Michael Welsh

A sea kayaker who finds inspiration in nature, Michael Welsh leads Haworth’s Seating Studio with the sole purpose of improving people’s lives at work and at home. Born in Cincinnati, he attended The Ohio State University, where he graduated with a B.S. in Industrial Design. 

Michael Welsh

A sea kayaker who finds inspiration in nature, Michael Welsh leads Haworth’s Seating Studio with the sole purpose of improving people’s lives at work and at home. Born in Cincinnati, he attended The Ohio State University, where he graduated with a B.S. in Industrial Design. 

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Michael’s professional career began as a designer in a small consultancy, creating consumer electronics, exhibits, and furniture. His debut in the contract furniture industry led him to explore desking, storage, and, lighting. Michael then gravitated toward design of the “mini-environment”—the spaces where the human-product interface is more intimate. At its core is the chair, where he discovered his passion for supporting seated postures. Like the kayak, the chair is a natural extension of the body, requiring different postures depending on the user’s purpose.

Michael’s design approach balances the complexity of performance with simplicity in design that makes seating feel natural. Since joining Haworth, Michael was lead designer for the Zody® chair, collaborating with Germany’s ITO Design. Then he moved on to lead the design of the Very® task chair, the Very multipurpose family, Shetland lounge seating, and the revolutionary Fern™ seating program. Michael is driven to create life-enriching designs that provide a more human, natural, and desired experience.

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