Sculpted for Comfort: The Asari Chair by Naoto Fukasawa for Herman Miller

“My goal was to inspire joy and create a new form, ultimately becoming the next upholstered icon,” says Naoto Fukasawa about the Asari Chair, the designer’s new live/work effort for Herman Miller. “A core part of my design ethos is to simplify the way we live, imbuing each creation with an attraction that makes people feel dear to it, a timelessness and longevity that enhances a human process.” Abiding by these principles, the Tokyo-based designer has instilled an invitingly soft proposition for working professionals bridging the ergonomic gap between home and the office.

Five different Asari chairs in low and high options, with blue, teal, black, yellow and red upholstery.

If you’re someone who prefers cushioned rather than mesh back support, the Asari’s contoured seat pad should minimize pressure points throughout the day.

The chair’s name derives from the Japanese word for “clam,” an anthropomorphic metaphor for the chair’s sculpted high or mid height back design. The cushioned, segmented back and seat is available in eight colors, hues further accentuated by Fukasawa’s decision to continue each of the respective colors across the Asari’s base, arms, and chair body for a unified home furnishing feel rather than the appearance of office space utility (if monochromatic isn’t your thing, there’s an option to mix and match also available, with over 180 color combinations to choose from).

All eight different Asari chair color options, with white, beige, dark grey, blue, teal, black, yellow and red upholstery.

Side profile of Asari chair in grey showing chair arms.

Ergonomics play a primary role in the design of the Asari’s sculpted back and cushion form, with a synchronous self-adjusting tilt and PostureFit support engineered to adjust to fill the void that exists between the lower back and the back of the chair.

The Asari’s gentle profile is further softened by the cushioned segmentation, a form similar to another design classic, the Eames Soft Pad Chair, yet even more supple in its pronounced ergonomics. Like his mid-century predecessor’s efforts, the more colorful upholstered options paired with Fukasawa’s design evoke a sense of playfulness, or even joy.

All eight different Asari chair color options with high backs, with white, beige, dark grey, blue, teal, black, yellow and red upholstery.

Herman Miller is promoting the Asari towards professionals who’ve migrated to working remotely or in a hybrid work arrangement, those with dedicated offices or multi-purpose living spaces who do not want to sacrifice aesthetics for functional ergonomic comforts.

Asari task chair in black in a living room home office setting with wood panel walls and checkered rug with doorway door open to the left.

On the flip-side, Herman Miller notes residential environment design has permeated into the office work environment, and Asari’s softened silhouette works equally well to introduce the relaxed feeling of home within a shared creative office or studio, existing in the in-between space of an upholstered armchair and a task chair.

Four red Asari mid-height tasks chairs in office conference room setting around oval table with large window looking out into garden.

The Asari starts at $1395 and is available in stores and online at both Herman Miller and Design Within Reach, or through MillerKnoll dealers for contract customers.

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Gregory Han is the Managing Editor of Design Milk. A Los Angeles native with a profound love and curiosity for design, hiking, tide pools, and road trips, a selection of his adventures and musings can be found at

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