Started in 1885, USM was founded by Ulrich Schaerer as a metalworking and locksmith’s business in Munsingen, Switzerland. They began from specializing in window fittings, ornament hinges, and precision-machined sheet steel. Paul Schaerer, the Schaerer’s third generation, joined the company in 1961. As an engineering graduate, he was determined to update the business by commissioning the architect Fritz Haller who is expertise in flexible construction system. He is well known for his three-construction system; MINI, MIDI and MAXI. These three systems use various sizes of steel modules which can increase or decrease depends on the requirements. Haller’s flexible construction concept fit perfectly with Pual Schaere’s ambition. The new USM factory was designed by Fritz Haller in 1965, then the office pavilion and Paul’s own house, in a MAXI, MIDI and MINI, respectively. Pual Schaere was not satisfied with the furiniture in the market, so he and Fritz Haller developed the modular furniture system to be adaptable when it is needed. To meet the diverse need, they sought out the elegance and ingenious ball joint. In 1989, USM launched their new product, a height adjustable desks and tables.
Through the last decades of twentieth century, USM has spread the wings throughout the world and become an icon of modern design later when it was permanently exhibits in the Museum of Modern Art (MOMA) in New York. In 2007, USM was the first European products to meet Greenguard’s rigorous standard due to their products has low chemical and particle emission consequently, help to reduce indoor air pollution.