Humanscale celebrates 20 years of signature Freedom Chair
This year marks the twentieth anniversary of Niels Diffrient’s Freedom chair. Launched by Humanscale, the Freedom chair revolutionized the seating industry as the first ever self-adjusting chair. It is revered for its elegant simplicity, functionality and timeless design. To mark the occasion, Humanscale is launching a year long initiative that will include various events and activations around the world.
“Niels shared our belief that form flows from function, and therefore, created something that is honest, timeless and as relevant in New York as it is in Helsinki and Singapore,” says Humanscale CEO and Founder Robert King.
Introduced in 1999, the Freedom was the first chair to remove the traditional manual knobs and levers and replace them with the sitter’s body weight and the laws of physics. This resulting self-adjusting mechanism allows users to move freely from posture to posture without thinking about it. Diffrient effectively reinvented the modern task chair and changed the way people sit.
Shortly after its launch, the Freedom was praised by the New York Times for ‘setting the gold standard’ in seating. Today sales total over 2 million pieces. Freedom has also won 10 international awards and been featured in close to 50 TV shows and films.
“Perhaps more interesting is that the self-adjusting mechanism is increasingly relevant in today’s work environment. In fact, now, twenty years later, the large furniture companies have finally launched self-adjusting chairs claiming it’s the future of seating. That’s just another testament to Niels’ foresight,” adds King.
The iconic chair is set to begin an official world tour throughout 2019, making monthly appearances in cities and important events around the globe, including Milan (Salone del Mobile), London (Clerkenwell Design Week), New York (ICFF) and Chicago (NeoCon) and more. As the first chair to adapt to real people and real movement, these activations will give trade and consumers the opportunity to personally experience and celebrate Freedom’s intuitive ergonomic design and the legacy of Niels Diffrient.