Niels Diffrient Named Tastemaker by

Legendary Designer Behind Humanscale Freedom & Liberty Chairs Noted as Industry Heavyweight in the Field of Industrial Design


Karen Brooking

New York, March 15, 2007 — has tapped legendary designer Niels Diffrient as one of ten “Tastemakers” for 2007 in the area of industrial design. Diffrient—designer of Humanscale’s Freedom chair, Liberty chair, and Diffrient Light—was recognized as an “industry heavyweight” by the online magazine in its annual review of the men and women who affect the way we read, eat, listen and live.

To determine the Industrial Design Tastemakers of 2007, talked to industry experts, gathered data from industrial design organizations, and searched news resources for press mentions. The top ten selected represent those who made the greatest impact over the last year. had this to say in its summary of Diffrient:
"The grandaddy [sic] of the ergonomic revolution, Diffrient, 78, has spent his career emphasizing the ‘the human factor’ when designing an object. The first volume of his breakthrough book, Humanscale, was published in 1974, altering the way in which industrial designers approached projects, urging them to consider usability as much as they were considering aesthetics. Diffrient's Freedom chair, first presented in 1999, became a quick hit among purveyors of design and aching-back office workers alike—eight years later, it's still considered to be on the forefront of comfort and style.”
Diffrient holds more than 40 mechanical and design patents in America and abroad, and his many honors include the I.D. Top 40 Design Innovators of 1996, the 1999 Chrysler Award for Innovation, a 2002 Cooper-Hewitt National Design Award for Production Design, and the 2005 Legend Award from Contract magazine. The products he designed exclusively for Humanscale are winners of numerous industry honors and awards as well. Currently, the Liberty chair is featured in Design Life Now: National Design Triennial 2006, an exhibition at the Smithsonian’s Cooper-Hewitt, National Design Museum, in New York City, featuring the most noteworthy design innovations from 2003 through 2006.
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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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