RESULTS: tagged with Mar 2012

Mar 22

About two years ago Steelcase asked Genesis Inc. to help make the 100th Anniversary really inspiring to everyone whose life is touched by the company, all over the world. We’re a strategic and creative consultancy that works in partnership with Steelcase on ongoing projects, and whatever the assignment, we always begin at the beginning. So we started by uncovering the core idea behind everything the company has ever done. We then expressed that with a symbol, a graphic mark, that would guide all of our creative efforts. This mark represents a single moment in time, one very few companies ever come to experience. And it was designed to celebrate not just a rich past, but a rich future to come. Not surprisingly, we called it the Insight Symbol, because it is insight – into people, markets, and the world of work – that has created the Steelcase we see in 2012.

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Share the Anniversary All Year Long

Mar 21

Relive and remember the 100-year celebration each time you purchase merchandise. It gives you the opportunity to re-create the experience as well as share it with others.

Please visit www.steelcaseapparelstore.com to place an order for 100th anniversary apparel. For large orders, please contact our apparel supplier: kip@trophymuskegon.com.

To order any of these Steelcase 100-Year anniversary merchandise items,
please contact 800.784.0358 (toll-free) – credit cards purchase only.
Hours of operation: M-F (8:00 a.m. EST – 5:00 p.m. EST)
Steelcase customer manager: Devin Wehrmeyer

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Mar 19

Jim Hackett Addressing Grand Rapids Econ ClubGrand Rapids Econ Club
Earlier today, our CEO Jim Hackett addressed the Economic Club of Grand Rapids. He paid homage to his predecessor, Bob Pew, and commented on the history of the company, including its many challenges and successes since the company was incorporated in 1912.

“As we look back over time we can see that Steelcase often had a rhythm of stepping up to challenges and not only responding to it, but coming out a much better company as a result,” said Jim. “Since day one, that agility and resourcefulness is a result of our company’s dedication to human insights.”

“Today, our customers turn to Steelcase not just because of what we make, but because of what we know,” he continued.  “We create products and services, but our customers buy insights and innovation.  They come to us because they need help making their workplace more productive, more effective, and more attractive to top talent. . . I’m happy to report today that Steelcase is the number one company in the world in this industry and its headquartered right here in Grand Rapids, Michigan.”

“For 10 decades, Grand Rapids has been the epicenter for our business that has grown to employ more than 12,000 hard-working, forward-thinking individuals. It is a city that represents our beginnings as a company. We’d like to take this time to thank our community for supporting our business and providing stellar resources over the years.”

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Mar 16

Celebration Balloon Drop

Insight Symbol

Jim Hackett Speak

On this date 100 years ago, The Metal Office Furniture Co. was incorporated. Today, that company – now known as Steelcase – brought together 1,400 of its employees to celebrate this milestone in Grand Rapids, Michigan. CEO Jim Hackett addressed the crowd and revealed an artistic installation of the anniversary symbol, which will hang from the ceiling of the headquarter lobby for the next year.  Before the unveiling, Jim Hackett offered a few words:

“I’ve just returned last night from a week of celebration with many of our employees in the Asian sales organization, our Global Business Center and our factory in Malaysia. We are truly integrated around the world so while the flight was very long, the hospitality was pure Steelcase. Do you think the founders in 1912 could have imagined that the president of the company could even travel those distances at that speed? Hardly. In fact they wouldn’t recognize the company we’ve become. But they would see the same enduring values. This is a story of evolving our business on an arc of significance. In other words, WHAT we would do over those years might be different… but WHO we are would ride that constant arc.”

The inspiration for the Steelcase anniversary graphic was a human eye — where the promise of people shines most clearly. The symbol reminds us of the great diversity of our world, with different elements coming together in harmony. It implies a work in progress, a century of ideas coming together with many open areas where new possibilities can come into play.

To celebrate this special day, Steelcase invites you to look forward to the future. You are encouraged to take time to dream about what can be. You can share those thoughts with our community on this site or through our Share Your Dream app on Facebook.

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A Special Supplement to the April 2012 issue
of Metropolis Magazine

Mar 15

Metropolis magazine has been an authority on all aspects of design for over 30 years. Today, the magazine releases a special issue to celebrate Steelcase’s 100-year legacy and promise for the future.

Available online and in print, the issue provides an intimate, behind-the-scenes look at Steelcase’s transformation from local manufacturer to globally-integrated enterprise. The issue includes an in-depth interview with President and CEO James P. Hackett, and highlights Steelcase’s research-based design team. Rounding out the coverage and looking into the future, the magazine features the 100 Dreams, 100 Minds, 100 Years initiative that asks children and thought leaders around the world to envision the future.

