Herman Miller Sayl Chair
designed by Yves Behar
At A Glance:
The Sayl Chair is the latest creation from the offices of Yves Behar, a San Fransisco designer who's making a big splash on the international scene. This is a chair that wears its reputation as sculptural art on its sleeve, looking very much like the suspension bridges that inspired its design. It's beautiful, utterly unique, and priced very affordably.
What's To Like:
That gorgeous back, that lovely profile. The Sayl earns its reputation as one of the most beautiful office chairs in the Herman Miller stable, and with flying colors to boot. You've also gotta love that price (you've got to!): at $399, it's the most affordable art installation you can buy. And hey, you can sit in it at work!
What's Not to Like:
The chair is a bit on the small side, so if you need an expansive seat and seat back, you might want to look elsewhere. And if you like spending a ton of money on your office chair, this is also not for you.
The Bottom Line:
This is a gorgeous chair, a comfortable chair, and it's priced to sell. It doesn't get much better than that.
Read A Review of Sayl:
Smart Furniture's very own Whitney just spent a work week in Sayl - read her Sayl review here.
|Comfort / Ergonomics:
See Review Details »
See our Interview with Yves Behar »
Shop all Herman Miller Chairs »
Imagine your office chair unframed. No borders, no limits, and full of surprises. Yves Behar and the Herman Miller design team tried this thought experiment themselves, and the result was the Sayl Chair.
When Yves Behar began working with Herman Miller the idea of the Sayl Chair was truly revolutionary. The chair is unique in every sense of the word and has a design that is all its own. Behar also designed the Leaf and Ardea personal lights. When Herman Miller commissioned Yves Behar to design a new chair, the goal was to make a chair that was designed with his mindset; unframed beauty. Yves Behar designs are never constrained by convention. Yves Behar's pieces are always designed with the notion that the human experience can be bettered by his ideas. When Herman Miller needed a highly affordable, beautifully designed chair with first class ergonomics, respect for the environment and elegant engineering there was really only one man for the job. Behar began his design process with an Earnes quote, 'The best for the most for the least', and the Sayl Chair was born. The Sayl Chair by Yves Behar is designed after San Francisco's most famous landmark: the Golden Gate Bridge. Behar wondered if the engineering principles used in a suspension bridge could be applied to an everyday office chair. The chair by Yves Behar proved that not only was it possible, but this design would reduce materials, weight, and environmental impact. In fact, by taking the time to investigate the dematerialization of the office chair, Behar ended up creating a masterpiece.
The flexible elastomer suspension material used in the Herman Miller Sayl Chair by Yves Behar could be stretched in a way that ensured the greatest tension at points where the back needs the most support and the least tension in areas that would allow for an extensive range of motion while sitting in the Sayl Chair. This idea perfectly coincided with Yves Behar's ideas on living your life unframed. The chair he designed for Herman Miller allows the consumer to sit in their chair unframed. With this concept intact, the actual creation of the Sayl Chair proved to be a larger hurdle than expected. The chair was not designed on a computer, it was hand sketched again and again and again. Numerous prototypes of the Sayl Chair were produced and rejected before the design was deemed perfect. Yves Behar describes the process as 'draw, build, break, and repeat until you arrive at something unique.' 'Unique' doesn't even come close to describing the final product. There isn't an adequate word to describe the unique qualities of the Sayl Chair.
After completing the perfect chair, Yves Behar had to come up with a name. Many ideas passed through Yves Behar's mind. Bridge, Sail, Gate, etc. So why name this innovative piece of furniture Sayl? When looking at the chair from the side, the Sayl Chair by Yves Behar closely resembles a full mainsail. The Golden Gate Bridge is constantly framed by the sails of the large ships passing beneath it. The name is a reflection of these sailing vessels that pass beneath San Francisco's Golden Gate Bridge. By replacing the 'I' in sail with a 'Y', Behar gave a nod to the innovative Y Tower structure of his new chair. In Behar's mind, a more perfect name did not exist. The Herman Miller Sayl Chair was officially born.
You've heard it a million times already, but the Sayl Chair by Yves Behar can be bought at an astonishingly low price. You cannot find this standard of quality in any other office chair at this same low cost; in fact you might not even be able to find this standard of quality in a chair that's twice as expensive. With a starting price under $400, the Sayl Chair is less than half the price of most Aeron Chair models. It comes in at half the price, with all the great attributes. The chair is stylish enough to go toe to toe with its more expensive competitors. Not only can the chair go toe-to-toe, but it can win. Jill Singer of Industrial Design magazine says, "It's a pretty amazing feat that they got it down to that point without sacrificing the look." Amazing doesn't really seem to do Behar justice. Amazing would've been the Chair priced at $700. $400 is just unspeakably low for the quality of the Herman Miller Sayl Chair by Yves Behar. $400 is unbelievably low for any chair with these aesthetic, ergonomic, and distinctive qualities. "We watched people sit and work," says Behar.
