June 13, 2016
Herman Miller Introduces Keyn, Bringing Responsive Comfort to Meeting Chairs
New chair group by forpeople offers natural support for seated movement


  • Keyn Chair Group is a new range of meeting and side chairs designed by London-based forpeople for Herman Miller
  • Keyn’s unique shell design enables the back of the chair to recline while simultaneously sliding the seat forward
  • With multiple base, upholstery and finish options, Keyn has an unprecedented number of combinations

Herman Miller has partnered with London-based design company forpeople to create the Keyn Chair Group, a range of meeting and side chairs that offers responsive movement and immediate comfort for collaborative spaces. The Keyn Chair Group builds upon Herman Miller’s depth of knowledge in workplace environments, and brings the company’s specific expertise in performance seating to a new category.

Stephen Perkins, Herman Miller’s Vice President, International Research, Design and Development, explains, “From our research, we know that people move around on average of 53 times an hour when seated. Chairs in meeting rooms tend to be inflexible, meaning the user’s natural movement isn’t encouraged or supported. As a result, people become less engaged in the meeting as their discomfort increases. The Keyn Chair Group is designed to respond to a user’s movement, supporting their body as they naturally shift in their seat.”

Keyn provides intuitive comfort through its sculpted one-piece shell design. As the user shifts to adjust their position, the chair responds. The back reclines smoothly up to 10 degrees while simultaneously moving the seat forward.

The Keyn Chair Group was designed by London-based design company forpeople, who share Herman Miller’s approach - both companies are driven by a continuous search for new perspectives and insights, brought to life through human-centered design, cutting-edge engineering, and responsible manufacturing. “Keyn brings together the people­first approach of both firms to create chairs that users understand intuitively,“ says Richard Stevens, founder and Creative Director of forpeople and lead designer of Keyn. “All forpeople’s work – design for products, services, experiences – starts with how people feel, think, and do.”

When approaching the design of the Keyn Chair Group, forpeople were determined to offer visual continuity combined with unprecedented versatility. Stevens explains, “The initial challenge was to design a chair family and make it flexible in terms of its ability to be premium or to be contemporary. It’s very difficult to design a group of chairs that have all of the different base requirements that all of the different people around the world need in different environments—and even more so, one that would complement every other Herman Miller chair in the portfolio.” To achieve this goal, forpeople developed a modular system of only four key parts: base, cradle, seat shell, and upholstered pad. With pad configurations ranging from a simple seat pad to a fully upholstered shell, and two base styles, Keyn’s universally elegant aesthetic can be tailored to outfit any space, from casual to formal.

In North America, Keyn is offered in either a four-leg or four-star base, with a painted, trivalent chrome, or polished aluminum finish. The seat shell is available in studio white or black. Upholstered pad options include a seat only, a semi-upholstered seat and half inner back pad, or a fully upholstered version that envelops the chair from seat to outer back. To increase the options for customization, a choice of five reverse contrast colors can be specified independently on semi- and fully-upholstered chairs to add interest when the chair is viewed from the back.

First introduced at London’s Clerkenwell Design Week in May 2016, and premiering in North America at NeoCon in Chicago, June 2016, Keyn will be available to the trade in late 2016.

With Keyn, Herman Miller and forpeople have brought together human-centered design and deep knowledge of workplace seating to offer meeting chairs whose versatility, consistent aesthetic, and responsive comfort can meet the needs of a single workplace, or an entire enterprise.

About Herman Miller, Inc.
Herman Miller is a globally recognized provider of furnishings and related technologies and services. Headquartered in West Michigan, the global company has relied on innovative design for over 100 years to solve problems for people wherever they work, live, learn, and heal. Herman Miller’s designs are part of museum collections worldwide, and the company is a past recipient of the Smithsonian Institution's Cooper Hewitt National Design Award. Known and respected for its leadership in corporate social responsibility, Herman Miller has been included in the Dow Jones Sustainability World Index for the past 12 years, and has earned the Human Rights Campaign Foundation’s top rating in its Corporate Equality Index for the past nine years. In fiscal 2015, the company generated $2.14 billion in revenue and employed over 7,000 people worldwide. Herman Miller trades on the NASDAQ Global Select Market under the symbol MLHR.