Herman Miller: Keyn Chair Group

August 1, 2016

Research conducted by Herman Miller reveals that people move around an average of 53 times per hour when seated. And if their chairs are inflexible, people tend to become less engaged in their work over time. Herman Miller’s Keyn Chair Group aims to support one’s body as it shifts, maintaining comfort and minimizing distraction in the workplace.

To design the range of meeting and side chairs, Herman Miller partnered with London-based design agency forpeople (originally established by four people, now with a team of more than 100). Keyn features a modular system of four parts: base, cradle, seat shell, and upholstered pad. The sculpted one-piece polymer shell incorporates a back that reclines up to 10 degrees while simultaneously allowing the seat to move forward. This enables the chairs to accommodate upright postures as well as more relaxed and slightly reclined stances.

“We gained valuable insight around the observation of ‘boring meeting syndrome,’ which is something that hadn’t been addressed,” says Richard Stevens, founder and creative director of forpeople and lead designer of Keyn. “What happens to people when they’re seated for a long time? How do their concentration levels a ect their seated position, and how can the chair best aid these changes? This research informed the development of the moving seat and back— a totally new innovation.”

Available in North America later this year, Keyn has two base options—four-leg or four-star—with either a painted, trivalent chrome, or polished aluminum finish. The four-leg option is stackable. Seat shells are white or black. Variations on the chair upholstery are available for the entire seat and back, the seat alone, or the seat and half inner-back pad. To add interest when the chair is viewed from the back, five reverse contrast colors can be specified independently on the semi- and fully-upholstered versions.