Sense for Design
with Neils Diffrient
“The automatic self-adjusting recline chair under the working title IQ chair takes care of us and our wellbeing without us having to think about the chair“, says design and contemporary ergonomics legend Niels Diffrient. By creating the Freedom concept – a self-adjusting chair platform, he revolutionized the perception of comfortable sitting. During the time when Lachezar Tsvetanov (our co-founder) worked at Humanscale – the global leader in ergonomic office solutions, he had the unique opportunity to collaborate with Niels. So, let’s look through Lachezar’s notes to find some of Niels’ thoughts which will hopefully shed more light on the design of His Majesty the Chair:

When considering furnishing an office, chairs are not just add-ons or accessories.

The IQ chair was created for professionals who know their body and value their health. They know that this chair will help them be in top condition and achieve high levels of efficiency.
When we are choosing a chair that we will use for hours on end, we should adopt the same approach as when we are choosing sports equipment – we must be thoroughly informed about its capabilities and the way they ensure our protection, wellbeing and highest possible performance.

We need back support 75-80% of the time. Full understanding of the IQ chair capabilities and value allows us to enjoy optimal support and dynamic interaction with the chair without actually having to think about it.

The design must eliminate non-principal settings. This is why automatic settings are a must.
Design’s objective is to avoid the concentration of stress in specific points. More over, design should contribute to the optimal distribution of weight. This is achieved through the seat and backrest construction of a good chair.
I think about the style and aesthetics of the product all the time, maybe more so than many other designers, because I do so under the pressure of human factors.
The human mind decides as to whether a chair is comfortable by its appearance, in certain sense this matter is predetermined.

Well-constructed armrests can relieve up to 20% of back weight and pressure concentration.
The best places to test the quality of chairs are the 24-7 newsrooms or 24-7 police stations.
On one side of the scale we have the price of the chair and on the other – the medical costs for treating conditions caused directly or indirectly by unhealthy sitting. This is how we measure the huge importance of a healthy working environment.
You can find the Niels Diffrient chairs and the Humanscale products in our showroom and on


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