Well to start off the teacher series of Inspired by Design please read the student article that accompanies this post – and please watch the excellent video as well. The video is a great starter to use with your students – at the beginning of the class to get some discussion around design and furniture design in particular. You could as I suggested to the students focus on the design of one of the classic chairs they have been responsible for producing and highlight the process, the design, the materials and the manufacturing process in more detail as part of the discussion.
The Herman Miller website itself has many fabulous resources that can help with the design of small internal assessments or link to specific areas of the syllabus. For example there is a fabulous section on materials – that looks at each of their product designs and links and explains the materials that are present. Most of their designs are available as freely downloadable CAD models!
There is also a great section on Ergonomics – with many great articles that could inspire design based projects for Topic 6.1 based around ergonomics – such as the new range of standing style desks?