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STEELCASE + MICROSOFT PARTNERSHIP 

Steelcase and Microsoft are coming together for the first time to explore how a thoughtfully designed ecosystem of places and devices can support the ways people create.


Steelcase and Microsoft Corp. have joined forces to explore the future of work, developing a range of technology enabled spaces designed to help organizations foster creative thinking and better collaboration. These spaces seamlessly integrate the best of Microsoft Surface devices with Steelcase architecture and furniture. This week the companies unveiled five new “Creative Spaces” showcasing how Steelcase and Microsoft can help organizations unlock creativity for every employee.

Additionally, Steelcase and Microsoft announced:

* That Microsoft is expanding its partner network into the world of design by bringing in select Steelcase dealers as authorized Surface Hub resellers.

* Steelcase and Microsoft are working together to develop technology-enabled workplace solutions built on Microsoft Azure IoT technology.

 

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The Problem: Fostering Creativity as a Business Advantage
According to joint research conducted by Steelcase and Microsoft, creativity is seen as a critical job skill driven by organizations’ need for innovation and growth in addition to employees’ desire for meaningful work. However, today many organizations invest in technology and space as separate entities rather than approaching them holistically. The lack of cohesion creates sub-optimal conditions for fostering creativity at work.

Introducing Creative Spaces
The companies’ exploration of creative work found that creativity is a process in which anyone can engage and requires diverse work modes as well as different types of technology. People need to work alone, in pairs and in different size groups throughout a creative process, and they need a range of devices that are mobile and integrated into the physical workplace. Additionally, spaces should inspire people without compromising performance.

Five initial Creative Spaces are on display now at the Steelcase WorkLife Center in New York City.

Each of these spaces is intentionally designed to support the needs of individuals and teams as they move through the different stages and activities of the creative process. This collection of thoughtfully curated destinations brings together design and materiality without compromising performance.

THE ECOSYSTEM OF CREATIVE SPACES INCLUDE:

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Focus Studio: Individual creative work requires alone time to focus and get into flow, while also allowing quick shifts to two person collaboration. This is a place to let ideas incubate before sharing them with a large group, perfect for focused work with Microsoft Surface Book or Surface Pro 4.

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Duo Studio: Working in pairs is an essential behavior of creativity. This space enables two people to co-create shoulder-toshoulder, while also supporting individual work with Microsoft Surface Studio. It includes a lounge area to invite others in for a quick creative review with Surface Hub or to put your feet up and get away without going away.

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Ideation Hub: A high-tech destination that encourages active participation and equal opportunity to contribute as people cocreate, refine and share ideas with co-located or distributed teammates on Microsoft Surface Hub.

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Maker Commons: Socializing ideas and rapid prototyping are essential parts of creativity. This space is designed to encourage quick switching between conversation, experimentation and concentration, ideal for a mix of Surface devices, such as Surface Hub and Surface Book.

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Respite Room: Creative work requires many brain states, including the need to balance active group work with solitude and individual think time. This truly private room allows relaxed postures to support diffused attention.

Internet of Things

In the coming months, Steelcase expects to announce new technology-enabled office solutions built on Microsoft Azure IoT technology, which will provide companies with analytics that help improve workplaces and solutions to help employees find the best places to do diverse types of work within the office.

ABOUT STEELCASE INC.

For over 100 years, Steelcase Inc. has helped create great experiences for the world’s leading organizations. We demonstrate this through our family of brands – including Steelcase®, Coalesse®, Designtex® PolyVision® and Turnstone®. Together, they offer a comprehensive portfolio of architecture, furniture and technology products and services designed to unlock human promise and support social, economic and environmental sustainability. The company is globally accessible through a network of channels, including over 800 dealer locations. Steelcase is a global, industry-leading and publicly traded company with fiscal 2016 revenue of $3.1 billion.

ABOUT MICROSOFT
Microsoft (Nasdaq “MSFT” @Microsoft) is the leading platform and productivity company for the mobile-first, cloud-first world, and its mission is to empower every person and every organization on the planet to achieve more.

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