Niels Diffrient's designs are grounded in philosophy of form flowing from function. His work has spanned generations, consistently looking past trends to reinvent tools we use for daily living. With an academic foundation in aeronautical engineering and degree from Cranbrook Academy, Diffrient channels his knowledge of fine arts, engineering and architecture into design practice of passion and integrity. His highly functional designs are aesthetically timeless. In his early work with studios of Eero Saarinen, Marco Zanuso, and Henry Dreyfus, to his current work with Humanscale, Diffrient's visionary talent has been widely recognized. Included in his many honors are 2003 National Design Award from Smithsonian's Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum and 1999 Chrysler Design Award. Most recently he has focused primarily on design for office environment, particularly seating, where he has won many industry awards.
Humanscale 4Diffrient Single Arm Task Table Lamp
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Knowing that a truly ergonomic chair could make more of a difference to user health than most any other product, Humanscale entered the task seating market in 1999 with the Freedom chair, which has won 10 design awards to-date - including the Design Distinction Award in the prestigious ID Design Review 2000 competition. The Freedom chair has revolutionized the task chair industry and has set new standards for task chair performance and functionality. Because of its honest design aesthetic, Freedom has also been seen in dozens of feature films and is a regular in prime-time, being featured on hit television shows such as 24, CSI Miami and Boston Legal.
In 2004, Humanscale launched its extremely popular Liberty chair line. With its patent-pending Form-Sensing Mesh Technology, the Liberty chair takes the benefits of mesh seating – breathability, durability, sustainability and aesthetic appeal – to the next level, providing exceptional comfort and automatically customized lumbar support without an external lumbar device. To date, Liberty and the new Liberty Side Chair have won over 12 design awards, including Best of NeoCon Gold and ID Design Distinction Awards for each.
Most recently, Humanscale’s 13-member in-house design team, led by Design Director Manuel Saez, has continued Humanscale’s history of innovation, by designing such award-winning products as the M7 monitor arm, L2 notebook manager and FM500 foot rest. Housed in a new facility in the heart of Manhattan, the Design Studio features a team-oriented workstation design that encourages idea sharing and communication among all team members. It also boasts a state-of-the-art machine shop / prototyping lab that facilitates the speed and efficiency by which concepts can be realized into 3-dimensional and functional prototypes. The Design Studio works very closely with Humanscale’s in-house ergonomists to ensure that all designs are based on the latest human factors research and knowledge.
Humanscale has always been committed to environmental sustainability and continually strives to design, engineer and manufacture products that consume less of the Earth’s limited resources. This is accomplished by creating products that weigh less (i.e. require less material), have fewer parts (which requires fewer manufacturing processes) and contain a high percentage of recycled and recyclable content. Additionally, wherever possible, Humanscale utilizes aluminum as its material of choice. Their aluminum is 100% recycled and recyclable which never degrades, enabling it to be reused over and over again. Using aluminum usually costs them more than plastics, but their products are better for it. And so is the environment.