Humanscale made its first significant mark as an innovation pioneer in the late 1990s with the introduction of high-performance articulating keyboard systems, which offer effortless one-touch adjustability while eliminating the knee-clearance issues associated with competing solutions. Today the company is the runaway leader in that product category. But it was Humanscale’s entry into the task seating market that truly turned heads.
In 1999, Humanscale took the contract furniture industry by storm with the introduction of the Freedom chair, designed by ergonomics pioneer Niels Diffrient. The revolutionary seating solution broke new ground by combining unprecedented functionality with minimal manual controls, utilizing dynamic mechanisms that respond to the requirements of each individual user automatically. In 2009, Humanscale sold its millionth Freedom chair.
Diffrient’s design for the Liberty chair—a unique mesh seating solution introduced in 2004—continued Freedom’s legacy, collecting a number of prestigious awards in its own right, and earning a place in the 2007 National Design Triennial at the Smithsonian’s Cooper-Hewitt, National Design Museum. Diffrient’s seating solutions for Humanscale have even gained attention from Hollywood, gracing the sets of a lengthy roster of hit television shows and films, including New Girl, 24, Ugly Betty, Heroes, The Bourne Ultimatum, Mission: Impossible III, and Mr. & Mrs. Smith.