Steelcase Receives Top Honor from Industrial Designers Society of America (IDSA)


Gold IDEA Awarded to Think Chair for Design Excellence -

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich., June 30 // -- Steelcase Inc. (NYSE:SCS), an international work effectiveness company, today announced it has received a Gold Industrial Design Excellence Award (IDEA) for its Think® chair, a smart, simple and environmentally sustainable seating product that adjusts itself to individual user's needs. The IDEAs are co-sponsored by the Industrial Designers Society of America and BusinessWeek magazine and recognize products that exemplify excellence in design.

"The Industrial Designers Society of America recognizes those products that were able to tune into the hearts and the minds of the customer, not just into market trends, and deliver smart products that reframed entire categories. In light of this, Steelcase is honored to receive this prestigious award for the Think chair," said James P. Hackett, president and CEO of Steelcase Inc. "Winning the Gold IDEA is a testament to the innovative set of research and design principles that Steelcase incorporates into its product development process."

"With this chair, there is more focus on the function than features," said Carl Magnusson, IDSA IDEA judge and founder of Carl Gustav Magnusson Design. "The upholstery speaks of expected comfort, the back speaks of expected support. It is a more dignified citizen in the office landscape."

After three years of extensive research and development, Steelcase developed the Think chair to have both a "brain" and a "conscience." The Think chair "thinks" for the user, anticipating user needs and reacting to them by automatically adjusting itself, moving fluidly with the body and providing support in proportion to body weight. By combining the ideas of sophistication and simplicity, the chair provides a unique solution to benefit the end user.

The Think chair also conforms to the highest environmental standards and raises the bar in cradle-to-cradle design and life-cycle thinking. It is comprised of up to 41 percent recycled content, is 99 percent recyclable by weight and can be disassembled for recycling in five minutes with common hand tools. Additionally, the Think chair was the first office furniture product to receive McDonough Braungart Design Chemistry's (MBDC) new Cradle to Cradle(TM) Product Certification. This certification recognizes Think for its implementation of ecologically intelligent materials and cradle-to-cradle product design. Steelcase and MBDC collaborated to ensure the Think chair uses only materials deemed by MBDC as safe to the environment.

This year's IDEA entries included categories as diverse as consumer electronics, housewares, transportation, sporting goods, furniture and medical and scientific equipment. Judging criteria for each entry focused on five areas of industrial design excellence: design innovation, benefit to the user, benefit to the client/business, ecological responsibility, and appropriate aesthetics and appeal. Exceptional design, intelligent functionality and innovation ultimately captivated the jury. This year's honors included 27 Gold, 38 Silver and 41 Bronze awards. The complete list of Gold, Silver and Bronze IDEA winners are published in the July 10, 2006 issue of BusinessWeek magazine, which hit newsstands today.

About Steelcase Inc.

Steelcase, the global leader in the office furniture industry, helps people have a better work experience by providing products, services and insights into the ways people work. The company designs and manufactures architecture, furniture and technology products. Founded in 1912 and headquartered in Grand Rapids, Michigan, Steelcase (NYSE:SCS) serves customers through a network of more than 800 independent dealers and approximately 13,000 employees worldwide. Fiscal 2006 revenue was $2.9 billion. Learn more at http://www.steelcase.com/.

About IDEA, Industrial Designers and IDSA

The IDEA program fosters business and public understanding about the impact of industrial design excellence on the quality of life and the economy.

Industrial designers determine the form, use features and interaction qualities of manufactured products, packaging and digital media systems. They study people at work, at home and in motion to create satisfying experiences with products from the kitchen and the office to the hospital and the warehouse, shaping these to fit their customers and to make effective use of industrial processes. In this way, industrial designers have a quiet but profound presence in almost everything people encounter during the day.

IDSA is the voice of industrial design, committed to advancing the profession through education, information, community and advocacy.

Source: Steelcase Inc.

CONTACT:
Sara Whitman for Steelcase Inc.,
+1-212-931-6121,
swhitman@peppercom.com

Web site: http://www.steelcase.com/

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