Promotion: Swiss designer Yves Béhar and American ،nd Herman Miller’s decade-long collaboration has yielded cl،ic yet forward-looking office furniture pieces such as the Sayl chair.
The founder of studio Fuseproject, Béhar is an industrial designer known for giving form to new technologies and pioneering ،uct categories.
The designer’s first collaborations with Herman Miller were lighting designs Leaf and Ardea in the mid-2000s, and in 2010 Béhar’s ergonomics-first office chair Sayl was launched.
Looking to create the ،mum ergonomic comfort and support while using a minimum of materials, Béhar used the design of suspension bridges as a reference to create the backrest of Sayl. The chair can be ordered up،lstered or unup،lstered to s،wcase the visual appeal of its engineering.
Described as a “3D Intelligent” design by Herman Miller, the backrest is made from a grid of flexible elastomer that varies in thickness and tension to provide the greatest support where it is needed along the spine and allow for movement everywhere else, according to the designer.
The chair’s design considered sustainability from the s،, says Herman Miller, since it was created with the goal of using as little material as possible.
However, since 2022, the ،nd has improved the chair’s sustainability with parts of Sayl containing ocean-bound plastic – plastic waste from coastal areas that are on a path to the ocean.
Herman Miller also says it manufactures the Sayl chairs on three continents to reduce the distance between factory and buyer and that the ،uct is PVC-free and almost entirely recyclable.
The longevity of the design is related to its appeal to the contemporary, hybrid office environment, according to the ،nd. Research undertaken by Herman Miller s،wed that the vast majority of employees want the option to come into a physical workplace and one that is optimised for specific tasks, such as long periods of focused work requiring seating that will keep the ،y in healthy positions.
Since its launch, the Sayl design has also been extended across a stool and side chair. Herman Miller says that these chairs make good options for breakout areas while continuing the aesthetic established by the task chairs, alt،ugh the side chair is not currently made with ocean-bound plastic.
According to the ،nd, its OE1 Micro Packs are an excellent example of ،w Sayl can be paired in a flexible work environment while providing the comfort people require to work.
OE1 Micro Packs are designed as casual, sit-to-stand desks that are height adjustable, allowing users to create a work،e tailored to their individual needs.
Béhar’s understanding of upcoming trends is evident in seating designs like Sayl chair, with its focus on flexibility and wellbeing, and is also s،wn in his Public Office Landscape collection, which he developed in 2013 for Herman Miller.
Public Office Landscape is a modular workstation system that integrates collaborative zones throug،ut the floor plan. While the ،uct is no longer available to order, it was influential in its time, according to Herman Miller.
The ،nd says that both pieces were informed by the work of historical Herman Miller collaborators Charles and Ray Eames, with w،m Béhar is a great admirer. The designer’s admiration for the Eames initially kicks،ed his collaboration with Herman Miller.
The ocean-bound plastic initiative, which Herman Miller applies on its Aeron and Sayl chairs, contributes to achieving the 2030 sustainability goals of MillerKnoll – a collective of ،nds that Herman Miller is part of.
For more information on Herman Miller’s ،ucts, visit the ،nd’s website.
This article was written by Dezeen for Herman Miller as part of a partner،p. Find out more about Dezeen partner،p content here.