Herman Miller Sayl Chair
Inspired by suspension bridges—structures that deliver the most using the least material—Sayl’s 3D Intelligent® back lets you stretch and move, striking a healthy balance between support and freedom. The elastomer strands vary in thickness and tension to provide greater support along the spine where you need it most, and less everywhere else so you are free to move.
"The best for the most for the least"
Beauty, Elegance, Respect
We like working with designer Yves Béhar, who designed our Leaf and Ardea personal lights. We like the way he thinks unframed, never constrained by what's expected or typical.
So we went to him when we wanted a highly affordable ergonomic work chair that would incorporate everything Herman Miller is known for—beautiful design, first-class ergonomics, elegant engineering, and respect for the environment. Béhar began by scratching a quote from Charles Eames onto his sketchpad: "The best for the most for the least." And then Béhar, who calls San Francisco home, took a look at his city's best-known landmark: the Golden Gate Bridge.
So there was the concept. Creating the actual chair wasn't quite that simple. Sayl wasn't designed on a computer. It was sketched and sketched again, and numerous prototypes were built and rejected before the design was right. He describes the process as "draw, build, break, and repeat until you arrive at something unique."
So why the name "Sayl?" Take a look at the chair from the side. See the resemblance to a full mainsail? The name reflects the sailing vessels that pass beneath the bridge that inspired the original design. Replacing the "i" in "Sail" with a "y" is a nod to the innovative Y-Tower structure of the work chair.
Suspending a Chair
Béhar wondered, could the engineering principles of a suspension bridge be applied to a chair? It turned out that not only was it possible, but using a suspension tower to support an unframed back would reduce materials, weight, and environmental impact. The flexible elastomer suspension material could be stretched in a way that provided the greatest tension at points where support is needed and the least in areas that would allow for the most expansive range of motion.
Fewer parts, less material, and still everything