Herman Miller SAYL Chair

DesignerYves Behar, Bret Recor, Qin Li, Naoya Edahiro, Matt Swinton, Noah Murphy- Reinhertz
Prize1st Place in Home Interior Products / Interior Furniture
Entry Description

SAYL CHAIR The Herman Miller SAYL chair considers ergonomics, material savings, quality, aesthetics and comfort. SAYL makes an iconic statement, while providing known quality at an affordable price point for all. Often task chairs look assembled from a kit of parts. In the design process, we were not building a chair, but growing one, resulting in the creation of a breakthrough task chair that is equally beautiful and ergonomic. By growing a chair, we were able to combine elements and improve efficiency, making everything work harder and smarter. With the suspension technology behind the iconic Golden Gate Bridge as inspiration, we considered what could be taken away from a standard chair, to do more with less. This eco-dematerialised approach sought to remove unnecessary elements while delivering a high level of performance and aesthetics. In completely re-thinking the conceptual and physical design elements of the chair, we created a better, smarter chair that sets a new reference point in its class for performance, quality and appearance. The detailing of every part had two goals: removing as much material as possible and shaping every part to be beautiful, expressive and tactile. The resulting aesthetic reveals structural innovations such as the Y-tower and ArcSpan, critical elements in the functional ergonomics and design aesthetic. One of the main distinguishing elements of SAYL is its full-suspension back that is literally frameless. It is the first of its kind, and has no hard edges. Freed from a rigid exterior frame, the back suspends and supports like the principles of a suspension bridge. Different degrees of tension are infused directly into the injection-molded backs’ proprietary material, providing sacral, lumbar, and spine support. Varying thicknesses allow for support where you need it and flex where you don’t. The 3-dimensional intelligence that this design provides lets the chair adapt to an individual’s shape and movements, supporting them all the while. The arc of the chair’s suspension back also gives SAYL its unique shape. The elegant form easily slips into any space giving a sense of visual lightness and transparency, rather than a status announcing design. With a sense of humility, it attempts to achieve high-tactility design rather than a visual statement. The workplace is not about chairs and what their presence says, it’s about the people who sit in them and the work that they do. With that, SAYL is small in scale, and its dematerialization makes it more transparent in its environment. The process of elimination contributed to the chair’s aesthetics, but also reduced the process’ impact on the earth. The eco-dematerialised approach uses fewer materials in more inventive ways. Producing the chairs on three continents decreases the distance between factory and buyer, reducing both monetary and environmental shipping costs. Chairs ship ready to assemble in half-size boxes, cutting down on waste. All the materials used in production are sustainable and as a result, the SAYL chair is targeted to achieve MBDC Cradle to Cradle Silver, BIFMA level 2 and GREEN GUARD certifications.