See the Future of Hybrid Work with Humanscale

The Work Lounge zone. Courtesy of Humanscale


June 22, 2023

Acknowledging the post-pandemic hybrid work culture, Humanscale, a manufacturer of sustainable ergonomic products, aims to bridge the gap between home, office, and third spaces. Their pop-up exhibition, Hybrid Life, came to Chicago’s Fulton Market Design Days 2023 and charted the numerous possibilities for comfort in the future of work.

The Hybrid Life exhibition at Fulton Market Design Days 2023. Courtesy of Humanscale

Humanscale, which will soon have a permanent showroom in Fulton Market, eased into the new space with seven scenarios that demonstrated their full line of solutions for a return to the office. Each zone focused on different aspects of this new world of work culture, from conference rooms without hierarchy to personal workstations that encouraged active lifestyles. Humanscale wants to help companies get their employees back in the office, but also retain the elusive work-life balance.

“We’ve always been committed to designing with the health and comfort of consumers in mind,” said Bob King, founder and CEO of Humanscale. “Our mission to promote wellness and connectivity has never been so clear and multifaceted and assumes an even greater importance in this post-pandemic world.”

The Hybrid Conferencing zone. Courtesy of Humanscale

The “Active Meeting” zone prominently featured their new Active Pony stool, a saddle-shaped rolling chair that would be favored by the restless, health conscious worker. The Active Pony is small enough for a compact space and gently tilts at a seven degree angle to build core muscles, reducing fatigue. It’s a good companion for a standing desk, as it keeps one moving even when they need a break from being on their feet.

Another intriguing zone was “Hybrid Conferencing,” which demonstrated how the Smart Conference chair could give office workers the same personalized comfort as their remote co-workers who were able to tirelessly search for their home office’s perfect seat. An evolution from the Smart Chair, created by Humanscale industrial designer Niels Diffrient, the Smart Conference adapts to bodies of all types, making it feel like the chair was custom ordered. With alternatively tanned leather and recycled aluminum, the chair is also an environmentally conscious product that serves Humanscale’s greater mission of promoting sustainability.

This goal is clearly communicated in the Ocean Collection, which transforms discarded fishing nets, one of the most devastating plastics polluting the ocean, into chairs. The pop-up featured the mesh-backed Smart Ocean and Liberty Ocean, as well as the brand new Freedom Ocean, which will launch soon. Freedom Ocean will have special crinkled upholstery made in collaboration with Kvadrat. One mossy green colorway calls back to the seaweed once entangled in the fishing nets that brought Ocean Collection to life.

Humanscale’s commitment to sustainability goes beyond the Ocean Collection. They’re a “climate positive” company, which is a step beyond carbon neutral. They actually remove more carbon dioxide from the atmosphere than what they use to make a product. Their collections are certified climate positive by the Living Product Challenge, the most rigorous sustainability standard in the world.

As employees return to the office, it’s important to prioritize wellness and flexibility. Hybrid Life shows that an office environment can provide the same comforts as home, encourage wellness and offset commuting’s carbon emissions with climate positive design. A Humanscale solution seamlessly spans all environments, softening the transition between worlds.

Humanscale has many chairs that can bridge the gap between home, office and third spaces. Courtesy of Humanscale

The Pro-Grade Workstations zone. Courtesy of Humanscale