Rank: #9 in Office Chairs
Recommend to a Friend? 100%
Return Rate: 4.3%
Materials & Measurements
For more information on the Freedom Chair's environmental impact and Humanscale's environmental polices, see our Freedom Chair Environmental Summary.
About The Manufacturer
|Humanscale's focus since its inception in 1982 has been providing outstanding ergonomic seating and accessories for the home and the office. Their products, which range from task chairs to keyboard trays to CPU holders, are all geared towards making life simpler, easier, and healthier for anyone who works at a desk. Widely recognized for their line of office seating, Humanscale has done much to advance design in some newer product areas- namely in computer and office accessories such as monitor arms, foot machines, and the ergonomic computer mouse. Winner of numerous design awards, Humanscale continues to deliver groundbreaking office tools that combine simplicity, aesthetics, and ergonomics.|
Designer of the Freedom Chair, the Liberty Chair, and the Diffrient Light, Niels Diffrient is internationally recognized as a premier designer in the field of ergonomics. Diffrient is a world-renowned and world-travelled designer who has worked with some of the greatest aesthetic and ergonomic designers of this or any century. Diffrient was trained at the Cranbrook Academy of Art where he was able to win the First Medal of Design 3 times during his tenure. After graduation he spent time traveling and working in Europe, thanks to a Fulbright Scholarship he had won. Aside from his obvious bonafides in the realm of furniture design, he also has a background in aeronautical engineering.
Diffrient has created many wonderful chairs in his long career. The Freedom Chair is among the most recent, but he was also responsible for the Diffrient Light Chair and the Liberty Chair. Diffrient co-authored the original three part book on modern ergonomic design, title "Humanscale." It was he who helped to lay out clearly and with great aesthetic and scientific insight the way forward for office chairs, and indeed all types of human-centric furniture design.
The Freedom Chair is one of his greatest accomplishments. It combines his love of design with his passion for ergonomics and humanistic art. It's a comfortable, ground-breaking chair built by one of the masters.
With a resume that includes collaboration with icons Eero Saarinen and Marco Zanuso, a background in aeronautical engineering, and numerous design awards, Niels Diffrient is undoubtedly one of the most influential designers of the past 50 years.
Born in 1928 in Star, Mississippi, Diffrient attended Wayne State University and eventually enrolled in the Cranbrook Academy of Art, where he won the First Medal of Design three times during his tenure there. After traveling and working in Europe thanks to a Fulbright Scholarship, Diffrient began work at the design firm Henry Dreyfuss Associates, where he would stay for 25 years. While there, he co-authored the three-volume publication Humanscale. This work summarized his design principles which were rooted in the belief that the human body should drive design for products that humans will interact with. In his own words: "A design should look good and be appealing, but without compromising human factors. Aesthetics should enhance the technical side, not deter from it."Read the story behind Niels Diffrient and the Freedom Chair
- Awards and Honors:
- 2002 Cooper Hewitt National Design Museum Product Design Award
- 1996 Chrysler Award for Innovation
- 2005 Legend Award from Contract Magazine
- Named the "Granddaddy of the ergonomic revolution by Forbes Magazine in 2007
- Honorary Royal Designer for Industry Member- awarded by the Royal Society of Arts and Industry
- 1996 I.D. Magazine Top 40 Design Innovators
Of course, the Freedom Chair is not medicine. However, it has been shown throughout the life of the chair that the groundbreaking research that inspired it was right on - sitting and being supported in the way that this chair allows is a great way to keep your back and body healthy and pain-free. So how does it work specifically?
One important feature of the chair is the counterbalance mechanism. Most people lean back in their chairs, or they slump. In fact according to Niels Diffrient laying down is as comfortable and ergonomic as it gets. This chair makes reclining easy and comfortable by automatically responding to your body weight and position, and removing stress and tension from the equation. You feel more like you're floating than being suspended. Another important feature is the automatically adjusting headrest. When you lean back the headrest goes forward to properly support your head, neck and shoulders. Most chairs don't do this, and it's a big mistake - when it comes to backs, necks and spines, one size never fits all in terms of fixed positions. Another great ergonomic feature is the gel cushioned seat, which makes sitting as comfortable and impact free as possible. When you take out pressure, stress, tension and fixed settings, you get ergonomic relief.