Susan S. Szenasy, Metropolis’ editor in chief and also one of our 100 Minds contributors, oversaw the project for the magazine.

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Mar 13

As the date of our official anniversary quickly approaches, the global celebration is well underway. In Malaysia earlier this week, Steelcase CEO Jim Hackett and others from the executive team met to discuss the anniversary efforts, our company achievements and future plans. Employees from our sales, customer service and project management teams were on site to dream about what the future will be and what our company could look like in the decades to come.

A true highlight of the celebration was the performance by a group of employees who composed their own anniversary commemorative song in the Malay language. We look forward with much anticipation to seeing how other regional groups celebrate this milestone over the coming weeks.

Employees in Malaysia Celebrating

Employees in Malaysia Celebrating 2

 

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Mar 9

Eye

It was a homecoming in so many ways, going back to the TED conference in 2012. I had not presented there for more than a decade. I had last been on the TED stage in Monterrey California, the conference’s original location back in February of 2001. It was a moment when Y2K was a fading fear, 9/11 was a random calendar date and the tech bubble of the ‘90s was about to burst. For me it was 3 kids ago. Back then I was so full of ideas and thoughts about design and where the world was heading. I had great successes presenting those dreams on the TED stage. In the subsequent 11 years, though, it seemed that so much had happened. I had lowered my gaze somehow. I felt less like a dreamer and more like the tentative pilot of a flimsy canoe as waves crashed all around me.

What would I possibly have to say at this much grander Long Beach TED conference that could matter to a much larger audience of V.I.P.s and world-changers? I staggered around in my own anxiety for a good long while until I remembered the children we had spoken to in the course of the “100 Dreams, 100 Minds, 100 Years” project. What did they have to say that would be of interest? We asked such questions of 10-year-olds from around the world and each one of them had something to offer. The key was finding a connection after believing one was there. Connecting yourself to the people you are speaking with and knowing within yourself those connections exist, there is no other formula for reaching people.

In just this way, TED 2012 was for me an exploration within. There were all my personal notions of design and the ideas about design passed to me by my father, Jack Hockenberry, the first director of design at Steelcase. There were memories of my days as a math wiz at the University of Chicago learning the power of scientific precision, the possibilities of technological change evident even back in the 1970s, and the capacity of an idea to bend reality and change the future. It was a delight to be amongst the TEDsters, old and new. This ethos of change and curiosity and the determination to make something happen was infectious. It was the perfect place to launch the “100 Minds” initiative. Steelcase CEO Jim Hackett and I winked and waved at each other from across rooms. We managed to grab a few precious minutes of conversation. Both of us were grateful that the “100 Minds” vision had come together so well. We both thought it fit perfectly into the whole TED community. In a sense, Hackett and Hockenberry were like two friendly cousins in an extended family. Him urging me on to do well on stage and me cheering him forward with his vision for the second Steelcase century.

It had been a very long time since I was a worker in the old desk plant in Grand Rapids, the son of my dad – the designer of curved metal pieces that confounded some of the die makers used to right angles and squares. My dad’s name was on the blueprints they used and I would get some pretty cold looks when difficulties with the metal stamping presses would shut down the line. It had also been a long time since I had whimsically taken to the TED stage myself. This would be a test of my dreams.

With a big family now and as much focus on retirement as on the future of civilization, to my great surprise the TED talk came easily. It turns out that dreaming out loud, even on a stage as exclusive as TED, is completely natural and just as exciting at age 55, with 5 kids, as it is in your early 40s and a newlywed. My talk about design and the need to do things intentionally, to think about the world before you make or act (just what our dreamer kids were telling us) rocked the house. When I left the stage I got lost in enthusiastic lines of people asking questions and sharing their own impressions of all that I had said. At one point, I caught Jim Hackett hovering on the edge of a small crowd. He gave me a “thumbs up” sign and winked with the message that he’d see me soon.

Hackett and Hockenberry. Kinda catchy, don’t you think? What’s the lyric in that famous song Moon River? “Two drifters, off to see the world.” How about “Two Dreamers, off to see the world.”

Or even 100 dreamers.

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Mar 8

Graham Button, Daniel Junge, Chloe Weigum

The Steelcase film “One Day” had its first official public screening last night. It was the first of a double bill of documentaries from director Daniel Junge as part of the Women+Film Series by the Denver Film Society. The 400-seat theater was packed and tickets had been sold out for weeks.

