Diffrient Speaks at University of Minnesota

School Adds Humanscale Seating to Museum


Karen Brooking


NEW YORK, April 24, 2009 — One hundred-fifty University of Minnesota design students are benefiting from the insights of legendary industrial designer Niels Diffrient. Diffrient’s U of M talk on April 20, 2009—sponsored by Humanscale—explained the esteemed designer’s quest to improve the human experience through his work.

The hour-long session detailed Diffrient’s career, including his time with Henry Dreyfuss Associates where he designed John Deere tractors, the AT&T Trimline phone, Polaroid Instamatic cameras, and aircraft interiors and corporate identity elements—still in use today—for American Airlines. Diffrient then touched on his work with Aero Saarinen and his early seating solutions for Knoll and Sunar-Hauserman, and explained his relationship with Humanscale and its CEO and Founder, Robert King. Diffrient delved into the goals and achievements of his Humanscale seating designs—Freedom, Liberty, and the forthcoming Diffrient World chair—demonstrating each, then inviting students to try the chairs themselves. A cocktail reception followed.

In addition, U of M added a Freedom chair, a Freedom Saddle Seat, and Liberty chair to its permanent collection in the Goldstein Museum of Design.

For more information about Humanscale and its full range of ergonomic solutions, visit or call 800-400-0625.

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.

 For more information on Humanscale and our products, visit


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