedish company with their US headquarters in Lake Oswego, Oregon. A couple of years ago, we replaced all of our Science Library furniture with Kinnarps products, and they are excellent in terms of design, ergonomics, and quality control. For an article about this project and a few photos, see
(look at p 4 - 5). They had some fairly aggressive pricing at the time, but the dollar/euro exchange rate was better then so YMMV.
Feel free to give me a call or e-mail offlist if you want more details on these projects. Better yet, catch me at EDUCAUSE if you are going to be there if you are going to be there! All the best,
Andrew R. Bonamici
Associate University Librarian, Instructional Services
University of Oregon Libraries
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On Mon, 13 Oct 2008 20:48:40 -0400, "Parlett-Sweeney, Mary E." <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
> We are hoping to renovate our student multimedia lab later this year and am looking for recommendations for furniture. We are looking for (not surprisingly) flexible furniture for student collaboration with lots of workspace surrounding each workstation. The room will have 10-12 workstations in it (mix of Mac Pro and Intellistations) as well as a number of scanners, digitizing equipment, etc. I've seen some things I like from Herman Miller but don't like the price tag.
> Any suggestions would be appreciated.
> Mary E. Parlett-Sweeney [log in to unmask]
> Director of Academic Computing Phone: (518) 388-6661
> Information Technology Services Fax: (518) 388-6470
> Union College
> Schenectady, NY 12308
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