At Smart Furniture, everything we do is informed by our motto - Design on Demand. We started this company to put the power of design into the hands of the customer - you know, the person who actually has to live and work in the furniture we sell. We believe that the buyer has just as much a right to make adjustments to the furniture they buy as the designer themselves. That's why we've developed a great tool to make it easy for you to put the finishing touches on anything you buy from us. For the Freedom Chair, you've got lots of great options in ten separate categories.
You can be final designers of nearly every aspect of this chair. Choose the color, choose the style of the arms (or have no arms at all!). Choose the finish of the base, the minute adjustments that you'll need to make, the frame and base color, and the even the look of the casters and gliders. All of this choice adds up to a personal and beautiful chair that's yours before it even arrives at your door.
When you have a big part to play in the design of your office chair, you're more likely to be satisfied with your purchase, more likely to set it up perfectly for your comfort and enjoyment, and more likely to feel a sense of pride in ownership and design. As you should - that's the customer experience at Smart Furniture.
Another way the Freedom Chair earns its name is by making non-traditional sitting styles comfortable and supported. For instance, when you slouch (as most office workers do) in a standard office chair (which most office workers have) you're really doing damage to your spine and everything that connects to it - your muscles, your posterior, your arms and shoulders and neck. If can even cause headaches. The Freedom Chair is perfectly designed to accommodate slouching in all its degrees, and gives users the freedom to choose how they want to sit at work.
This is the epitome of an ergonomic chair, built by one of the pioneers and greatest artists of the ergonomics movement, Niels Diffrient. Every part of this chair was built to make you more comfortable, more healthy, and more productive. Let's start with the back of the chair.
The Freedom Chair has an automatically adjustable backrest (Dual Pivot back support) that makes the process of comfortable recline easy and simple. You won't have to fuss over a plethora of levers and knobs, you'll simply be able to recline while all the time maintaining support throughout your back, neck and shoulders. Many modern chairs that try to be ergonomic can make this simple process messy and difficult to understand, leading to incorrect user-created setting that become permanent, and permanent problems as well. When you introduce too much uncertainty into the design, it can be difficult to create a consistently satisfying product. The Freedom Chair deftly avoids that pitfall.
The headrest of the chair is also adjustable, allowing the user to recline healthfully and set the chair to their proper height and weight. This does more than simply calibrate to your height, though - this adjustment will truly "protect your neck." When you lean back in the Freedom Chair, the headrest comes up to greet you, keeping your head a bit elevated even in recline. That keeps your spine correctly aligned, and it keeps you from building up discomfort in your neck, shoulders, and head.
The seat of the chair contains a revolutionary gel cushion that evenly distributes your weight, and considerably lowers the pressure on your back, spine and posterior in doing so. Compared to standard foam office chairs, the difference in pressure can be as much as 60. Because gel acts more like a liquid than a solid it's able to keep you supported and comfortable by displacing weight and pressure, and evenly distributing the same. Most foam chairs, or chairs with even a hard surface underneath, can't be adjusted to your particular body. So they become uncomfortable over time (or even immediately) because your body spends more and more time resting on top of pressure points. The Freedom Chair eliminates the problem, and keeps you comfortable for years and years.
This is one of the best ergonomic office chairs you can buy. From stem to stern it's been built for optimal ergonomic performance and the ultimate in personal comfort and healthy while sitting.
Read an independently conducted review of Humanscale's Freedom Chair.
Shipping & Delivery
Shipping Fee: Free!
Your new Freedom chair will be delivered by FedEx ground to the front door of your home or office building. Each chair ships fully assembled.
Each Freedom chair is custom made in the United States. Orders typically ship 3-4 weeks from the date of purchase.
Chair without headrest: 35lb
Chair with headrest: 39lb