Humanscale Diffrient World Ergonomic Task Office Chair

5 out of 5 (based on 1 review)
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Promo expires March 31, 2021
Product ID: 16150
Our Price: $699.00
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Diffrient World is Humanscale's first foray into all-mesh task seating. Designer Niels Diffrient wanted to create the most minimal, full-function task chair ever made. With an innovative tri-panel mesh backrest that provides custom back and lumbar support and a lightweight design, Diffrient World is, like all of Humanscale’s products, simple, beautiful and functional. The design eliminates the need for traditional mechanisms, instead using the laws of physics and the sitter’s body weight to offer perfect recline for each individual sitter. Diffrient World offers the ultimate user-friendly sitting experience.

Niels Diffrient designed Diffrient World to offer ease of use and effortless functionality. With weight-sensitive recline that adjusts automatically and armrests that are attached to the back of the chair so they move with the user for ergonomic comfort, Diffrient World provides custom comfort for every sitter. A high quality, affordable task chair with minimal parts, Diffrient World was built with longevity in mind and will look as good in ten years as it does today.

High Performance - Ultimate Simplicity - Simplicity is at the core of Humanscale products. Each of our designs is incredibly easy to use with the fewest parts and controls possible. All this is achieved while offering the highest levels of performance and functionality. That commitment to simplicity led to the development of Diffrient World: a high-performance task chair that fits one or 1,000 users. From design legend Niels Diffrient, the Diffrient World chair features an unprecedented combination of performance, sustainability and simplicity in a task seating solution.

Simplicity: For the User - The Diffrient World chair has just two manual settings - one each for seat height and seat depth. All other fittings and adjustments are automatic. With its weight-sensitive recline, the Diffrient World chair automatically supports every user at every recline position. And its Form-Sensing Mesh Technology provides tailor-made lumbar support without external devices or manual controls. That means we’ve replaced knobs, levers and instructions with effortless ergonomic comfort.

Simplicity: For the Organization - In stark contrast to other chairs, which require many adjustments, Diffrient World achieves the pinnacle of simplicity of function. Users can take full advantage of its ergonomic benefits the moment they sit down, without even thinking about it. So instead of managing chair training for today’s and tomorrow’s employees, organizations can focus on managing their business. And with just eight major parts, Diffrient World is built to last. Requiring minimal maintenance, Diffrient World comes with a 15-year 24/7 warranty. In other words, the chair’s simplicity reduces the need for ongoing maintenance and repairs, making it even easier for an organization to own.

Simplicity: For the Environment - Weighing as little as 30 pounds and made of one-third the parts of traditional task chairs, the Diffrient World chair requires far less raw material and fewer manufacturing processes and that means less extraction, energy, waste, shipping and disposal associated with its lifecycle. And its modular design allows for easy in-field upgrades and part replacements, thereby extending its already long serviceable life. By the way, we have a plan to find the best use for the Diffrient World chair when it’s time for disposal.

Technical Drawing

Technical Drawing for Humanscale Diffrient World Ergonomic Task Executive Mesh Chair


Designed for Users up to 300 lbs
Total Major Parts 8
Total Number of Parts 31
Weight 30 lbs
CAL 133-approved
Certified by BIFMA level and GREENGUARD
Contribute May contribute to a number of LEED-CI, -NC and -EB credits
Chair Width 25.75" Arms / 21" Armless
Base Size 24"
Seat Height Range 14" - 30.75"
Recline Range 17° recline + 8° backrest tilt
Chair Weight 28 lbs arms / 24 lbs armless
Stackable No
Warranty 15-year 24/7

Features & Innovations

Features and Innovations of Humanscale Diffrient World Ergonomic Task Executive Mesh Chair

1. Self-Adjusting Recline

  • Revolutionary mechanism-free design harnesses the laws of physics and the user’s body weight

  • Automatically provides appropriate support and resistance regardless of user’s size

