Contract - November/December 2010 - (Page 20)

focus suspended reality Yves Behar designs a new chair for Herman Miller that gives users comfort and freedom of movement—and is cost-effective and eco-friendly to boot By Danine Alati I’m not one for clichés, but less truly is more with Herman Miller’s new SAYL chair. The office furniture manufacturing giant posed the following question to industrial designer Yves Behar and his team at fuseproject: How do we create an attainable task chair, produced at the lowest price point ever for Herman Miller? And the solution they devised, according to Behar, was an eco-dematerialization process, meaning less parts and less materials, which ultimately translates to less cost and less carbon footprint. Jack Schreur, vice president, seating business, Herman Miller, explains that the directive for Behar was to create a chair with all the design considerations for ergonomics, performance, quality, and environmental intelligence associated with the Herman Miller brand—at a fundamentally different price point. “That was the sum total of our initial direction. Yves’ job was to figure out if that was possible, then show us the path and guide us in the journey,” he says. Inspired by the nearby Golden Gate Bridge, San Francisco denizen Behar looked at how a suspension bridge carries tremendous weight by using towers and a cable system. He began experimenting with creating a chair back with a “tower” for vertical support, which he designed as the Y-structure of the back, and his version of cables for back tension and comfort in the form of a molded elastomer suspension back material. Behar also took cues from the way boat and windsurfing sails are distorted under pressure, which informed the product name; and the Y in SAYL references the Y-tower. “Early intuition was followed by many early experiments in the model shop, which eventually got us to some successes in defining the engineering principles of the SAYL chair,” explains Behar. “Iterating on the curvature of the lower Arc Span allowed us to fine-tune the shape of the back of the chair to reflect exact spine curvature. Ultimately, we 20 contract november/december 2010

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Contract - November/December 2010

Contract - November/December 2010
Editor’s Note
Focus: Suspended Reality
Palette of Time
House of Sweet Dreams
America’s Lounge
A Fine Winery
Mexico City Materialism
Risqué Business
Brooklyn Baroque
Reading on the Walls
Trends: The Real Social Network
Designers Rate: Lounge Seating
2010 Brand Report
Ad Index
Perspectives: Anurag Nema, Nemaworkshop

Contract - November/December 2010