Made for USM

A Quiet Electrification


14 November 2017

The design itself is understated, but immediately recognisable – a modular system of metal rods, connected together with a chromed ball joint, that nestles a cluster of rectangular glass or coloured metal panels within its framework.

The Haller line by Swiss furniture manufacturer USM was designed by the architect Fritz Haller in 1965. In the proceeding 52 years, it has changed remarkably little. Haller’s design prized flexibility and consistency – inspired by the steel construction system that Haller had employed in his design for USM’s headquarters – and proved so successful in this respect that bar new colours and occasional new components to meet changing storage needs, the design has changed.

For Milan 2017, USM introduced the first major change to the Haller design, launching the Haller E line. The Haller E incorporates lighting into the modular structure, requiring major re-engineering of the system’s chrome ball joints and tubes to accommodate the electronics. The system is cable free, can be extended beyond lighting into any electronic device, and represents the basis upon which USM will now move forward as it adapts to increasingly digitised work spaces.

During the Salone, Disegno was delighted to partner with USM to explore the creation of the Haller E line in a short documentary shot at the USM stand, which was designed this year by architects Atelier Oï. Featuring interviews with Thomas Dienes, USM’s head of product development, and Aurel Aebi, co-founder of Atelier Oï, the film is an exploration of the time and resources that have done into engineering the Haller E platform, as well as the design decisions taken by Atelier Oï in choosing how to present the system to the public.

The Haller E line will be launched in the UK in November, and the system will also be on display at The Vinyl Factory as part of the USM Haller E product launch party on Thursday 16 November. To mark this event, we are delighted to publish Disegno’s documentary exploring the creation of the system.