  • No unnecessary recline locks or tension springs to set or adjust

  • User maintains near-constant eye level during recline

2. Pivoting Backrest

  • Extra backrest motion automatically adjusts to changing needs of the spine

  • Adapts automatically to provide additional lumbar support as needed

3. Form-Sensing Mesh Technology

  • Tri-panel, non-stretch mesh construction creates body-fitting contours and self-adjusting lumbar support for an automatic, customized fit

  • No external lumbar devices to adjust, break or lose

  • Low-abrasion mesh protects clothing

4. Mesh Seat

  • Frameless front edge eliminates contact stress behind the knee

  • Low-abrasion mesh protects clothing

  • Optional upholstered seat

5. Armrests

  • Adjustable or fixed armrests connect to the backrest instead of the seat to stay with the body during recline

  • Armless model also available

6. Body Fit

  • Size-adjustable to fit widest range of body sizes

  • Automatically customizes recline resistance and lumbar support for every user

  • Size-to-fit settings for seat height and seat depth

  • Optional height-adjustable armrests for custom arm support

7. Casters

  • Standard casters for hard surfaces

  • Optional soft casters or glides

  • Invisible Recline Mechanism - Diffrient World uses the laws of physics and harnesses the user’s body weight to automatically provide the right amount of recline for every individual, every time. Its groundbreaking mechanism-free recline action leverages two parts of the chair’s frame to provide automatic, balanced support throughout the full range of motion for maximum support.

  • Responsive Bracket - Diffrient developed the chair’s back using the laws of physics, which eliminates the requirement for a separate lumbar support, which tends to create a pressure point and requires manual adjustment. With patented Form Sensing Mesh Technology, the backrest perfectly conforms to the sitter’s entire back as if custom made for them.

  • Sitting on Air - A truly lightweight chair, Diffrient World replaces the standard cushion seat with a low-abrasion, non-stretch mesh. To maximize comfort, Diffrient eliminated the front edge of the chair, solving a perennial problem of hard edges placing pressure on the knees and contact stress behind the thighs, allowing long-term comfort and total supports for every sitter.


Niels Diffrient - Niels Diffrient's designs are grounded in the philosophy that form follows function. His work has spanned generations, consistently looking past trends to reinvent the tools we use for daily living.

With an academic foundation in design and architecture and a degree from Cranbrook Academy, Diffrient channels his knowledge of engineering, architecture, and human factors into the creation of highly functional and aesthetically timeless designs.

From his early work with the studios of Eero Saarinen, Marco Zanuso, and Henry Dreyfuss to his current work with Humanscale, Diffrient's visionary talent has been widely recognized. Included among his many honors are the 2002 National Design Award from the Smithsonian's Cooper-Hewitt, National Design Museum, and the 1999 Chrysler Design Award. In recent years, Diffrient had focused his energies on designs for the office environment, particularly seating - a category in which he has pioneered numerous breakthroughs, from pneumatic cylinders for seat height adjustment to weight-activated automatic recline.

Design Story

"If every chair was made the way the World Chair was, we would cut in half all the material used for task chairs." Niels Diffrient, Designer.

Drawing inspiration from the three dimensional approach tailors take when creating men’s suits, Niels Diffrient wanted to build a minimal mesh task chair with a back that automatically fits the user. He collaborated with textile designer Elizabeth Whelan to create a flexible but strong non-stretch mesh, so the backrest would take on the shape of the sitter. He also wanted World to be minimal but highly functional, so he worked to eliminate tension mechanisms, knobs and adjustment levers. The result is a task chair that is simple but beautiful, supporting each user instantly and changing the way people sit.

Option 1: Armrests

No Arms


Fixed Duron Arms

Fixed Duron Arms

Fixed Duron Arms with Matching Textile Cover

Fixed Duron Arms w/ Matching Textile

Height Adjustable Duron Arms

Height Adjustable Duron Arms

Height Adjustable Duron Arms with Matching Textile Cover

Height Adjustable Duron Arms w/ Matching Textile

Option 2: Frame

Black Frame

Black Frame

White Frame

White Frame

Gray Frame

Gray Frame

Option 3: Mesh Color and Style

M - Monofilament Stripe

Made specifically for our tri-panel, mesh-backed chairs, Monofilament Stripe has an elastic composition that achieves strength through its distinctive weave structure to provide unmatched support. Its classic stripe pattern is available in various striking colors. Using only monofilament yarns that are thin and strong, a simple but classic stripe pattern is achieved through weave structure and yarn placement. This pattern has slight elasticity but terrific memory.

