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Related Designs

A Chair Can Be Unframed

Explore the Sayl design process from inspiration to final product.
Experience Sayl

  • Industrial Designers Society of America (IDSA) awards the Sayl side chair a Bronze Industrial Design Excellence Award (IDEA) in the category of Office and Productivity.
    2012
  • Industrial Designers Society of America (IDSA) awards a Silver Industrial Design Excellence Award (IDEA) to the Sayl family of seating.
    2011
  • Sayl chair wins Reader's Choice award in TreeHugger's Best of Green: Design and Architecture category.
    2011
  • Sayl chair named "Product Design of the Year" by the 2010 International Design Awards (IDA) jury.
    2010

What's In It For You

Sayl Side Chair

Product Story

Sayl side chairs can move seamlessly from conference to work group and back again. They have been designed to take up less visual space, and you can stack the 4-leg version up to four high for easy storage. Lots of options—back, base, arms, colors. Elegant styling at an attainable price.

Design Your Own Side Chair

Get the side chair that looks right and works right for you. You can have a chair with a 4-leg base and glides or casters, with or without arms. Or choose a chair with a cantilever base with or without arms. You can have a suspension similar to the 3D Intelligent suspension back on the work chair, or a familiar upholstered back.

Sayl side chairs are available in a wide array of classic and expressive back and seat colors, so you can have a single chair or an officeful that will sit beautifully in your environment, whatever it is.

Eco-Dematerialized Design

Yves Béhar is big on environmental responsibility in design. With Sayl, he went a step farther, starting the design process by thinking about what could be removed. How could we use the least possible material and still achieve the highest standards? The answer, of course, was to use materials in innovative ways.

We produce Sayl side chairs on three continents to reduce the distance between factory and buyer.

Sayl side chairs contain no PVCs and are up to 92 percent recyclable. Sayl chairs are currently GREENGUARD certified and under evaluation for McDonough Braungart Design Chemistry (MBDC) Cradle to Cradle Design Protocol as well as level 2 certification.

Sayl Side Chairs

Attainable Quality and Design

As affordable as it is inventive, Sayl disproves the notion that a reasonably priced chair means offhand design and minimal ergonomics. From the beginning, our goal was to make a high-quality, beautifully designed, comfortable work and side chairs that lived up to our standards and were also affordable. Sayl is that chair.

Design Story

We asked designer Yves Béhar to design a highly affordable chair that would incorporate everything Herman Miller is known for—beautiful design, first-class ergonomics, elegant engineering, and respect for the environment. Béhar, who calls San Francisco home, began by looking at designs that deliver the most with the least. And then he took a look at his city's best-known landmark: the Golden Gate Bridge.

It was one of those aha! moments. 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.

So why "Sayl", rather than, say, "Bridge"? 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 bridges 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.

By rethinking every part of the chair, Béhar and our development team were able to create a better, smarter chair that sets a new reference point in its class for performance, quality, and appearance.

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