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Herman Miller's Award Winning SAYL Chair Makes NeoCon Debut

June 10, 2011

The Herman Miller SAYL task and guest chairs make their first NeoCon appearance at the Merchandise Mart in Chicago, June 13-15 2011. First released in the fall of 2010, SAYL's unique design and Eco-Dematerialised approach have helped it achieve MBDC Cradle-to-Cradle Silver, BIFMA level 2 and GREENGUARD certifications, as well as recognition as the Product Design of the Year in the 2010 International Design Awards (IDA).

SAYL Chairs product page

Designed by Yves Béhar, founder of fuseproject, SAYL was inspired by his observations of the way the Golden Gate Bridge, near Béhar's San Francisco home, carries tremendous loads in an artful, beautiful form. This began the search for SAYL with a question: Can the same principles that are used to suspend a bridge over water be applied to a chair? His goal was to enable an unprecedented sense of freedom for the sitter in a design that delivers the most comfort with the least materials.

Béhar is known for tackling big challenges and pushing the boundaries of technology and design in a cost efficient way. Working together with Béhar's Eco-Dematerialised approach, using sustainable materials in inventive ways to minimize mass wherever possible, Herman Miller was able able to take away unnecessary material while ensuring that SAYL delivers the right support at a modest price.

SAYL is the first chair with a 3D Intelligent suspension back. This full-suspension back is literally frameless, offering no hard edges. Freed from a rigid exterior frame, the back suspends and supports much like the principles of the suspension bridge that inspired it. This lets the chair adapt to a person's unique shape and movements.

Different degrees of tension are infused directly into the injection-molded back's proprietary material, providing sacral, lumbar and spine support combined with 'hinge points' located at strategic junctures, providing support that's similar to Herman Miller's PostureFit innovation for its Aeron chair. This 3-dimensional intelligence lets the chair adapt to a person?s shape and movements, giving proper support all the while.

"The SAYL back supports the transition area from the thorax to the lumbar and again between the thorax and the sacrum," said Bill Dowell, Herman Miller Corporate Ergonomist. "The area in between is allowed to flex and adapt to each individual's spine. The 3-D Intelligent suspension back, and a similar mechanism under the upholstery in the foam back chair, ensure the support is there."

Two inventions make this support possible in the chair's suspension back. The ArcSpan seat base anchors the suspension material at the underside of the chair's back. It does so independent of the base and the chair's tilt mechanism. At the top of the chair, the Y-Tower structure suspends the back material.

The arc of the chair's suspension back also gives SAYL its unique, organic shape. An elegant form that easily slips into any space and complements the objects around it, SAYL offers choices for models, features, and colors that let people express their personal tastes. A large number of options for customization enable the versatile, coordinated SAYL family to meet the needs of residential and large-scale commercial spaces alike.

About Herman Miller, Inc.
Herman Miller works for a better world around you—with inventive designs, technologies and related services that improve the human experience wherever people work, heal, learn, and live. Its curiosity, ingenuity, and design excellence create award-winning products and services, resulting in more than $1.3 billion in revenue in fiscal 2010. Innovative business practices and a commitment to social responsibility have also established Herman Miller as a recognized global company. In 2011, Herman Miller again received the Human Rights Campaign (HRC) Foundation's top rating in its annual Corporate Equality Index and was also cited by FORTUNE as the "Most Admired" company in the contract furniture industry. Herman Miller trades on the NASDAQ Global Select Market under the symbol MLHR.

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