It's too soon to tell how many awards, accolades, and praises Herman Miller and Yves Behar will receive for their work, but the assumption is that many are to come. Yves Behar has always been known for his innovative way of thinking and problem solving, but nothing compares to the way he has paved the road for office, home, and work chairs of the future. Creating a completely unique and one of a kind chair for Herman Miller may or may not be what Yves Behar is known for in the end, but for now he has certainly made his mark. The Sayl Chair has changed the office chair design business permanently. Remarkably made and designed, these new Herman Miller chairs are in a league of their own and it's all because of Yves Behar's unique and innovative design strategies and ideas. Behar continues to make and create pieces that are one of a kind and geared specifically towards their users.
The Herman Miller Sayl Chair is also known by the following manufacturer Item Numbers: AS2, AS4, AS5, AS2SA22PF, AS2SA22HF, AS2SA22AA, AS2SA23AA.
Materials & MeasurementsMaterials:
The Sayl Chair has an upholstered seat with foam padding and passive Posturefit back support. The Sayl Chair's overall components are constructed from plastic, steel, foam, and textile.
Polished aluminum base is cast aluminum; Fog and Black bases are made of Glass Filled Nylon (an environmental answer to fiberglass).
Overall: 34.25"-38.75" h x 24.5" w x 24.5" d
Seat Height: 15.5" to 20"
Seat Width: 19.75"
Arm Height: 24" to 29" (height-adjustable/fully adjustable arms)
- Greenguard Certified as low-emitting product that meets indoor air quality standards
- MBDC Silver Cradle to Cradle Certified as part of a closed-loop materials system
- Up to 93 percent recyclable at the end of its useful life; plastic components are identified with an ASTM recycling code
- Manufactured using 100 percent green power free of water and air emissions
- The plant where Sayl is manufactured is an ISO 14001-certified site
Read more about the Sayl Chair's environmentally friendly features.
Sayl Chairs in a Google Conference Room
About the Manufacturer
Herman Miller is an industry leader in the integration of cutting edge technology to furniture and other household items to make everyday life more comfortable, convenient, and stylish. Herman Miller stands out at the forefront of such fields as ergonomic technologies, environmentally friendly manufacturing processes, and customizable furniture items.
It's not surprising that Herman Miller has created some of the most ergonomic task chairs on the planet. Collaborating closely with designers such as Jeff Weber, Bill Stumpf, and Yves Behar, Herman Miller has launched such office chairs as the classic Aeron to the cutting-edge Sayl Chair.
Herman Miller is a global company with operations, sales offices, dealers, and licensees in more than 40 countries in North America, Asia/Pacific, Europe, Middle East, Africa, and Latin America, serving customers virtually anywhere in the world. Herman Miller is headquartered in Zeeland, Michigan, while manufacturing facilities are located in the U.S., China, Italy, and the United Kingdom.
A vibrant, stimulating designer based in San Francisco, California, Yves Behar's design shop has had a hand in everything from work chairs to recycling projects, department store packaging to home appliances. His goal is to responsibly produce beautiful things; if it's not responsible (environmental and socially) then it cannot be beautiful, and if it isn't beautiful it is not worth making. The Sayl Chair is just one more object in his long line of attractive and useful design pieces, all of which have a constructive place in the social landscape. With an eye toward economy, a heart toward the useful and the socially responsible, and a sensibility attuned to the lovely and the aesthetically pleasing, Behar is a strong and valuable voice in the design community.
Smart Furniture is very proud to partner with Yves Behar and Herman Miller to bring our customers the Sayl Chair, the latest in Herman Miller's long line of transformative, beautiful work chairs. The Sayl Chair is perfect for the cubicle, the home, and the museum. It's a welcome addition to Smart Furniture's catalogue, a winning and innovative work chair that will keep you comfortable, supported, and ahead of the curve when it comes to style and design.
Read more about Yves Behar and the Sayl Chair.
Design StorySmart Furniture employee and furniture aficianado Karen Culp caught up with Yves Behar, the designer of the Sayl Chair, at the Consumer Electronics Show in March 2011, soon after the chair's release. Below is a quick video of their conversation.
DesignIn 1923, the Michigan Star Furniture Company was reinvented and became the Herman Miller Furniture Company. D.J. De Pree was the first president of the Herman Miller Furniture Company. De Pree would continue to preside over the Herman Miller Company for decades, paving the way for future presidents and employees. De Pree set the standard for Herman Miller products sky high and refused to compromise on any points, including their environmental impact. De Pree revamped the company for the first of many times in 1930, vowing to move away from traditional furniture and focus more on products that would better suit the changing needs and styles of the American population. The first of Herman Miller's showrooms was opened in 1939 in Chicago's famous Merchandise Mart.
By watching how people used their standard office chairs, Behar could create an office chair that was ten steps above the rest. With the understanding of the reasons people needed an office chair and how they used it, Behar created the ultimate version of their own reality. Behar did over 1,000 sketches of the Chair before getting it right. When attempting to design the perfect office or home chair, practice makes perfect. It took time, patience, and dedication on the part of Yves Behar, but the end result was phenomenal. The chair Behar designed for Herman Miller really does surpass all others. Once you've sat in an Yves Behar Sayl Chair, it's unlikely that you'll go back to anything else.
Read more about the Sayl Chair's design.