Design Niels Diffrient
Described by The New York Times as “the gold standard in office seating,” the Freedom chair redefines the concept of traditional task chairs.
Designer Niels Diffrient aimed to design an office chair that automatically adapts to the user, allowing them to move freely from posture to posture. Diffrient’s unique approach removed complexities found in other chairs, such as cumbersome recline levers and back tension dials for a truly ergonomic task chair.
As a result, he developed a recline mechanism that perfectly adjusts to the user, definitively reinventing modern task seating to be truly simple, functional and beautiful.
With innovative recline that provides constant support and a pivoting backrest that automatically adjusts to the needs of the spine, the Freedom chair is exceptionally comfortable and promotes movement throughout the day. Its refined and sculpted cushions were designed to mimic the body’s natural contours and decrease pressure point loads for premium comfort. Like all Humanscale chairs, the Freedom chair was designed to look and function like new after years of consistent use.
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 had 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.