Colorado Film Commissioner Donald Zuckerman welcomed co-directors Daniel Junge and Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy and their Oscar for Best Documentary Short. He then introduced Graham Button of Genesis Inc., Steelcase’s creative partner in the 100 Year Anniversary initiative, and Chloe Weigum, one of the ten-year-olds featured in “One Day”.

Graham described how the film came into being as part of the “100 Dreams, 100 Minds, 100 Years” program, and thanked Steelcase CEO Jim Hackett for “his bravery and moral compass” in embracing the future through the eyes of the great dreamers – children and thought leaders. He also invited the audience to bring their own dreams to the website.

The film was very well received. “One Day” was in good company — it was followed by the Oscar-winning “Saving Face”.

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Mar 6

John Hockenberry Speaking at TED 2012

Photo: James Duncan Davidson

Author, journalist and 100 Minds curator John Hockenberry addressed the crowd at TED last week. There, he offered a personal and candid look at design and our ability to not only create, but improve upon what has been created before. Using the example of a song, John said, “Broadly speaking, design is the courage and brilliance to cover an original and make it different, make it universal.”

John spoke about his earliest design influence. His father was a designer for IBM, Kodak, and Steelcase. He recalled a lesson that his dad reiterated throughout his childhood, which he still believes in today:  “Good design is about supplying intent.”

Ironically, it was poor design that caused John to spend his life in a wheelchair. “Thirty-six years ago, I was in a poorly designed automobile that hit a poorly designed guardrail on a poorly designed road in Pennsylvania, plummeted down an embankment and killed two people in the car. . . [After the accident,] I had no option but to make up this new life without walking. A life with intent, lived by design, covering the original with something better. It’s something for us all to do or find a way to do in these times: to get back to this, to get back to design.”

In his 100 Minds contribution, John refers to our individual potential to shape the future. He writes, “The seeds of the future lie in our own time.” In what ways have you seen design help our today? And how do you see it shape tomorrow?

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Mar 5

Siddesh's 100 Dreams Interview

Siddesh's 100 Dreams Drawing

These are the first words we hear from Siddesh, a 10-year-old boy from Mumbai, India in the documentary One Day. The film, developed by Steelcase in collaboration with Genesis Inc., and directed by Academy Award winning filmmaker Daniel Junge, follows six children as they dream about the future. What will the world look like in the years to come? What is the world going to have that we don’t have now? These may sound like big, complicated questions for kids but their answers are remarkably profound.

When we meet Siddesh, he proclaims his Indian pride and notes that he hopes India will one day be a great country. As he looks over the city, he talks candidly about the many slums near his house as he begins to talk about the future. He feels confident that he will personally be able to contribute to the betterment of the country as an architect. In his adulthood, he hopes to create “intelligent buildings” that will adapt to environmental conditions. If a tsunami would come toward the city, for example, his structures would rise up on stilts “so everyone can live.”

In addition to caring for the people in Mumbai, Siddesh is also concerned for the natural environment. “A lot of children of my age see the future with flying cars, but they don’t see the negative effect,” he says. “If the flying cars leave black gas, that will leave trees to die. We have to think about the world before making new things.”

Citizens of India are among the happiest people in the world, according to a recent study by global research firm Ipsos. Despite a wide economic gap and civil conflict, 43 percent of Indians say they are very happy. Siddesh’s positive outlook on the future certainly demonstrates this sense of optimism.

We encourage you to view the One Day film in its entirety and share your dream for the future on our Facebook page.

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Mar 1

TED thanks Steelcase
Another amazing day at TED 2012. People see the powerful talks online, but there’s just as much value for attendees in the conversations that take place over lunch and during breaks. Today I had the pleasure of spending time with Susan Cain, author of Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World that Can’t Stop Talking, who presented on the first day of TED. Our conversation yesterday confirmed that there’s a lot of synergy between her thinking and ours at Steelcase. We agree that it’s about finding the right balance between thinking and doing, between spaces for quiet contemplation and spaces for team interaction. Her insights on personality are compelling and will provide an intriguing perspective as we continue to study how people work, and the environments required to unlock human promise.

I’ve been coming to TED since 1988 and Steelcase has been a proud supporter since one year after that first experience. Having Chris Anderson acknowledge our support from the big stage yesterday, and take note of Steelcase’s centennial year, was a proud moment for all of us. I’m really looking forward to this afternoon’s session at TED, with my friends David Kelley from IDEO and John Hockenberry among the presenters. John is an acclaimed journalist and author, and the curator of our 100 Dreams, 100 Minds, 100 Years content.

In the TED spirit of Ideas worth spreading, I hope you’ll all take a moment to join the hundreds of children, business leaders, artists and innovators who helped kick off our conversation about the future and share your dream on our Facebook page.

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