USM celebrates its enduring design this Clerkenwell Design Week with an installation that pays homage to its inception in the 1960’s. USM Haller has remained unchanged since 1965 when Professor Fritz Haller designed a modular furniture solution, based on a ball combined with metal tubes, in line with USM Haller’s modular design for USM’s factory and headquarters in Münsingen, Switzerland. 


From Tuesday, 23 May until 25 May 2023 

Open from 09:00 - 18:30

Panel discussion on Wednesday 24 May at 16:00

49-51 Central Street, London, EC1V 8AB

USM’s showroom will feature an installation that looks back to the office of the 60’s, complete with telephones, typewriters, ash trays and whisky glasses. The ‘Mad Men-esque’ set will highlight how much the office has changed in the last 50 years, with just one enduring presence: that of USM. Framing the installation will be images of USM’s original office in 1960’s Switzerland, which again highlights how forward-thinking USM Haller’s design was.

This is not purely a retrospective showcase, USM will also be presenting the changing landscape of the office through its deep dive into the office with the Institute of the Future, resulting in the publication of Office Shock, authored by Joseph Press, Bob Johansen and Christine Bullen. *


The title #OfficeShock was inspired by conversations between the Institute for the Future and USM Modular Furniture. With change deeply rooted in the DNA of the modular furniture system, USM believes the pursuit of anticipating and facilitating future ways of working and living is vitally important, and the company strives to play a proactive role in it.


The panel discussion entitled Office Shock – Creating Better Futures for Working and Living on Wednesday 24 May at 16:00 will include futurist and Office Shock co-author Joseph Press and renowned workplace designer Colin Macgadie along with Ian Weddell from USM. They discuss the future of the office. What future do we envision? What changes are coming next? What shall we do now, to prepare ourselves for uncertain futures? COVID-19, with all its tragic consequences, also created an opportunity to ask this basic question: why do we work in offices at all? The book Office Shock has been praised by ctitics for its timely and insightful analysis of the future of work. It has been described as “a must-read for anyone who wants to understand the changing world of work” and a powerful tool for anyone who wants to create a better future for themselves and their organisation”.

Mirko Mueller, UK USM CEO comments:
“Once again, we are delighted to be participating in Clerkenwell Design Week and are excited to be looking back at USM’s heritage and how and why its design has remained at the forefront of high-end office design, as well as exploring the future of the office with the release of the ground breaking Office Shock book”.
During Clerkenwell Design Week, visitors will be able to enjoy refreshments throughout the three days.   

About the authors


Bob Johansen is a sociologist focused on top leadership in shape-shifting organizations. Joseph Press is a workplace architect, experienced digital transformation advisor and design futurist dedicated to designing better futures. Christine Bullen is an information systems professor who pioneered the critical success factor method and the strategic application of IT to business management. All of the authors are associated with the Institute of the Future. Their new book, Office Shock: Creating Better Futures for Working and Living (Berrett-Koehler Publishers, Jan. 17, 2023), shares how to prepare for the emerging officeverse. Learn more at