April 07, 2005 11:10 ET

"Extreme Textiles" Exhibition at Cooper-Hewitt, National Design Museum features KVA's Smart Textile Wall and Herman Miller's Viaro Infrastructure

The First Museum Exhibition Devoted to Technical Textiles Examines the Broad Spectrum of Contemporary Design through the Lens of Textile Fibers and Structures

NEW YORK, NY -- (MARKET WIRE) -- April 7, 2005 -- Sheila Kennedy and the design team at Kennedy & Violich Architecture, Ltd. (KVA), along with Viaro, a Herman Miller company, today announced the inclusion of the Zip Room -- a smart textile wall system installed with Viaro infrastructure -- within the "Extreme Textiles: Designing for High Performance" exhibition at Smithsonian's Cooper-Hewitt, National Design Museum.

The Zip Room demonstrates a new space making concept that uses digital design, manufacturing, and business paradigms to create versatile and responsive textile architecture products that are sustainable, strong, lightweight, and easy to ship and install. The Zip Room's flexible structural system combines a non-woven 100% recycled paper honeycomb core with a flexible 3-D knit textile cladding of PET polyester and elastomer with optical coatings.

The ZIP ROOM demonstrates the convergence of architecture and low voltage electrical infrastructure in a textile cladding that integrates energy efficient, light emitting semi-conductor technologies. The Zip Room design combines physical flexibility of form with flexible control of digital technologies. The Viaro infrastructure enables users to change and reconfigure the lighting, translucency and color of Zip Room walls without electrical rewiring or renovations. Viaro Infrastructure is a new technological innovation conceived for Herman Miller, Inc. by Sheila Kennedy of KVA and Danny Hillis and Bran Ferren of Applied Minds, Inc.

"The Zip Room creates an adaptive and responsive approach to the use of space that offers an alternative to change by demolition. With the Zip Room, architects and designers can envision a spatial environment with unprecedented flexibility that comes from design with high performance materials and integrated digital communication networks," said KVA founder, Sheila Kennedy. "With flexible photo-voltaics and polymer batteries, digital light can be harvested, stored and carried in textiles. Textiles can become radically sustainable forms of flexible infrastructure that shift the boundaries between traditional walls and utilities."

"Extreme Textiles: Designing for High Performance" is the first museum exhibition devoted to the subject of technical textiles. The exhibition, curated by Matilda McQuaid, Exhibitions Curator and Head of Cooper-Hewitt's Textiles department, will present over 150 extreme textile applications from a wide range of areas, including architecture, apparel, medicine, transportation, aerospace, and the environment. "Extreme Textiles: Designing for High Performance" was organized by the Smithsonian Institution's Cooper-Hewitt, National Design Museum. Zip Room materials were provided by Viaro, Milliken, Inc. and Osram Sylvania, Inc.

"Extreme Textiles: Designing for High Performance" exhibit will be on view from April 8 - October 30, 2005 at Cooper-Hewitt, National Design Museum in New York City.

About KVA

Founded by principals Sheila Kennedy and Juan Frano Violich Kennedy & Violich Architecture, Ltd. (KVA) is an interdisciplinary design practice that explores new relationships between architecture, technology and emerging public needs. MATx, the firm's material research unit works with business leaders, manufacturers, material scientists, engineers and public agencies to design and realize transformative applications for sustainable digital technologies in architecture, building materials and textiles. KVA projects have been recognized by National Design Excellence Awards from the American Institute of Architecture, Industrial Design Excellence Awards, Progressive Architecture Awards and the Public Work Award of the National Endowment for the Arts. For additional information visit:

About Viaro

Viaro, a Herman Miller company, contributes to the evolution of interior space design by combining design expertise and technology to meet changing functional, cultural and economic demands. Founded in 2004, Viaro provides a community of designers, architects, builders, consultants and manufacturers with the ability to create a responsive infrastructure, allowing unprecedented insight and control over physical environments. The modular, mobile and programmable Viaro infrastructure provides a means for effectively adapting and changing building interiors as needs change over time. For additional information visit:

About Herman Miller

Herman Miller helps create great places to work by researching, designing, manufacturing, and distributing innovative interior furnishings that support companies, organizations, and individuals all over the world. The company's award-winning products, complemented by furniture-management and strategic consulting services, generated $1.34 billion in revenue during fiscal 2004. Herman Miller is widely recognized both for its innovative products and business practices. In fiscal 2004 Herman Miller was named recipient of the prestigious National Design Award for product design from the Smithsonian Institution's Cooper-Hewitt, National Design Museum and was again included in Business Ethics magazine's "100 Best Corporate Citizens." In the current year the company has been named to the Dow Jones Global Sustainability Index and was again cited by Fortune magazine as the "Most Admired" company in its industry in the annual survey of industry executives and analysts. The company trades on the NASDAQ stock market under the symbol MLHR. For additional information visit:

Contact Information