History 


 


2010

Steelcase announced several new environmental milestones:

  • The Indoor Advantage certification for our seating portfolio, a high level certificate for Indoor Air Quality, helping companies create more healthy indoor environments
  • The OHSAS 18001 certification for the Sarrebourg plant (France)
  • Being ranked first in the industry for combating climate change by Climate Counts, a New Hampshire based non-profit dedicated to fighting global warming.

Steelcase Education Solutions launched its first product: the node chair, which includes a variety of features to support the new ways students are learning.

Steelcase was awarded several design awards for: the storage Share It, the collaborative chairs QiVi, cobi and i2i, the meeting table 4.8 four point eight and node the educational seat.

The Steelcase 2010 Conference took place in Cologne in October. International scientists, innovation researchers, architects and designers presented the newest trends and findings around the theme "Change. Space. Innovation". This event was retransmitted in live duplexes in Steelcase showrooms in Madrid and London and streamed over the Internet.

WorkLife Dubai was opened in March. A WorkLife is a “living showroom”, it is a sales office, a showroom and a resource centre. Steelcase WorkLife centres are located around the world.

Steelcase worked with Berlage institute, a post-academic laboratory for design-based research in architecture and urbanism. The topic of this research was “How the city fabric can support and represent the way people work and live together, how to counteract the suburbanization of knowledge work, and what the successor of the of the office typology will be”. Feel free to contact us to order the book.

Steelcase opened its European Facebook pages. Have a look at the UK page and become a fan!


2009

Steelcase presented more than 16 new products in 2009 based on in-depth research, market feedback & according to user centred design principles. They include Fusion desk, Share It storage and Reply chair. Along these, two brand new product categories were introduced:

  • three new collaboration chairs that helps people stay focused and connected during meetings: cobi, i2i and QiVi
  • a new furniture and media solution designed to help people connect and collaborate, quickly and seamlessly: media:scape.

The first Steelcase European plant in Wisches (eastern France) got the OHSAS 18001 certification (Occupational Health and Safety Assessment Series). Wisches was already ISO 9001 (quality) and ISO 14001 (environment) certified. OHSAS 18000 is an international occupational health and safety management system specification.


2008

Steelcase becomes the first renewable energy buyer to sponsor industrial-scale wind farm in the United States. Steelcase signed an agreement to purchase all of the green power produced from a new wind farm in Texas for at least five years. According to the US Environmental Protection Agency, this initiative alone will eliminate more than 61 million pounds of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere each year.

Steelcase Spanish plant in Madrid received a PEFC certification for its chain of custody for its wood products. All Steelcase European plants are now fully certified PEFC.

Steelcase launched 3 new seats and one space division ranges: 

  • 32 Seconds, a family that adapts perfectly to any kind of task
  • Leap 24/7, designed for people who need to remain seated and maintain intense concentration for long periods of time
  • Amia, a new task chair, with an innovative active back mechanism. It automatically adapts itself to the body position to provide optimum comfort and full support throughout the working day
  • Partito Wall and Screen, a new space partition ranges. Partito is a flexible and ingenious system that optimises the way in which space is divided up

2007

Steelcase is the first company in Europe to receive a multi-site PEFC certification; for its production facilities at four European sites. The certification ensures that the wood used in the products has been sourced from environmentally friendly suppliers.

Steelcase acquired one of the leading office furniture manufacturers in China, Ultra Group. Ultra Group Holdings Limited manufactures and sells a wide offering of seating, desks, systems and storage products for the Chinese and broader Asian market The transaction aimed to increase Steelcase’s ability to serve customers in the Asia Pacific region.

Steelcase started with IPSOS a collaboration to carry out the biggest European Workplace Surveys of the industry. The goal is to feel the temperature of people at work in Europe. The survey interviews twice a year 2400 European white collars from France, Germany, UK, Italy, Benelux and Spain.

Steelcase broadens its products portfolio with the following introductions:

  • Moby, a versatile, mobile storage unit
  • Universal Storage, a complete storage family of medium–to-high capacity metal cupboards
  • Kalidro, an all-in-one workstation for the essential demands of today’s office
  • 1+1, a simple tool for the efficient organization of the workspace and easy access to personal and shared information

2006

Steelcase unveils its brand new International Headquarters - called WorkLab - in Schiltigheim (Strasbourg), France.
The Steelcase Leap™ chair receives McDonough Braungart Design Chemistry's (MBDC) new Cradle-to-Cradle™ Product.

Steelcase broadens its products portfolio with the following introductions:

  • Activa, a new desking solution
  • B Free Lounge, a modular family of seating and furniture elements designed to realise the productivity of informal office spaces
  • Happening, a smarter, easier and altogether better way of storing things
  • Movida, a flexible yet simple workstation designed for modern office spaces and workstyles
  • Westside, a dynamic visitor chair with a smart, simple design that’s comfortable, versatile and has minimum impact on the environment
  • TNT*, a fusion and enhancement of two of Steelcase’s best selling desk products, TNT and Interact

2005

The Steelcase Madrid (Spain) Systems, Computer Furniture and Wisches (France) facilities earn ISO14001 certification.

The Steelcase Think chair becomes the first office furniture product to receive McDonough Braungart Design Chemistry's (MBDC) new Cradle-to-Cradle™ Product Certification.


