It’s not often that we get excited about a work chair but when it’s beautifully designed like this, well, that’s a different story. Industrial designer Yves Bhar recently collaborated with Herman Miller to release the new SAYL chair. This ergonomic chair has a frameless back and was, in fact, inspired by a landmark in his own hometown, the Golden Gate Bridge.
Bhar wondered, “Could the engineering principles of a suspension bridge be applied to a chair?” By using a suspension tower to support an unframed back he not only found that it could, he also found that it would reduce materials, weight, and environmental impact. As Herman Miller states, “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.”
Look at the side of the chair and you’ll notice another familiar San Francisco sight. The back was made to resemble a full mainsail. In fact, the name reflects the sailing vessels that pass beneath the bridges that inspired the original design. The “i” in “sail” was replaced with a “y” to acknowledge the innovative Y-Tower structure of the chair. Clever!