Monofilament Stripe Black


Monofilament Stripe Carbon


Monofilament Stripe Platinum


Monofilament Stripe Green


Monofilament Stripe Atlantic


Monofilament Stripe Amber


C - Silver Check

Woven with monofilament and silver-plated yarns, Silver Check has a subtle metallic shimmer that creates a sophisticated finish to any chair. This non-stretch mesh is flexible and strong, providing ergonomic support to every user. This unique translucent pattern is achieved using monofilament and a silver-plated yarn spun with polyester at its core. More than simply an aesthetic choice, the silver-plated yarn gives the textile flexibility and strength.

Silver Check Alloy


Silver Check Topaz


N - Pinstripe

Inspired by the Brooklyn Bridge, Pinstripe explores the idea of "suspension." Composed of two Monofilament stretch yarns, Pinstripe helps the chair’s tri-panel backrest cradle the user’s body and features a floating line of color for a distinctive aesthetic. Designed specifically to work with the Diffrient World Chair, this lightweight fabric provides the strength and support of a much heavier mesh by using two different monofilament stretch yarns to provide proper support.

Pinstripe Black


Pinstripe Cadmium


Pinstripe Citron


Pinstripe Crimson


Pinstripe Cyan


Pinstripe Graphite


Pinstripe Silver


Pinstripe White


A - Dash

Named for the way color dashes across the surface of this textile, Dash was designed to resemble embroidery floss. It maintains a strong, responsive and lightweight composition to accommodate the user’s every move. Designed to resemble embroidery floss, Dash is stronger, more responsive, lighter weight and uses less material than most mesh textiles. It gives the user support, comfort and ease of movement, while meeting Humanscale’s seating requirements.

Dash Platinum


Dash Zinc


J - Catena

Catena features a pure, clean weave - free of any additional patterns or motifs - in colors inspired by the rich hues of spices, which allow the chair to seamlessly integrate into its setting. It’s simple aesthetic makes it a classic design choice for modern and contemporary environments. Catena’s dense and rich hues are inspired by the vibrant spice markets of India. When used as a backrest textile, this proprietary non-stretch mesh provides a customized lumbar support through its tri-panel patented design that fits the user like a tailored shirt.

Catena Black


Catena Poppy Seed

Poppy Seed

Catena Caraway


Catena Bayberry


Catena Cornflower


Option 4: Textile

Grade 1 - K Lotus

Water repellant and easy to clean, Lotus is an ideal textile for the healthcare and hospitality environments. Its polyurethane finish with nylon backing boasts a soft texture that is pleasant to the touch while offering exceptional durability.

Grade 1: K - Lotus: Black (K101)

Black K101

Grade 1: K - Lotus: White (K128)

White K128

Grade 1: K - Lotus: Shale (K158)

Shale K158

Grade 1: K - Lotus: Hematite (K182)

Hematite K182

Grade 1: K - Lotus: Umber (K2C4)

Umber K2C4

Grade 1: K - Lotus: Walnut (K281)

Walnut K281

Grade 1: K - Lotus: Ochre (K302)

Ochre K302

Grade 1: K - Lotus: Verdant (K459)

Verdant K459

Grade 1: K - Lotus: Navy (K507)

Navy K507

Grade 1: K - Lotus: Plum (K603)

Plum K603

Grade 1: K - Lotus: Crocus (K608)

Crocus K608

Grade 1: K - Lotus: Eggplant (K624)

Eggplant K624

Grade 1: K - Lotus: Earth Red (K757)

Earth Red K757

Grade 1: K - Lotus: Lucky Red (K758)

Lucky Red K758

Grade 1 - CF Corde 4

Corde 4 is a four-way stretch design which moves with the sitter as they adjust positions in their chair, providing ultimate comfort. Its intricate weave structure, dimensional surface and wide array of neutral and vibrant shades are visually appealing and engaging to the touch.

