Four industry professionals recommend commercial seating products they have specified in their own projects, as well as use themselves.

Fern Task Chair, Haworth

Application: Office
Dimensions: 47"-tall-by-29"-wide
Description: Inspired by the humble fern, the ergonomic back of this task chair uses the company’s Wave Suspension System, which comprises three layers: cradle, fronds, and stem. Cradle is a soft frame that works as an overlay for stem and fronds, which respectively function as the spine and provide support for the user’s upper and lower back.
Finishes: Fern’s mesh back is available in 11 colors, including cornflower, peat moss, and mushroom. Its plastic trim comes in black, fog, and snow, and its aluminum base comes in four finishes, including pitch black and metallic champagne.

“[Fern’s] adjustment controls and structural components are selectively concealed, creating a more elegant aesthetic. Because it doesn’t have a rigid frame, Fern continually adjusts to [its user’s] body movements.”

—David Little, AIA, associate vice president and interior designer, HGA Architects and Engineers, Minneapolis

Reflect, Allsteel

Application: Lounge
Dimensions: 50.75"-tall-by-44.25"-wide
Description: Part of Allsteel’s Gather Collection, this versatile lounge chair gives users the option to work individually or in a group through a semi-private, cove-like shell, which can be upholstered or covered with a hard veneer. Its 360-degree swivel base enhances user flexibility while its wide armrests can accommodate a laptop.
Finishes: The chair’s veneer shell and base come in clear maple, light cherry, burnished cherry, and dark rift oak. Reflect’s seat and shell can be customized in more than 2,000 upholstery collections.

“This personal workspace enables people to escape from daily distractions and do concentrated work or take a personal call. A large, enveloping back reduces visual and audible distractions and communicates unavailability.”

—Christine Vandover, senior project interior designer, HOK, New York

Diffrient Smart, Humanscale

Application: Office
Dimensions: 40"-tall-by-19.25"-wide
Description: Winner of the first-ever Living Product Challenge by the International Living Future Institute, Diffrient Smart was designed and manufactured with positive environmental impact in mind. A tri-panel mesh backrest provides back support, while adjustable arm rests are fixed to the back frame of the chair in order to move with the user.
Finishes: Available in 14 upholstery seat finishes, including lotus, bizon, and wave. Its mesh back is offered in six color options including platinum, black, and amber.

"As an architect, the bulk of my day is spent at my desk or in meetings—which means I spend most of my day seated in a chair. [Diffrient Smart] is designed to accommodate a wide variety of body types by adjusting to fit each person automatically with a weight-sensitive, mechanism-free recline."

—Brad Prestbo, AIA, senior associate, Sasaki, Watertown, Mass.

Striad Lounge Chair, Herman Miller

Application: Lounge
Dimensions: 42"-tall-by-35"-wide
Description: By German designers Markus Jehs and Jürgen Laub, Striad was inspired by the construction of a high-end ski boot. The chair has a hard outer and inner shell made from a natural composite, with a soft interior lining made of dual-density foam cushions that absorb and disperse impact. Offered in low-, mid-, and high-back (shown) options with a four-star or wire base (shown).
Finishes: Striad can be upholstered in more than 500 of the company’s textiles. The outer shell comes in white, warm gray neutral, and black, and the base options are each offered in three finishes.

“We were drawn to the chair because … it’s a modern remake of a classic design. It’s also a flexible piece—the options for the height and base allow us to tailor it to the project aesthetic with different applications.”

—Kelly Preston, interiors II, SmithGroupJJR, Washington, D.C.

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