Steelcase Inc. Recognized by Industrial Designers Society of America

Company’s Seating Innovations Awarded IDEA Awards for Design Excellence

July 30, 2009 – Grand Rapids, MI – Steelcase Inc. (NYSE:SCS), a global office environments manufacturer, today announced that it has won Industrial Design Excellence Awards (IDEA) for three of its products. Silver IDEAs were awarded to collaborative chairs cobi™ and i2i™, and a Bronze IDEA was awarded to Steelcase’s intuitive and ergonomically supportive task chair, Amia®. The IDEAs, co-sponsored by the Industrial Designers Society of America (IDSA) and BusinessWeek magazine, recognize products that exemplify design excellence.

“Each of the chairs awarded today were designed based on specific insights,” said Jim Keane, president, Steelcase Group. “Something as simple as watching users fidget during a meeting or struggle to stay visually connected to information and each other lead to these insights, and from there our designers develop beautiful products that really respond to these issues.”

Silver IDEA recipients, cobi™ and i2i™, are part of a recently-introduced category of collaborative seating that combines aesthetics with performance to facilitate collaboration and innovation. cobi™ is a lightweight table-based chair with a flexing back that dynamically supports a wide range of postures with only one manual adjustment for seat height. An intuitive, weight-activated mechanism provides support by automatically responding to the user’s movement.

i2i™ is designed to help users stay focused and connected. It is free of adjustments, yet has a flexible back that allows for both movement and support while sitting upright or reclined. It also supports a variety of postures with its dual-swivel mechanism that allows users to swivel the seat and back together, swivel the back only or swivel the seat only.

Bronze IDEA recipient Amia® is an ergonomic task chair designed to provide users everyday comfort. It utilizes Steelcase’s unique LiveBack™ technology, which flexes with every move to offer consistent ergonomic support for the lower back. It also features four-way adjustable arms and seat depth, as well as a flexible front seat edge.

The 2009 IDEA Awards spanned 17 categories, from personal accessories to entertainment, and from design strategy to student design. Judging criteria for each entry focused on six areas of industrial design excellence: design innovation; benefit to the user; benefit to society and natural ecology; benefit to the client; visual appeal and appropriate aesthetics; and usability testing, rigor and reliability. The complete list of Gold, Silver and Bronze IDEA winners are published on July 29 at

About Steelcase Inc.
Steelcase (NYSE: SCS) provides furniture, services and insights to help people have a better work experience, and to help companies and organizations create inspiring spaces with a maximum impact on performance and a minimum impact on the environment. A Michigan-based company that has been serving customers for nearly a century, Steelcase leads the global office furniture industry with $3.2 billion in annual revenue (FY09). Learn more at

Laura Muyskens