2004

Steelcase launches Please 2 chair at the Spectrum exhibition and wins the Architectural Review Award for Product Excellence.
Steelcase launches Happening - a smarter, easier and better way to store
At Orgatec, the world's biggest Office Furniture Fair held in October in Cologne, Steelcase launches two major products:

  • Think, a chair intelligent enough to understand how you sit and adjust itself intuitively. A chair thoughtful enough to measure and minimize its lifelong impact on the environment. A chair with a brain and a conscience
  • Forward,  A new workspace architecture among other fantastic product innovations.

The Steelcase Sarrebourg (France) facility certification is extended to eco-design practices, in addition to the manufacturing certification dated 1998.


2003

Steelcase presents Inspiration Office, an office philosophy providing a scientifically based consultation process enabling companies to provide a workplace that stimulates people’s imagination, which connects people and information easily, which makes people feel good about Monday morning and which creates conditions that help people to do what they do better.


2002

IBM and Steelcase announce a worldwide initiative to develop the office of the future – BlueSpace™. This is a next generation workspace solution encompassing multiple software and hardware components that integrate sensors, actuators, displays and wireless networks into architectural elements.

Fortune Magazine ranks Steelcase number six in its list of "Most Admired Companies" in the nation for social responsibility. Steelcase also ranks number one in the furniture industry in the same category.

The Steelcase Durlangen (Germany) facility is awarded ISO14001 and EMAS (Eco-Management and Audit Scheme) certifications.


2001

Steelcase acquires the PolyVision Corporation - a US company founded in 1954 in Suwannee, GA - which has been focusing on creating products and services that inspire users to be more productive, effective, and creative when collaborating and communicating visually.

The Steelcase Rosenheim (Germany) production unit is awarded ISO14001 and EMAS (Eco-Management and Audit Scheme) certifications whereas the Markham (Canada) facility gets the ISO14001 certification.


2000

Steelcase GmbH is set up as a holding company. Steelcase launches the Leap™ chair as part of the high performance seating range.

Orgatec exhibition in Germany showcases Werndl's first joint and spectacular appearance as a member of the Steelcase family.

The Steelcase Tokyo (Japan) facility is awarded ISO14001 certification.

AF Sistemas becomes officially AF Steelcase in Spain.


1999

Steelcase acquires Steelcase Strafor’s joint venture holding. This makes Steelcase plc a 100% subsidiary of Steelcase Inc.


1998

Steelcase acquires Werndl AG in Rosenheim
Steelcase launches TNT - Europe's best selling desking system.
Steelcase becomes a publicly quoted limited liability company on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) under the symbol SCS.
Steelcase-Werndl gets the EMAS certification (Eco Management and Audit Scheme) for its Rosenheim plant.
The Sarrebourg (France) plant is the 1st French production site to get the ISO14001 certification.


1997

Steelcase acquires Waiko Büromöbel GmbH in Durlangen.


1996

Steelcase invests in IDEO, the largest independent product design and development company in the USA. IDEO offices are located all over the world including London.

Steelcase gets ISO14001 awards for the plants in Rosenheim, Germany and Sarrebourg, France.


1994

Steelcase launches the Universal Storage range, a wide portfolio of cupboards and drawer units for information management.


1990

Creation in New York City of Details. The company doesn’t expect individuals to adjust to the office equipment. They design equipment that adjusts to individuals and the many ways they work. Their products portfolio include a.o. keyboard platform, binder holders, individual shelf, file containers, cable Spool, phone caddy, flat panel monitor arm…


1989

Steelcase opens its Corporate Development Centre for product development, the objective of which is to strengthen the position of Steelcase as the company with the greatest research expertise in the office furniture industry.

Steelcase Strafor acquires, throughout joint-ventures, four office furniture companies:

  • A.F. Sistemas in Spain, created in 1951 and market leader
  • Eurosteel in Portugal
  • Gordon Russell in the United Kingdom
  • Sannash in Morocco.

1980

Steelcase makes a 50% joint venture with Pohlschröder GmbH & Company KG in Dortmund.


1978

Steelcase Strafor plc opens in the UK as a 50/50 joint venture between Strafor, France and Steelcase Inc.


1974

Steelcase forms a 50 percent joint-venture interest with Forges de Strasbourg, (Strafor S.A.) to manufacture seating in Sarrebourg, France. Strafor is known to be the market leader in France with 3 production units; one of these being set up in 1961 in Koenigshoffen as a result of a joint-venture with "E.F Hauserman & Cie USA", an American company specialized in removable steel panels.


1972

Steelcase begins manufacturing office furniture from wood.


1954

The Metal Office Furniture changes its name into Steelcase. The company thought the name change would eliminate confusion with the products of other metal furniture manufacturers.


1953

Steelcase becomes the first in the industry to market office furniture in colours.


1937

Metal Office creates oval-shaped desks based on the design vision of Frank Lloyd Wright. They're used in the S.C. Johnson and Company building, which Life magazine calls "the most inspirational office building of the 20th century."


1921

Steelcase is officially registered as a trademark in August. Because office furnishers never entirely gave up their perception that offices, and especially executive offices, should have wooden furniture, the company pursues ways to make metal furniture more attractive.


1915

Metal Office Furniture markets the first fire-proof steel desks.


1914

Metal Office Furniture gets its first patent for a steel wastebasket.


1912

Steelcase was incorporated as the “Metal Office Furniture Company” on March 16, 1912, in Grand Rapids, Michigan. The company specialized in filling cabinets and safes, came out with a revolutionary idea: manufacturing furniture from a metal sheet.