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Mid-century modern at the Sydney International Film Festival

Mid-century modern at the Sydney International Film Festival


Above image taken from Mad Men, courtesy www.fastcodesign.com

Founded in 1905, Herman Miller has been instrumental in defining Western furniture design during the twentieth century. Alongside a prolific output with works by iconic designers, Herman Miller has steadily become part of the collective design consciousness through product appearances in myriad films and TV s­hows, with pieces making cameos in James Bond films, and US drama Mad Men.

In celebration of their impressive longstanding relationship with film and TV, Herman Miller, in collaboration with the Sydney International Film Festival (SIFF) will unveil their newest additions and classic pieces of the Herman Miller Collection in the VIP Herman Miller Lounge at the festival hub in Sydney’s historic Lower Town Hall.

Reinvigorated and refreshed, the Herman Miller collection is a comprehensive portfolio of stylish furniture that is comfortable and well suited for a variety of settings. Drawing on underlying principals first defined in the company’s 1948 catalogue by George Nelson, each piece combines coherently with others in the range, enabling “the continuing creation of a permanent collection designed to meet fully the requirements for modern living.”

A favourite with film directors and production teams, Herman Miller pieces can be found in many popular film and TV franchises, from Frasier to The Hunger Games series. Some of the most popular pieces featured in film and TV franchises being created by Charles and Ray Eames, with the Eames Lounge and ottoman being one of the most recognised and featured furniture pieces on film.


The Emmy Award wining series Mad Men is highly regarded for its period accuracy in terms of set design, with classic Herman Miller products featured throughout. Pieces by iconic designers Isamu Noguchi and Charles & Ray Eames, featured throughout the series, saw a 60 percent increase in sales. Herman Miller’s mid-century aesthetic was a perfect fit for the offices of Mad Men, with set decorator Claudette Didul-Mann in close consultation with Herman Miller to achieve production that remains true to the era. A 1956 advertisement for “the living room in your office” from Herman Miller declared, “an office isn’t just an office. It’s a conference room, a living room, and a library too. The furniture, therefore, must be as flexible as the functions it performs.” A statement that speaks of the growing need for multi-functionality in the post-war period.

Living Edge, the national retailer for Herman Miller and leading Australian supplier of premium international furniture ranges, will present the Herman Miller Collection Lounge at this year’s SIFF. Visitors to the lounge will find themselves in a “mid-century modernist paradise of stunning design and furniture that is as comfortable as it is beautiful”. Fans of the iconic TV series Mad Men will feel right at home, with many Herman Miller pieces featured also being found on set. The Herman Miller Collection Lounge will showcase iconic pieces such as the Eames Lounge and Ottoman, as well as new additions to the range including; the Eames Shell Chair and the Wireframe Sofa by Sam Hecht and Kim Collin.

The Sydney International Film Festival and the Herman Miller Collection Lounge will be on display from 3 – 14 June. Purchase tickets from www.sff.org.au

Want to read more on the relationship between film and furniture design? Check out our piece on indie director Wes Anderson’s foray into hospitality interior design for a café in Milan for Prada.

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