Gilbert Rohde

Hermin Miller's first modern designer

around 1894
around 1944
Birth Place
New York, New York, United States of America
Current Place
United States of America


Gilbert Rohde , whose career as a furniture and industrial designer helped to define American modernism during its first phase from the late 1920s to World War II, is best known today for inaugurating modern design at Herman Miller Inc. Gilbert Rohde was the first New Yorker to change the course of what was, through the first three decades of the 20th century, a small furniture company making period reproductions in western Michigan. Under Rohde’s direction, Herman Miller gave up copying traditional designs and instead brought Rohde’s sophisticated brand of people-centered modernism to life. In 1942, just a few short years after fully embracing Rohde’s vision, Herman Miller’s New York showroom alone had eclipsed the company’s national sales goals.

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