NeoCon 2019: Looking for a high-performance executive chair? Humanscale’s Summa features integrated ergonomic adjustments, chrome-free leather

by Brianna Crandall — June 21, 2019 — At this month’s NeoCon 2019 contract furnishings show, high-performance ergonomic products designer and manufacturer Humanscale introduced new seating solutions designed to accommodate a variety of work environments and styles, broadening an already comprehensive line of seating for the workplace. From informal collaborative settings to executive offices and boardrooms, Humanscale’s newest offerings are flexible, adaptable and automatically adjust to any sitter without requiring tedious manual adjustments, says the company.

NeoCon visitors had the opportunity to preview Alto, an ergonomic stool designed by Don Chadwick that will be available in 2020; Summa, a luxurious new executive chair described below; new solutions for a “perfect workstation;” an innovative cable management system; and the iconic Freedom chair in a chrome-free leather upholstery option that is said to set a new standard for the healthy, ergonomic workspace. The additions will be shown alongside Humanscale’s existing task, occasional and multipurpose chairs, revealing a comprehensive suite and catering to a wide variety of workspace needs.

Summa executive chair

Summa, Humanscale’s first executive chair product for today’s C-suite leaders, is designed with pure function and simplicity, featuring a sleek, clean aesthetic from every angle.

Unlike most chairs, which have exposed levers for adjusting height, recline and tension, Summa’s height-adjustment lever is seamlessly sculpted into the seat.


Group of 3 Humanscale Summa executive chair options

Humanscale’s Summa high-performance executive chair features hidden ergonomic adjustments, integrated armrests and chrome-free leather. Image courtesy Humanscale

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.

For 20 years, Humanscale has created high-performance, supportive chairs with a weight-compensating recline, instantly accommodating each unique sitter by automatically adjusting to his or her weight.

Providing long-lasting ergonomic comfort, Summa is one of the brand’s first entries into conference seating 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.

Humanscale founder and CEO Robert King commented:

Comfort and the ability to move freely are important everywhere in an office — including the boardroom. We are thrilled to offer a simple and elegant executive chair that elevates the sitting experience.

Summa’s multiple configurations, finishes and leather options offer the opportunity to create a truly custom chair. Launching in the fourth quarter (Q4) of 2019, Summa will be available in an upholstered back, with wood-back options to follow. Summa can be specified with casters or glides for added flexibility.

Closeup of Humanscale Summa executive chair

Summa’s height-adjustment lever is seamlessly sculpted into the seat, recline tension is automatically established by the sitter’s weight, and integrated armrests move with the user as the chair reclines. Image courtesy Humanscale

In line with Humanscale’s mission to use Red List-free materials, Summa’s cylinder base utilizes environmentally neutral Chrome 3 instead of Red-Listed Chrome 6, which can pose health risks during the manufacturing process.

Humanscale is introducing Summa in a new line of chrome-free leathers available in seven colors. Luxurious, elegant and enduring, Humanscale’s new chrome-free leathers are said to be better for both the user and the environment. Its alternatively tanned leather collection is manufactured by Wollsdorf Leather — a carbon-neutral tannery — and does not utilize chromium, a harmful chemical used in most methods for tanning leathers. In addition to being more environmentally conscious, Humanscale’s premium leathers reportedly exceed industry standards in performance and durability. Humanscale is aiming to become the first manufacturer to exclusively offer chrome-free leathers for its entire line of upholstered seating within the year.

For more information about the Summa executive chair, visit Humanscale’s NeoCon page. General information about the engineering behind Humanscale’s seating collection is available on the company’s Chairs and Stools page. Humanscale says it leverages new technology in functional yet minimal designs to transform traditional offices into active, intelligent workspaces, and strives to make a net positive impact on the earth as well as customers.

For more FM-specific information on Humanscale’s product offerings, see the company’s FMLink page.