Good Design is Ingrained in MillerKnoll’s DNA - An Interview with Kartik Shethia


Kartik Shethia leads MillerKnoll’s Contract Sales Teams across Europe, Asia-Pacific, the Middle East and Africa, providing leadership oversight for Colebrook Bosson Saunders and NaughtOne. He plays a pivotal role in expanding MillerKnoll’s collective of brands into new markets.

What defines ‘good design’ for Miller Knoll?

A good design, in general, is related to pleasing aesthetics, but
it is ingrained in MillerKnoll’s DNA to take it beyond. Rooted in the legacy of Herman Miller and Knoll, good design must exude comfort to its users through excellent ergonomics. Environmental friendliness is integral: utilising sustainable materials and increasing recycled content in our products has been a focus of our ongoing research. Ensuring recyclability at the end of their lifecycle is also important. Durability is another significant aspect, emphasising longevity in our products. This philosophy extends to all other brands within our collective.

What sets Miller Knoll apart from other brands?

Our distinctive designs set us apart, complemented by our commitment to preserving the individual identity of each brand within our portfolio. By safeguarding their unique value propositions, we ensure that the brand’s USP is protected and that the purpose of acquiring these brands is not ignored and kept relevant.

Could you tell us in brief what makes the brand earn global appreciation?
The brand’s enduring legacy of consistently delivering exceptional designs for over 100 years has earned global acclaim. In addition, many iconic designs are credited to renowned figures like George Nelson, Florence Knoll, Charles and Ray Eames, Eero Saarinen, Bob Propst, Bill Stumpf, Don Chadwick, and more.

How about the strategy in competing with other brands?

Both Herman Miller and Knoll held individual global recognition as leading furniture design companies. Since the merger, MillerKnoll stands as an unparalleled design leader with a global presence. Our reach extends beyond meeting client needs through an extensive dealer network. It also encompasses robust production support closer to all the key markets, ensuring uninterrupted day- two support for our customers.

Please share about the partnership with RIFYO

Our collaboration with RIFYO commenced a decade ago. Fify and Robert’s enthusiasm ignited our excitement for this partnership. Despite challenges during the pandemic, they swiftly provided us with a boutique space in Jakarta CBD area whilst their flagship project was underway. The completion of their promised showroom design, despite being delayed by the pandemic, is one of their great strengths. It is a testament to our design legacy, something that we all are proud of.

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