Grade 1: CF - Corde 4: Black (CF10)

Black CF10

Grade 1: CF - Corde 4: Graphite (CF12)

Graphite CF12

Grade 1: CF - Corde 4: Dark Brown (CF21)

Dark Brown CF21

Grade 1: CF - Corde 4: Driftwood (CF22)

Driftwood CF22

Grade 1: CF - Corde 4: Balsam (CF43)

Balsam CF43

Grade 1: CF - Corde 4: Peacock (CF45)

Peacock CF45

Grade 1: CF - Corde 4: Thalo (CF52)

Thalo CF52

Grade 1: CF - Corde 4: Medium Gray (CF56)

Medium Gray CF56

Grade 1: CF - Corde 4: Navy (CF57)

Navy CF57

Grade 1: CF - Corde 4: Azure (CF58)

Azure CF58

Grade 1: CF - Corde 4: Deep Violet (CF62)

Deep Violet CF62

Grade 1: CF - Corde 4: Parma Red (CF78)

Parma Red CF78

Grade 1: CF - Corde 4: Pumpkin (CF86)

Pumpkin CF86

Grade 1 - FT Fourtis

Fourtis is a four-way stretch fabric that easily conforms to our cushions for the ultimate in comfort and flexibility. While still adjustable, its satin crepe weave structure is highly durable and creates a strong, high-performance fabric.

Grade 1: FT - Fourtis: Black (FT10)

Black FT10

Grade 1: FT - Fourtis: Granite (FT12)

Granite FT12

Grade 1: FT - Fourtis: Ash (FT16)

Ash FT16

Grade 1: FT - Fourtis: Alaria (FT44)

Alaria FT44

Grade 1: FT - Fourtis: Clover (FT49)

Clover FT49

Grade 1: FT - Fourtis: Nimbus (FT56)

Nimbus FT56

Grade 1: FT - Fourtis: Navy (FT57)

Navy FT57

Grade 1: FT - Fourtis: Boysenberry (FT63)

Boysenberry FT63

Grade 1: FT - Fourtis: Hyacinth (FT68)

Hyacinth FT68

Grade 1: FT - Fourtis: Winterberry (FT78)

Winterberry FT78

Grade 2 - F Ginkgo

Composed of 90% Wool, Ginkgo offers a pleasing texture and durability. Its subtle and elegant pattern makes this textile appropriate for a variety of environments. Ginkgo comes in vibrant and saturated colors, expanding the scope of Humanscale’s upholstery line.

Grade 2: F - Ginkgo: Black (F101)

Black F101

Grade 2: F - Ginkgo: Charcoal (F197)

Charcoal F197

Grade 2: F - Ginkgo: Walnut (F281)

Walnut F281

Grade 2: F - Ginkgo: Wheat (F315)

Wheat F315

Grade 2: F - Ginkgo: Green (F463)

Green F463

Grade 2: F - Ginkgo: Navy (F507)

Navy F507

Grade 2: F - Ginkgo: Storm (F556)

Storm F556

Grade 2: F - Ginkgo: Horizon (F568)

Horizon F568

Grade 2: F - Ginkgo: Harvest Orange (F816)

Harvest Orange F816

Grade 3 - D Sensuede

Offering style and performance, Sensuede was developed to be the best and most luxurious engineered suede available. The silky feel is the result of recycled microfibers that are breathable, extra-strong, and resistant to most stains and wrinkles.

Grade 3: D - Sensuede: Ebony (D111)

Ebony D111

Grade 3: D - Sensuede: Pewter (D115)

Pewter D115

Grade 3: D - Sensuede: Persian (D517)

