Diffrient World Chair by Humanscale
designed by Niels Diffrient
The world of furniture designers always faces a trade-off between simplicity and versatility when creating a new product. An ergonomic chair that is simple and intuitive usually sacrifices versatility and adjustability, while a highly versatile chair is rarely simple to use. In the Diffrient World Chair, ergonomics pioneer and renowned industrial designer Niels Diffrient has achieved an unprecedented combination of simplicity and versatility.
The World Chair has two manual adjustments- one for seat depth and one for seat height, but these aren't the only elements of the chair that adjust. All the other adjustments react automatically to your movements. Its patented form-sensing 3-panel mesh back conforms to your back, eliminating the need for the often intrusive external lumbar support. It also features a weight-sensitive recline mechanism that delivers support at every point of recline.
1. Self-Adjusting Recline
- Eliminates the need for recline locks and resistance knobs, creating a clean aesthetic
- Regardless of the user's weight, the World Chair's recline mechanism delivers an appropriate amount of support and resistance during recline
- User maintains a near-constant eye level while reclining
2. Pivoting Backrest
- Extra backrest motion automatically adjusts to the movements of the spine
- Adapts automatically to provide additional lumbar support as needed
3. Form-Sensing Mesh Technology
- No external lumbar devices to adjust depending on your sitting position
- Trip-panel, non-stretch mesh construction creates body fitting contours and self-adjusting lumbar support for automatic, customized fit
- Low-abrasion mesh protects clothing
- Can be replaced as needed if another user should the World Chair changes users
4. Form-Fitting Seat
- Frameless front edge eliminates contact stress behind the knees
- Adjustable seat depth in the World Chair accommodates a wide range of users
- Low-abrasion mesh protects clothing
- Adjustable or fixed armrests connect to the backrest instead of the seat to stay with the body during recline
- Optional height-adjustable armrests for custom arm support
- Armless model also available
6. Body Fit
- The Diffrient World Chair automatically customizes recline resistance and lumbar support for every user
- Size-to-fit settings for seat height and seat depth
- Standard casters for hard surfaces
- Optional soft casters or glides
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.
About the Designer
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. 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."
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
Materials & Measurements
Aluminum and plastic, made from 97 percent recycled content
- Height: 36.5" - 41.5"
- Width: 24"
- Seat height: 16" - 21"
- Seat depth: 16.5" - 20"
The World Chair is made of 34 percent recycled content and is 97 percent recyclable.