If there was a piece of furniture that represented the last 2 decades in form and function, we wouldn't hesitate to offer the Herman Miller Aeron as the symbolic icon of the age of the internet, alongside being the product which introduced ergonomics into the lexicon of mainstream America. But the ubiquitous Dot Com Bubble chair is yesterday's news, it's complicated and feature heavy controls being replaced by a whole new generation of tasks chairs which take a much more reductive approach to the art of being seated.
We're yet again the market for a new task chair that can meet the rigors of sitting in front of the monitor for hours (our better half is now working from home, so a second task chair is needed), while also lending a decor-friendly presence. The Humanscale Diffrient World task chair is on our short list of candidates (it's not yet available, but its $740 price has already been announced), alongside the pricier Knoll Generation and the budget-minded, Herman Miller Setu, all three representing a new breed of chairs that embody the mantra, "less is more".
The Humanscale Diffrient World task chair is an evolutionary transition from control-rich task seating to a simplified and auto-adapting mesh-lumbar support system which can recognize and apply the engineered amount of support needed for a full reclining motion for any weight/size. The Diffrient is manufactured from 34% recycled content and is 99% recyclable, weighing a very impressive featherweight 25lbs, which is visually represented in its clean-modern form factor (it reminds us of the Marc Newson 021C Ford concept in execution; friendly-modern). Despite the airy mesh design, the Diffrient is rated to support up to 300lbs, so even larger users can rest comfortably in theory. We have yet to give it a try in person, but aim to report back once we do.
And on a related note, be sure to revisit the interesting discussion about how much is too much for a task chair over in the Aeron Crossed with Eames comments section. There's no doubt in our mind that the best performing/supporting chairs, for those of us who sit for hours on end, tend to be pricier models, though not always the most aesthetically pleasing (one of the most comfy chairs was a bulky monster from The Relax the Back Store).