Herman Miller Unveils the SAYL Task Chair

Herman Miller Unveils the SAYL Task Chair

Gregory Han
Oct 6, 2010

Several months back at the annual International Contemporary Furniture Fair, Unplggd and the team from Herman Miller discussed the recent proliferation of affordable task seating from the realm of higher end furniture manufacturers; designs like the Herman Miller Setu have been redefining features and expectations at price points previously unheard of.

Soon after, we were given some hints about something special in the works that would further redefine the market of affordable task seating: "…a fully featured task chair with range of features/adjustments and intended as an all-day work seat (unlike Setu) but at a remarkably accessible price (essentially half of a typical Aeron at retail), and with a very cool new aesthetic, new materials, etc." The covers were lifted recently, unveiling the new Yves Béhar designed, SAYL.

Upon first glance from a side view, the Herman Miller SAYL immediately evokes the impression of a suspension bridge. No surprise considering designer Yves Béhar used the architectural form of the Golden Gate Bridge as inspiration for the SAYL design. Behar considered, if a bridge's suspension system can support the load of cars and pedestrians across its expanse, why not apply the same principles in the support of the human body?

Created from a thousand sketches and a final design distilled from over 70 prototypes, the SAYL's full frameless suspension back (ArcSpan) was designed to cradle-support all parts of the human spine, adapting according to everyday movement. The Y-shaped support (Y-Tower) in the middle creates the visual impression of the support system's latticework blooming forth from the base and also seems a playful nod to the designer's first initial, leaving amark on a design we can't wait to test out ourselves.

The SAYL is rated as 93% recyclable and is available as a a 5-star base and upholstered seat with either a suspension or upholstered back or as a side chairs with either a 4 leg or cantilever base and upholstered seat with your choice of suspension, upholstered, or plastic backs. Starting at just $399, Herman Miller is definitely making a strong headway into a consumer price point usually left to the likes of big box home office suppliers, but with future-forward design, a 12 year warranty and an eco-minded design rarely (if ever) seen at this price point. More details at Herman Miller.

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