Furniture Maker Steelcase Celebrates 100 Years

Office furniture company Steelcase has launched a year-long celebration of its 100th anniversary. Founded as the Metal Office Furniture Company on March 16, 1912, the company’s journey began with its first product — the fireproof metal waste basket — to ensure safety, as cigar and pipe smokers risked workers’ lives because of fires caused from ashes dumped in wicker wastebaskets.

“From the start, our company has been about more than furniture,” said James Hackett, CEO of Steelcase Inc. “We have always focused on people and what people can do. Companies don’t survive for a century – ideas do. So as we turn 100 years old we want to take this opportunity to look out into the future and see all the things that make us optimistic. We see a future full of limitless possibilities.”

Looking ahead to the next 100 years, Steelcase is launching a celebration called “100 Dreams, 100 Minds, 100 Years” as a dialog around the future and innovation necessary to support the changing world of work.

Steelcase began its anniversary initiative by asking children from around the world to envision how people will live and work in the future and to complete the sentence “One day…” with their own ideas expressed in artwork and stories.

Highlights of these “100 Dreams” are captured in a documentary film titled “One Day” that will be seen at Steelcase showings around the world and is available online at, along with the children’s artwork.

The company also invited “100 Minds” – thought leaders from around the world – to share their ideas for the future. These “100 Minds” contributors, including author Daniel Pink, architect Patricia Urquiola and artist Dale Chihuly, share their thoughts through words, drawings, photographs and other multimedia on the site.

The minds each have a unique, intriguing perspective on what the future holds, from a greener planet, increased innovation, changes in education to advances in technology. Their online dialogue is moderated by Emmy and Peabody award-winning author and journalist John Hockenberry.

RMN News

Rakesh Raman