by Brianna Crandall — July 16, 2018 — Ergonomic furniture manufacturer Humanscale celebrated last month’s NeoCon 50 contract furnishings show in Chicago with an array of products and programming that underscore its position as a pioneer of inventive furniture design for the workspace and beyond. As noted in a previous FMLink article , the showroom highlighted Humanscale’s innovations in ergonomics, healthy materials and high-performance design, from the Niels Diffrient line of seating to new introductions in seating, lighting and monitor arms. The company’s Best of NeoCon Silver award-winning monitor arms and task lighting were highlighted in the previous FMLink article; the company’s ergonomic and environmental seating innovations are described below.
Niels Diffrient collection
Humanscale’s Niels Diffrient-designed Freedom chair debuted nearly two decades ago, at NeoCon 1999, billed as the industry’s first self-adjusting chair, without recline levers or back tension dials. It led to five original Diffrient designs in years since, including Diffrient Smart. Diffrient Smart’s tri-panel backrest and Form-Sensing Mesh Technology are designed to provide seamless support and effortless recline for each unique user.
Diffrient Smart’s newest configuration, Smart Ocean, is made with almost 2 lbs. of NetPlus recycled fishing net material collected by Bureo — an emerging venture developing innovative solutions to prevent ocean plastic pollution. The embodiment of Humanscale’s commitment to sustainable manufacturing, Smart Ocean marks the first product available to purchase from the consortium of companies under the NextWave initiative, which leverages supply chains as a means of keeping plastics out of the ocean.
Smart Ocean is touted as the first-ever ergonomic chair made with recycled nets, and is also one of the first certified Living Products, meeting rigorous sustainability standards set by the International Living Future Institute. Watch the introductory video on the Smart Ocean product page.
The new Diffrient Smart Flex is a high-backed task chair with an articulating backrest that provides upper back support.
This flexible yet supportive design works well for users who want the comfort of a headrest without the look of one, but with the understated aesthetic of a task chair.
Humanscale’s new luxury Smart Conference chair is an elegant conference seating solution offering an innovative approach to high-end ergonomic comfort. Designed for the modern conference room, the Smart Conference chair features a minimalist silhouette with sleek angles, a unique U-frame detail, and clean lines. Premium leather upholstery and polished aluminum components provide a high-end appearance.
Smart Conference’s weight-sensitive recline adjusts to each unique user. Ensuring consistent support regardless of sitting position, armrests are connected to the back of the chair and allow these components to move in concert. Smart Conference chairs can swivel up to 360 degrees, are available in both fixed-arm and armless versions, and come with or without casters.
The chairs can be specified with form-sensing foam, which adapts to each unique sitter, and upholstered with a variety of textiles or premium leathers. Polished aluminum components — from the armrests down to the casters — were designed to look sharp from day one and remain that way for many years to come: Smart Conference chairs are backed by a 15-year warranty.
Summa, Humanscale’s first executive boardroom seating product for today’s C-Suite leaders, is elegantly simple and functional. Summa presents a sleek, clean aesthetic from every angle, with a height-adjustment lever seamlessly integrated into the seat. Like all Humanscale chairs, recline tension is automatically established by the sitter’s weight. For added support and comfort, the chair also features integrated armrests that move with the user as the chair reclines.
Providing long-lasting ergonomic comfort, Summa is one of the brand’s first entries into the C-Suite landscape and the result of a design collaboration with Gensler, the world-renowned architecture firm. While designed for boardrooms, Summa’s versatility takes it from the corner office to the boardroom to the executive home office.
Summa’s multiple configurations, finishes, and leather options offer the opportunity to create a truly custom chair. Additionally, Summa can be specified with casters or glides for added flexibility. The chair’s back is available in three different materials with a variety of colorways, including several rich wood finishes. For a more contemporary look, the back can be specified in a unique black or white polymer that mimics lacquer. Upholstery options are also available, along with matching box-stitching.
In line with Humanscale’s mission to use Red List-free materials, Summa’s cylinder base utilizes environmentally neutral Chrome 3 — not Red-Listed Chrome 6, which can pose health risks during the manufacturing process.
For more information, visit Humanscale’s Seating collection page.