Humanscale Seating to be Featured at National Design Museum

National Design Awards Honor Niels Diffrient at Smithsonian’s Cooper-Hewitt


Karen Brooking


NEW YORK, October 7, 2009 — Humanscale’s Freedom, Liberty and Diffrient World chairs will be featured as part of the upcoming Design USA: Contemporary Innovation exhibition at the Smithsonian’s Cooper-Hewitt, National Design Museum. A celebration of the first ten years of the prestigious National Design Awards, the exhibit will launch on October 16 and honor design legend Niels Diffrient, among other winners in the competition’s history.

Diffrient, creator of the Freedom, Liberty and Diffrient World chairs, received the National Design Award for Product Design in 2002, recognizing his significant and enduring contributions to American industrial design. The Cooper-Hewitt will honor Diffrient by displaying the Freedom chair “in use” at the Admissions Desk throughout the life of the exhibition. Meanwhile, six of Diffrient’s Liberty chairs will be displayed around a table in the Great Hall of the Andrew Carnegie mansion, transforming it into a reading room. The Diffrient World chair will be featured in the exhibit itself.

The Cooper-Hewitt has honored Diffrient’s designs in the past, most recently as part of its third National Design Triennial, which recognized the Liberty chair as one of the most innovative and forward-thinking designs in American culture from 2003 to 2006. Diffrient joined 86 other designers and firms that were honored at the Triennial exhibition, including Boeing, Nike, Apple and NASA.

The Design USA: Contemporary Innovation exhibition features outstanding contemporary achievements in American architecture, landscape design, interior design, product design, communication design, corporate design, interaction design, and fashion. Developed in collaboration with design firm 2x4, Design USA focuses on innovation through the lens of technology, material, method, craft and transformation.

The National Design Awards were conceived by the Smithsonian’s Cooper-Hewitt, National Design Museum, to honor the best in American design. First launched at the White House in 2000 as an official project of the White House Millennium Council, the annual awards program celebrates design in various disciplines as a vital humanistic tool in shaping the world, and seeks to increase national awareness of design by educating the public and promoting excellence, innovation, and lasting achievement. The awards are national in scope, as nominations for the 2009 awards were solicited from a committee of more than 800 leading designers, educators, journalists, cultural figures, and corporate leaders from every state in the nation.

The Design USA exhibition will be on display at the Smithsonian’s Cooper-Hewitt, National Design Museum, from October 16, 2009 through April 4, 2010. The Cooper-Hewitt is located at 91st Street and 5th Avenue, in the Andrew Carnegie mansion, on New York’s famed Museum Mile.

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About Humanscale

Humanscale is the premier designer and manufacturer of ergonomic products that improve the health and comfort of work life. Achieving more with less, Humanscale’s product designs have been honored with more than 150 prestigious awards since 2007 and featured in various museums such as The Museum of Modern Art.

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