Founded in 1983, Humanscale has cultivated a solid reputation as a design and innovation leader in the world of ergonomics. Humanscale made its first significant mark as an innovator with the introduction of high-performance articulating keyboard systems in the late 1990s. Over the past twenty years, Humanscale has added lighting, seating, and other ergonomic accessories to their selection.
Humanscale took the contract furniture industry by storm with the introduction of the Freedom Chair in 1999. Designed by ergonomics pioneer, Niels Diffrient, the Freedom Chair broke new ground by combining functionality with minimal manual controls and utilizing mechanisms that respond to the requirements of each end user automatically. The Freedom Chair solidified Humanscale's reputation and has remained at the top of the industry for over ten years.
In wake of the Freedom Chair's success, Humanscale has introduced an entire line of ergonomic seating including the Liberty Chair and Diffrient Chair. Humanscale's seating solutions have become so notable they have gained attention from Hollywood, gracing the sets of hit television shows and films.
Humanscale abides by the philosophy that good design achieves more with less. By striving to design products that are functional while consuming fewer resources, Humanscale demonstrates a commitment to the environment and sustainability in every step of product development, from inception and design through manufacturing and distribution. Whenever possible, Humanscale uses 100% recycled aluminum, saving energy and carbon dioxide emissions. All Humanscale products are designed for easy disassembly to encourage recycling and divert all solid waste from landfills.
Niels Diffrient's designs are grounded in the philosophy that form follows function. His work has spanned generations, consistently looking past trends to reinvent the tools we use for daily living.
With an academic foundation in design and architecture and a degree from Cranbrook Academy, Diffrient channels his knowledge of engineering, architecture, and human factors into the creation of highly functional and aesthetically timeless designs.
From his early work with the studios of Eero Saarinen, Marco Zanuso, and Henry Dreyfuss to his current work with Humanscale, Diffrient's visionary talent has been widely recognized. Included among his many honors are the 2002 National Design Award from the Smithsonian's Cooper-Hewitt, National Design Museum, and the 1999 Chrysler Design Award. In recent years, Diffrient has focused his energies on designs for the office environment, particularly seating--a category in which he has pioneered numerous breakthroughs, from pneumatic cylinders for seat height adjustment to weight-activated automatic recline.