SOURCE: Continuum


June 23, 2010 09:00 ET

Continuum Designs New Category of Healthcare Furnishings for Herman Miller; Wins a Gold Best of NeoCon Award at the NeoCon World's Trade Fair

Companies Collaborate to Deliver the New Modular Compass Furniture System for Patients and Caregivers That Effortlessly Adjusts to Changing Healthcare Environments

NEWTON, MA--(Marketwire - June 23, 2010) -  Continuum, a global innovation and design consultancy headquartered in Boston, announced today that the company has continued its close collaboration with Herman Miller Healthcare, a division of Herman Miller, Inc., to create a new category of modular furniture for healthcare environments. The new healthcare furniture line, called Compass, is designed to specifically address the needs of those who influence the patient experience. Compass was unveiled last week at the NeoCon World's Trade Fair in Chicago, the premier exhibition for the commercial furnishings, and received top honors as a Gold Best of NeoCon Award in the Healthcare Furnishings category.

"Continuum and Herman Miller have a long-standing relationship reinventing the healthcare experience and we began working on the Compass line soon after we launched Herman Miller's award-winning Nala patient room chair in 2008," said Continuum President and Chief Design Officer Gianfranco Zaccai. "We created Compass because we saw a great need for healthcare furnishings that addressed the most pressing needs and priorities of patient caregivers. In addition to providing patient and family comfort, caregivers wanted furnishings that could adapt to change. They wanted furniture that could effortlessly accommodate changes in technology, offer healthcare-appropriate functionality, and support efficiency."

Over the course of more than two years, Herman Miller and Continuum interviewed and observed more than 550 individuals -- from nurse managers to hospital administrators -- to identify the four primary needs of the dynamic healthcare environment and gather the intelligence necessary to create the new furniture system. To watch a preview of Compass, go to

"Our research made it quite clear that existing healthcare furnishings weren't meeting the constantly changing landscape of healthcare spaces," says Beth Nickels, President, Herman Miller Healthcare. "Our solution is Compass, which offers unexpected levels of flexibility for healthcare environments of all sizes through innovative structural, surface and storage components. With Compass, the healthcare community can now improve the functional and aesthetic requirements of patient-care interiors, while also improving organizational efficiency, quality of care and delivery, and the process of planning, installing and modifying spaces as new technologies are introduced or the functions of facilities change."

Compass' Innovative Design
The Compass System is based on a rail system that mounts to any wall without any wall preparation. Beyond its visual appeal, Compass provides an array of benefits that contribute to improving the experience of working, visiting and healing:

  • Infection Prevention: Its innovative sink and faucet design reduces splashing -- a major contributor to the spread of infection -- while its combination of seamless, wrapped surfaces and overlapping tiles minimize the potential for liquids to seep into unseen areas.
  • Greater Cleanability: With Compass intentionally designed to be raised off the floor, the room can be cleaned quickly and thoroughly. The added space also maximizes the feeling of openness -- a critical consideration in the context of increasingly smaller healthcare spaces.
  • Flexibility and Sustainability: A necessity in today's healthcare environment, Compass' ability to be easily assembled, disassembled, reconfigured and refreshed affords healthcare organizations the opportunity to implement ongoing workflow and efficiency improvements without room demolition or care interruption.

Available in a palette featuring a range of options suited for traditional or contemporary healthcare settings, the Compass System's tiles, components and shelves are available in eight standard, 99.9 percent PVC-free Durawrap finishes, including woodgrain and solid finishes. Additionally, an extensive customization program offers specifiers the ability to select the ideal color and pattern. Work surfaces are available in 15 Corian colors and with the option of integrated backsplashes to support cleanability.

Compass was developed according to Herman Miller's industry-leading Design for the Environment protocol, which emphasizes recyclability of materials, recycled content and ease of disassembly. It is up to 37 percent recyclable and contains up to 58 percent recycled content. Compass carries a 12-year warranty and will be available September 1, 2010.

The gold medalist Compass system remains on display in Herman Miller's healthcare showroom (#330) following the conclusion of NeoCon 2010.

About the Best of NeoCon Awards
The annual Best of NeoCon Awards for product is juried by interior design and real estate management professionals. Now in their 21st year, the awards are sponsored and organized by the International Interior Design Association, the International Facility Management Association, Contract magazine, the McMorrow Report and Merchandise Mart Properties, Inc.

About Continuum
As a global innovation design consultancy Continuum designs experiences that improve people's lives and drive business innovation. Based on in-depth consumer research, rigorous analysis of clients' business challenges and inspired creativity, we identify opportunities for innovation, create new products and services, and design new ways to communicate brands. Since 1983, Continuum has worked with companies worldwide including AllSteel, American Express, Procter and Gamble, Master Lock, Samsung, and Staples. Continuum has offices in Boston, Los Angeles, Milan, Seoul and Shanghai.

About Herman Miller Healthcare
Herman Miller Healthcare delivers thoughtful applications to healthcare environments for the well-being and comfort of staff, patients, and their families. Its network of clinical strategists, clinical designers, and sales professionals provides research-based, problem-solving solutions to improve working and healing. Herman Miller Healthcare is a charter member of the Health Facility Institute, a sustaining member of the Coalition for Health Environments Research, and a Research Partner with the Center for Health Design. Herman Miller Healthcare is a division of Herman Miller, Inc.

Contact Information

  • Media Contacts:
    Jill Monahan
    Tier One Partners
    P: 484.244.5300
    E: Email Contact

    Mark Schurman
    Herman Miller, Inc.
    P: 616.654.5498
    E: Email Contact