Persian D517

Option 5: Seat Height - Cylinders

Standard 5

Standard 5" Cylinder

Low 3.75

Low 3.75" Cylinder

Tall 5

Tall 5" Cylinder

High 8

High 8" Cylinder with 18" footring

Option 6: Casters - Wheels

Standard Hard Casters

Standard Hard Casters

Soft Casters

Soft Casters



Option 7: Base Metal Accent

Standard Base Caps

Standard Base

Brushed Stainless Steel Caps on Black or Gray Base

Polished Aluminum Base

Model Diffrient
Manufacturer Humanscale
Part Number Diffrient
Weight 25.00 lb(s)
Base Size 24"
Chair Width 25.75" Arms/ 21" Armless
Seat Height Range 14" - 30.75"
Recline Range 17° recline + 8° backrest tilt
Chair Weight 28 lbs arms/ 24 lbs armless
Weight Capacity Up to 300 lbs
Frame Color Black, Gray, White
Warranty 15-year 24/7

Review this product

Humanscale Diffrient World Ergonomic Task Office Chair

Love the Chair!, Jul 08, 2016
by Teri L, Illinois
I purchased two of these chairs for our Division Head at Wheeling High School and for one of our ESL teachers. Because it's summer, only the Division Head has tried the chair, and she has praised the chair. It's comfortable, it's easily adjustable, and moves with you. I feel confident that our ESL teacher will also love the chair!
0 of 2 voted this review as helpful Was this review helpful to you?

Limited Warranty

Humanscale offers the following warranties on its products, subject to any exclusions and limitations as set forth below:

Product Warranty
Customer’s Own Material (COM, COL) No Warranty
Switch Mouse 1 Year, 24/7 Warranty
Technology Products 3 Years, Limited Warranty
Element Series Lights 10 Years, 24/7 Warranty
Horizon Series Lights 10 Years, 24/7 Warranty
Diffrient Series Lights 5 Years, 24/7 Warranty
Float Table, (Mechanical) 5 Years, 24/7 Warranty
eFloat and Electric Float 5 Years, 24/7 Warranty
QuickStand Sit/Stand Workstation, QuickStand Lite, QuickStand Eco, QuickStand Underdesk 5 Years, 24/7 Warranty
Fabric/Cushions/Arm Pads 5 Years, Single-Shift Warranty
M2, M/Flex & Para/Flex Monitor Arms 15 Years, 24/7 Warranty
M4, M7 & M8 Monitor Arms with Gas Cylinder Components 10 Years, 24/7 Warranty
Ballo Stool 3 Years, Single-Shift Warranty
Vessel Lights 10 Years, 24/7 Warranty, 3 Years 24/7 Warranty for the power supply driver
M/Connect 3 Years, 24/7 Warranty
M/Power 3 Years, 24/7 Warranty
M/Connect 2 3 Years, 24/7 Warranty
Monarch Mat 3 Years, 24/7 Warranty
Office IQ 1 Year, 24/7 Warranty
All other seating and products detailed in a current Humanscale Price Guide, unless otherwise specified 15 Years, 24/7 Warranty
All other products NOT detailed in a current Humanscale Price Guide Varies; consult your Humanscale representative for details

Modifying or tampering with any part of the base of the Float Table will render the warranty void. The warranty on the Float Table applies to the base and work surface if the table top is provided by Humanscale, and only to base if the table top is provided by a third-party, provided that the third-party table top meets the following requirements: (i) has a depth of 36" or less, (ii) has a width of 72" or less, and (iii) the total weight load including work surface is no more than 130 lbs for the standard base and no more than 160 lbs for the heavy duty base.

Note: Ballo is not a task chair. It has not passed the BIFMA or European EN standards for office seating. The Ballo in an exercise chair that is designed for dynamic seating and frequent movement. All Ballo instructions should be followed to ensure a comfortable experience.

Modifying or tampering with any part of the base of the eFloat or electric Float will render the warranty void. The warranty on the eFloat and electric Float applies to the base and work surface if the table top is provided by Humanscale, and only to base if the table top is provided by a third-party, provided that the third-party table top meets the following requirements: (i) has a depth of 36" or less, (ii) has a width of 72" or less, and (iii) a total weight load including work surface of no more than 200 lbs.

The warranties for the Vessel lights exclude labor and other costs associated with the installation and/or removal of the lights from ceilings, walls, fixtures, etc. Further, Humanscale has no warranty obligations if the product is affected by internal or external environmental conditions (including but not limited to water, moisture, outdoor use, or temperature damage), power fluctuations, improper power supply, or if the product is not installed and used in compliance will all applicable standards and electrical codes.

