Humanscale Sells One-Millionth Freedom Chair

Ten Years After Debut, Flagship Task Chair’s Sales Continue to Rise


Karen Brooking


NEW YORK, May 27, 2009 ­— Humanscale announces it has sold one million Freedom chairs by legendary designer Niels Diffrient. Thanks to revolutionary design and broad appeal, Freedom has become one of the best-selling high-performance task chairs in the world since it was first available to the market in 2001. Freedom’s emphasis on simplicity—and Diffrient’s belief that form flows from function—delivers unmatched functionality and ease of use, while its distinctive exoskeletal frame has made it one of the most widely recognizable, and influential, task chair designs in the world.

Freedom’s impact on the task seating category—and ergonomics as a whole—has been far-reaching. Widely considered the gold standard for task chairs, its influence is reflected in both new seating design and sustainability efforts within the industry.
At the time of Freedom’s launch, Humanscale was a $44 million company—a very small player in the contract furniture industry—and notably, one that had never before sold a chair. Behind eight-plus years of Freedom sales, however, Humanscale topped $200 million in 2008 and is recognized as the undisputed leader in office ergonomics.
The Freedom chair was the first task chair to prioritize simplicity over the ever-growing number of manual controls seen on other high-end task chairs. Its self-adjusting, weight-sensitive recline changed the way people thought about task seating and Freedom continues to be one of the simplest task seating solutions available today.
Freedom’s resume includes a laundry list of other “firsts” for task seating:
  • First task chair to offer self-adjusting recline
  • First and only task chair with synchronously adjustable arm supports
  • First and only task chair with self-adjusting headrest
  • First task chair to feature a gel seat cushion
  • First task chair to feature an exoskeletal design
Ahead of the curve for environmental sustainability, Freedom featured an eco-friendly design before “going green” became de rigueur. Its user-centered design allowed for the removal of a significant number of parts, such as the tension recline mechanism found on other task chairs. Its predominant use of 100% recycled and recyclable aluminum and overall recycled content of 62% minimizes the use of virgin materials. In addition, aluminum’s high (and growing) scrap value creates an incentive for Freedom to actually be recycled when the time comes. Its innovative, modular design extends the useful life of the chair by easily facilitating cushion upgrades and in-field repairs. And at 35 pounds, Freedom is among the lightest task chairs on the market.
In addition to receiving 10 international design awards over the years, Freedom has found its way into the annals of pop culture. Freedom made its big screen debut in the 2001 film Antitrust starring Tim Robbins and Ryan Phillippe. Since then it has appeared in more than 20 motion pictures and in 2009 will be seen in six more. It has also been featured in 20 primetime television series such as 24, House, Boston Legal, CSI: Miami, Medium, and Ugly Betty, among others. Important to note, Humanscale has never paid for product placement in any film or TV show.
For more information about Humanscale and its 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



Freedom with Headrest, 3/4ths View

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Freedom Task Chair, Back 3/4ths View

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Freedom Family, Vellum Seal
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Freedom Family, Vellum Navy
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Humanscale Logo: JPG
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