AIS Expands Design Department to Help Dealers

Some of the AIS Design Department team work on a project for a dealer-partner

AIS’s comprehensive design services can help dealers through all steps of the sales process, from specification through installation.

AIS Director of Design Michael MacLean

AIS, a leading manufacturer of commercial office furniture and seating, is expanding its Design Department to provide comprehensive design services to dealers and customers across North America and beyond, wherever AIS products are specified.

Director of Design Michael MacLean joined AIS in January to lead all department programs. MacLean brings 25 years of experience working with multiple manufacturers at the dealer level as well as specialties in industrial design and technology integration.

Over the past few months, the department has hired two new designers with a combined 25-plus years of experience. They bring a broad-based skillset with a focus on designing corporate and educational interiors.

The team also includes 14 members based at AIS headquarters in Leominster, Massachusetts, as well as in New York City, Chicago and across the country.

The Design Department is rooted in AIS’s dealer-centric focus.

“AIS never stops focusing on our dealers, and our team is here to help them at every step as partners in the design process,” AIS President Nick Haritos said.

Over the past five years, AIS has significantly broadened its portfolio, introducing many new products and enhancing existing ones. Just this May, AIS expanded its seating, tables and accessories product offerings with the Essex™ Task Chair, Revere™ Task Chair, O Leg for Systems and Private Offices, Disc base for Day-to-Day® Tables and Tri-Wheel Mobile Divider with Lexan Channel Screen. A number of new products were introduced during the height of the pandemic in 2020 – some of which were specifically designed to adapt to social-distancing requirements and evolving workplace needs.

Over the past year, AIS also has launched or expanded its Colors, Materials and Finishes (CMF), Divi Fast Track and Quick Ship programs.

“With more products and programs to become familiar with, dealer-designers are under increased pressure to learn what’s available to their customers,” MacLean said. “We’re here to make it simple and stress-free for them by providing design support and an array of resources – and, over the past few months, we’ve elevated our design offerings by providing renderings of typicals with our products.”

AIS’s expanding design capabilities include the design team that’s just a phone or video call away. With staff in locations across the United States, AIS designers can help in any time zone.

AIS also has permanent product showrooms at its headquarters as well as in major U.S. cities, with onsite team members who can assist with product selection. AIS significantly expanded the headquarters showroom in 2020; the two-story space includes the breadth of the AIS product line as well as refreshed displays and a Colors/Materials/Finishes center. The company renovated its showrooms in New York City and Washington, D.C., in 2018 and expanded its Chicago showroom in 2019.

AIS also offers online design resources on its recently revamped website – an Image Library at Idea Starters at design team can help dealers navigate these resources and the myriad options within.

A year ago, AIS launched another resource for dealers – a CET Extension with AIS products. CET is intelligent space-planning software that simplifies the specifying and selling of products with 2D and 3D design, a project collaboration tool, photorealistic renderings, fly-thru videos, virtual and augmented reality experiences, instant pricing, parts lists and installation documents. In addition to CET, AIS supports 2020 Cap, 2020 Giza and ProjectMatrix software tools.

Many designers at dealerships rely on these resources, but AIS’s Design Department can help with them.

“Our design team is here to play an integral role – not only in high-level ideation but also with specific design assistance by placing products into these software tools,” MacLean said.

The software solutions can be found at

To learn more about AIS, visit

AIS Design Department team members collaborate on a project
An AIS Design Department team member works on a layout for a customer


AIS, headquartered in Leominster, Massachusetts, is a leading North American manufacturer of commercial office furniture and boasts one of the most impressive stories of growth and success in the furniture industry. Founded in 1989, the company whose sales now exceed $200 million annually is known for offering market-relevant, feature-rich product lines that entice designers and support the diverse needs of end-users while offering exceptional value. AIS is an innovator that leads the industry in sustainable lean manufacturing, lead-time performance and manufacturing flexibility. AIS’s BIFMA-compliant products meet or exceed industry standards for safety and durability. Products also are SCS Indoor Advantage™ Gold certified. The company’s Leominster headquarters and manufacturing facility boast a rooftop of more than 10,000 solar panels, returning 50 percent or more of energy used to the power grid. AIS has permanent showrooms at its Leominster headquarters and in Chicago, New York City and Washington, D.C. With these and other locations across the U.S., the company has over 1 million square feet of office, showroom and factory space. AIS’s more than 800 employees represent over 30 countries around the world and make AIS one of the largest and most diverse employers in central Massachusetts. Over the past five years, AIS has created more jobs in the region than any other company. AIS and its employees also lead in giving back to their communities; the Boston Business Journal has recognized AIS with its Corporate Citizenship Award since 2019. For more information, visit