Making a Chair That Does More

Chris Higgins

Niels Diffrient is an old-school industrial designer, best known for his Freedom Chair -- an ergonomic office chair that auto-adjusts to the user. Diffrient designed his chair after observing that most people never adjusted their chairs; he figured he might as well design one that did the task for them. In this TED Talk, Diffrient talks about how he got into chair design and discusses some of the technical challenges facing chair designers.

Discussed: dashing airplane pilots of the 1930s, drawing fantasy airplanes, where the girls are (apparently the Art Department), rediscovering romance by quitting your job, designing office chairs, how to use a chair, the romance of aesthetics, and your tailbone.

So sit back in your office chair (and I know you're sitting in one right now) and take a look:

In closing, aren't you glad I didn't title this post Sit Different or even Sit Diffrient? I was tempted. Sorely tempted.