The Story of Studio 7.5
In 1992 Burkhard Schmitz, Claudia Plikat, and Carola Zwick started their designing adventure together in Berlin, Germany (later, Roland Zwik would also join their team as partner and engineer). The firm suffered a tremendous loss recently when Claudia Plikat passed away suddenly on October 1. In a letter to dealers, Don Goeman of Herman Miller said that Claudia’s partners described her as their “moral compass” with the “biggest heart and greatest courage.” Don paid tribute to Claudia as a “vital part of Studio 7.5 and a real contributor to Herman Miller. It is difficult to imagine 7.5 without her, and we will all miss her spirit and forthrightness.”
Claudia is shown on the left in the photo below.
The group’s name, Studio 7.5, comes from an early on idea to rent a 7.5-ton truck and set up their shop in it. The thought was that they would then drive from one project to the next keeping their design spirit of moving freely and purposefully alive.
At Studio 7.5 there is an interesting work structure that helps keep their design full of life. That foundation is that everyone can do everything and actually does everything. This idea of a way to work supports curiosity and an open mind to the world and solutions. By approaching design in this light, Studio 7.5 often takes on common materials and uses them in new and innovative ways to create a beautiful and functioning end product.
With their love of designing office furniture, they find that creating office chairs is the most rewarding. Studio 7.5 has created some wonderfully ergonomic and aesthetically fabulous products in working with Herman Miller on the Setu Chair, the award-winning Mirra chair, and its successor the Mirra 2.
At Studio 7.5, their design process and culture is so intrinsic, a strong part of who they are and what they do, which manifests into their final design and end product.
“Good taste is accumulated aesthetic prejudice predominant in a culture. Every groundbreaking new design violates these borders. It is not until some years later those violations are incorporated in the rule set of good taste. In this respect a designer should have no taste.” – Studio 7.5