by Janet Stroud — July 22, 2022 — Humanscale, a global designer and manufacturer of office furniture, recently unveiled an ergonomic task chair that raises the bar on sustainability. Designed by Todd Bracher and the Humanscale Design Studio, the Path task chair is composed of nearly 22 pounds of recycled content, which includes ocean plastic, post-consumer plastic bottles, and post-industrial material. Each Path contains almost 10 pounds of ocean plastic, a majority of which are reclaimed fishing nets, the most harmful of all ocean plastic.
In addition to being a continuation of Humanscale’s commitment to sustainability, the chair builds on the brand’s pioneering seating technology, which uses the sitter’s weight and form to adjust to each body without the need to operate complicated manual controls. The task chair’s design and functionality also seamlessly integrate into a variety of interior spaces for homes and businesses alike.
Humanscale Founder and CEO Bob King remarked:
Humanscale was founded on the idea that design has the potential to bring joy, health, and comfort to people’s lives. Design must also play a critical role in reversing the damage done to our environment. The Path chair represents “a new path forward” in design, prioritizing the manufacturing of products that not only create comfortable, beautiful working environments, but also push forward our use of sustainable materials and manufacturing techniques. Path joins 25 other products in our line that go beyond net-zero, and are certified climate positive. This means each Path purchased removes 6 kg of CO2e from the atmosphere, replenishes 15 gallons of water, and generates 23 kWh of energy.
Embodying a shift in the approach to office design that prioritizes sustainability, inclusivity, and design innovation, Humanscale says the Path chair is conceived with:
- Trailblazing sustainability: The Path chair is certified climate positive and the most sustainable task chair on the market because of both its composition and manufacturing process. Path joins 25 other Humanscale products in being recognized by the International Living Future Institute’s Living Product Challenge (LPC) as certified climate, water, and energy positive. This third-party certification verifies that Path measurably gives back more than it takes to make, setting a new benchmark for responsible manufacturing. In line with the brand’s commitment to healthy materials, Path is toxin-free and comes with transparency labels from both Declare, provided by the International Living Future Institute, and the Health Product Declaration (HPD) Collaborative. In addition, the chair’s aluminum components are made from 100% post-consumer or post-industrial waste, and its 3D-knit textile approach results in zero-waste manufacturing and provides the product with consistent quality. Intentional, smaller box packaging means more chairs per truckload, saving fuel and materials while also being less cumbersome to residential customers. Moreover, Path is specifically designed to be easy to assemble, disassemble, and recycle at the end of its life.
- Versatile aesthetics: Designed in collaboration with Todd Bracher Studio, Path’s minimal silhouette and streamlined technology challenge industry standards of virtually complex mechanisms that require manual adjustment. Path is offered in a variety of textile options, including fabric, leather, and an innovative 3D FormSense Eco Knit that is made of 100% post-consumer recycled polyester; it is also available in 32 colorways. Responding to the work-from-home movement and “resimercial” contract interiors, Path’s aesthetics facilitate a high degree of creative expression for any interior design scheme.
- Revolutionary inclusive ergonomics: Path’s newly patented recline mechanism represents the latest iteration of Humanscale’s pioneering seating technology that self-adjusts to users and offers an instantly tailored sitting experience for the widest diversity of people. Path’s patented Gravity Mechanism uses “virtual pivot points” for balance and support. Its Auto-Adjusting Technology responds uniquely to any sitter’s body weight, creating a Universal Counterbalance to support them in any position. This provides an Ergonomically Inclusive sitting experience that is customized to each individual as they work throughout the day.
Path echoes Humanscale’s launches of the Liberty and Smart Ocean sustainable task chairs , which further exemplify a company-wide commitment to using sustainable and healthy materials in its products. Jane Abernethy, chief sustainability officer for Humanscale, elaborated:
We’re proud to offer consumers a product that not only mitigates the negative environmental consequences of creating new product, but has a net positive effect on the environment.
Path is Humanscale’s third collaboration with Todd Bracher Studio, who has partnered with the pioneering brand since 2007 on pushing forward designs that are increasingly sustainable, inclusive, and compelling. Todd Bracher, founder of Todd Bracher Studio, commented:
Path was born from the vision of delivering world-class inclusive ergonomics, responsibly considered, into a relevant user experience for contemporary work culture. We sought to develop a quiet design solution that is perfectly in tune with the versatile nature of modern office architecture while making no compromise on its ability to solve complex and critical ergonomic needs.
The Path ergonomic task chair comes with a 15-year warranty and is available with or without arms, in a variety of finishes and textiles suitable for the home or office: 32 colorways, three textiles (3D knit, Lotus and chrome-free leather), and four finishes. Path is available to order from humanscale.com, directly with a Humanscale representative, or at an authorized retailer.
At the recent NeoCon 2022 contract interiors show, Humanscale used several environments to highlight the company’s planet-positive achievements and material innovation. Building on this theme, Chief Sustainability Officer Jane Abernethy co-hosted a talk with Alex Muller, VP Strategy & Communications of mindful MATERIALS, to discuss greenwashing and ways to specify truly sustainable products (listen to a recording here).
Humanscale designs and manufactures high-performance ergonomic products designed to improve the health and comfort of work life. Through leveraging new technology in functional yet minimal designs, the company aims to transform traditional offices into active, intelligent workspaces. Humanscale has 26 products certified by the International Living Future Institute’s rigorous Living Product Challenge (LPC) as climate, water and energy positive. Further commitments include using recycled materials and eliminating Red-List chemicals from their products, which are often found in coatings, finishes and additives. The company also issues transparency labels with its products to inform customers.