From the Herman Miller UK site:
Good design and comfort should be available to everyone, everywhere, its human nature to seek lWe asked designer Yves Béhar to design a highly affordable chair that would incorporate everything Herman Miller is known for—innovative design, leading ergonomics, quality engineering, and environmental stewardship. 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.I'll probably never own one, but I will admit it is really pretty.
This was the inspiration for Béhar and the design of SAYL. He used the principles of bridging to carry heavy loads and applied this to his design. By using a suspension tower to support an unframed back it 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"? The side view will show you where this name came from. As you can see the chair resembles a full mainsail, reflecting the sailing vessels that pass under the Golden Gate Bridge. Replacing the "i" in "sail" with a "y" is a nod to the innovative Y-Tower structure of the work chair.