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Interior Design students visit premier design company

Students in the School of Design had the opportunity to visit Steelcase, a premier furniture design and manufacturer company. The visit took place in the beginning of September.

Steelcase “leads the way by using research and data to inform workplace design strategies, in turn creating great experiences through a range of architecture, furniture and technology products and services. Organizations around the world trust Steelcase to help them create inspirational spaces people want to work from.”

As part of the Interior Design Studio III class, students visited the internationally recognized company to gain hands-on experience and ask questions of professionals in the field.

Students outside of Steelcase

Renée Hawthorne, regional education manager for Steelcase, was one of two who led the SDSU group. Splitting time between Hawthorne and Steelcase application specialist, Laura Saltsman, students got a glimpse into a real-world work setting.

“Our goal for the visit was to provide an experience that would stress the value and significant impact that their designs can have on individuals that use their spaces,” explained Hawthorne. “Also, through meeting several leaders in our organization, to expand their vision about the wide range of professional career opportunities that are available to them as trained interior designers.”

Steelcase created an itinerary website specifically for SDSU, providing details of their trip and what they will cover throughout their day.

The trip began with Dr. Tracy Brower, a principal with Steelcase’s applied research and consulting group. Her studies include the sociology of work, work-life balance, happiness and fulfillment. Brower shared with students the five modes of work, which include focus, learning, collaboration, rejuvenation and socialization.

Students also had the opportunity to explore “the evolving workplace, an agile work environment, shared spaces and the need for hybrid collaboration and the different ways to solve for it.” Through a tour of Steelcase’s test lab, students learned about the product development process, materiality options and the importance of durability. The trip touched on a variety of points for students, including how research informs design, the stages of the design process and how the modes of work affect design through purpose, connection and performance.

Hawthorne said it was a pleasure to host the SDSU group. “The students from SDSU were engaged, asked insightful questions and exhibited professionalism throughout the visit,” Hawthorne said. “Along with our local dealer partners, Interstate Office Products, Steelcase will continue to engage with the students and the instructors to provide the students with research and support as they progress through the program and enter their careers.”

For more information about Steelcase or how to set up a visit, contact Renée Hawthorne.