The Green Vanguard: U is for USM

Designed by Paul Schärer and Fritz Haller

Though ecofriendly materials and production methods are crucial for new products, the truth is that the most sustainable design may be the one you keep the longest. A perfect case in point: USM’s Haller line, a modular shelving-and-storage system created in 1963 by Paul Schärer, an engineer, and Fritz Haller, an architect. Its chromed steel tubes and powder-coated metal panels permit multiple configurations and applications, so the furniture can be used for decades instead of being replaced after a few years. The recent revival of three colors from USM’s archives—autumnal orange, brown, and beige from the 1970s—makes the collection all the more versatile.

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