‘Task’ and ‘chair’ – two simple words that when put together tell us all we need to know about the furniture they describe. A task chair is a simple piece of furniture designed with utility in mind, so that users can sit in it and think about nothing but whatever task they have to complete. Simplicity itself.
But what if a task chair could be more than that? What if it could fulfil its role as a beautifully designed piece of utilitarian furniture, but also be doing something wonderful for the planet just by its very existence?
Humanscale is an old hand at designing and delivering excellent and reliable task chairs, such as its renowned Diffrient chair from legendary designer Niels Diffrient – a man whose stated goal was to “always design chairs that are so simple to use that the functionality is often invisible to the user”.
This remains the case with the latest iteration of his chair, but now there’s a whole new element to its design. The Smart Ocean chair features the same form-sensing mesh technology and Diffrient’s ‘often invisible’ functionality, but added to these have been almost nearly a kilogram of recycled NetPlus material.
A perfect partnership
For this unique product, Humanscale has teamed up with Bureo, a new venture that collects ocean fishing nets and recycles them, as one of its innovative solutions to the worldwide problem that is ocean plastic pollution. The material from the nets is transformed into plastic pellets and these pellets are, in turn, used in the manufacture of the Smart Ocean chair.
The result is the first ever ergonomic chair built using recycled net. The chair is also certified by the International Living Future Institute to the full Living Product Challenge, which in a nutshell means it meets the most rigorous and sustainable manufacturing criteria currently specified.
Just like its predecessor, the Smart Ocean chair is mindful of its environmental impact at every stage – it has a lightweight design to minimise the effect of shipping and is made out of recycled aluminium in a simple modular design that is easy to disassemble and maintain, as opposed to being completely replaced.