These warranties are available to the original end-user customer only and are non-transferable. For these warranties to be valid, the Humanscale product must have been purchased directly from Humanscale and/or an authorized dealership, distributor, retailer and/or reseller of Humanscale products. If products are procured through an authorized dealership, distributor, retailer and/or reseller, the end-user customer must be registered with Humanscale for the warranty to be in effect. Humanscale warrants that, at the time of customer’s receipt, the product will be in good working order and will be free from defects in materials and workmanship for the duration of the warranty term, as set forth above. These warranties do not apply to normal wear and tear or damage caused by accident, neglect, product abuse, misuse and/or failure to follow instructions relating to the product’s installation or intended use. Humanscale will not be responsible for damage due to service, maintenance, modifications or tampering by anyone other than a Humanscale authorized representative. Humanscale will not be responsible for injury or damage caused by or associated with the installation and/or use of products in any manner other than in strict conformance with the instructions set forth in its installation manuals and instruction sheets and/or product literature. These warranties do not cover damage caused by a carrier or transportation of the product from one location to another, or alterations made by owner. Humanscale does not warrant damages or defects to the products under the following conditions: an Act of God, damage from electrical power problems, usage of parts or components not supplied by Humanscale, failure to perform preventative maintenance, or damage caused by peripherals not supplied by Humanscale.

In the event a product or product part is defective in material or workmanship during the warranty period, and Humanscale receives written notice of the defect within the warranty period, Humanscale will determine with customer if the defect is covered under warranty. Humanscale, at its option, may repair or replace the defective product or product part determined to be under warranty with the same or comparable product or product part as determined by Humanscale, at customer’s location or at a designated Humanscale location. The labor costs associated with the repair of the product or product part may be the responsibility of Humanscale if the product or product part is determined to be under warranty. Humanscale must pre-approve the labor costs prior to the repair or replacement of warranty products or product parts. Customer must contact Humanscale to obtain a Return Authorization through the Humanscale Customer Service Department. Performance of any repair or replacement does not renew or extend the warranty period. If, after examining and testing a returned product or product part, Humanscale determines that the product or product part is not defective, Humanscale will notify customer and return the product or product part to customer. Customer will be responsible for the freight charges associated with the return of non-defective products or product parts. To return a product or product part for repair that is not covered by warranty, Customer must request a Return Authorization through the Humanscale Customer Service Department. Customer will bear the costs of labor and freight charges associated with non-warranty repair. Customer will be charged a standard repair fee, specific to the product, for any product that is repaired outside of the warranty period. Repairs on products out of warranty also carry a 90-day warranty, effective the day that Customer receives the repaired product or product part. For products that are not covered under warranty: Customer may upgrade to a newer, functionally equivalent product at the list price; the product or product part will be returned to Customer; or Customer can request in writing that Humanscale dispose of the product or product part for Customer, in which case a fee may apply as designated by local law.


Humanscale does not warrant that customer’s use of the Humanscale product will be uninterrupted or error free. Any implied warranties that may be imposed by law are limited in duration to the Limited Warranty period, to the greatest extent allowed by law. Some states or countries do not allow a limitation on how long an implied warranty lasts or the exclusion or limitation of incidental or consequential damages for consumer products. In such states or countries, some exclusions or limitations of this Limited Warranty may not apply. This Limited Warranty is subject to change without notification.

Limitation of Liability
Purchaser’s remedies set forth herein are exclusive and the liability of Humanscale with respect to the breach of this agreement or any contract entered into between the parties pursuant hereto shall not exceed the price of the product or part on which such liability is based. In no event will Humanscale be liable to purchasers for any special, collateral, incidental or consequential damages however caused, whether by Humanscale’s negligence or otherwise. The remedies provided above are the purchaser’s sole remedies for any failure of Humanscale to comply with its obligations regarding the workmanship of its products. Correction of any nonconformity in the manner and for the period of time provided shall constitute complete fulfillment of all liabilities of Humanscale, with respect to or arising out of the product furnished hereunder.

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