Steelcase Receives Red Dot Award in International Design Competition for Its cobi™ Chair

March 9, 2009 – Grand Rapids, MI – Steelcase Inc. (NYSE:SCS), a global office environments manufacturer, announced today that it received a 2009 red dot award in the Product Design category for cobiTM – a seating product designed to encourage collaboration in a group setting. The red dot award is an annual international communications and product design competition.

Designed by Luke Pearson and Tom Lloyd of the London-based PearsonLloyd, in collaboration with Steelcase Design Studio, cobi caters to a collaborative work environment and combines aesthetics with performance. The chair’s design encourages users to move freely and minimizes fatigue by supporting a wide range of sitting postures with a weight-activated mechanism that automatically responds to a user’s movement. It also features an elastomeric top edge that gives way when users drape an arm over the back of the chair – common behavior when sitting in a chair for longer periods of time. Additionally, the seat pan flexes on three sides, allowing users to sit multiple ways in comfort.

“The red dot is a prestigious and competitive international award,” said James Ludwig, Vice President of Global Design for Steelcase. “Steelcase is honored that cobi is among its recipients. The chair is a great example of the fusion of behavioral insights, technical performance and compelling visual language.”

cobi is part a new category of collaborative seating created by Steelcase. The category was developed based on three key insights derived from observational research:

Collaboration takes time; therefore collaborative seating should promote move¬ment and be comfortable for long periods.
Workers in collaborative spaces don’t adjust their chairs, they adapt. So, adjustments should be automatic and/or intuitive.
People change postures frequently when they collaborate so seating should support multiple postures.

Steelcase has also submitted the product for Cradle-to-Cradle® certification by McDonough Braungart Design Chemistry, LLC.

The red dot award program, formerly known as Design Innovations, is ranked among the largest design competitions worldwide. The competition is divided into three sections – product design, communication design and design concept – which are staged and awarded separately. The coveted trophy is the red dot, the international seal of quality for outstanding design. It is awarded to products which excel through their excellent design quality. Steelcase’s cobi was selected from among more than 3,200 entries that were submitted from around the world.

About Steelcase Inc.
Steelcase 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 $3.4 billion in annual revenue. Learn more

Jeanine Holquist, Steelcase Inc.