About

Elizabeth Whelan Textile Design

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With a keen eye for Humanscale’s three guiding principles—performance, simplicity and beauty—textile designer Elizabeth Whelan possesses a design ethos that made her the perfect fit to create textiles that would bring our chairs to life.

The collaboration between Humanscale and Elizabeth Whelan stretches back to 1999. The process for building the textiles was methodical and started with Niels Diffrient, the design visionary behind Humanscale’s distinctive seating models. Niels would communicate the chair’s ergonomic functionality and what the fabric had to do on the chair to Elizabeth. She would then create custom fabrics tailored to his brief. The resulting textile is as essential to the chair’s performance as its streamlined structure.

Elizabeth has an innate knowledge of how best to support the human body, and her solid understanding of ergonomic products means she creates textiles that enhance Humanscale’s solutions. Drawing inspiration from nature, fine art and architecture, Elizabeth designs custom fabrics for Humanscale that are supportive, flexible, durable, aesthetically brilliant and comfortable for everyone who interacts with them.

The Whelan Collection includes custom made upholstery and mesh fabrics, as well as the highly durable Vellum and Wave. Two of Elizabeth's mesh designs for Humanscale, Silver Check and Pinstripe, have been acquired in to the permanent collection of the Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum.

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Elizabeth Whelan Textile Design