FIU’s IIDA Chapter Members Visit Steelcase Headquarters in Grand Rapids, MI


On January 24 and 25, FIU interior architecture students spent a day recently touring the Steelcase headquarters and research based facilities in Grand Rapids, Michigan with department chair, Janine King.

Steelcase, a global research and design company, extended an invitation to Florida International University students to take part of a tour specifically designed to discover the importance between workplace environments and design. President of the IIDA FIU Campus Chapter, Edna Desulme along with six other members were chosen to embark on this two-day trip to the Midwest. On arrival, the students spent a couple of hours discovering the city. They then headed to the Meyer May House, for dinner and a tour of Frank Lloyd Wright’s residential home. The home acquired by Steelcase in 1985, has been meticulously restored the represent Wright’s vision.

The next day, the students took part of an excited agenda arranged by Steelcase representatives, Julia Melhauser and Chris Kiehn. The morning began with breakfast and welcome conversation and followed by a tour of the offices. After exploring the facilities, lunchtime rolled around where the student participated in a discussion with different thought leaders and members from Steelcase research team.

“We shared who we are as a company; the role we can play as the research leader in the industry. Steelcase thought-leadership joined us a few times throughout our visit. One of the researchers from the Workspace Futures group spoke to the group about how our primary research leads to each solution we introduce to the market. We learned about product design and prototyping from two of our leaders in product engineering and saw process sketches of a product that was recently introduced. The group saw product  & technology prototypes that show where we may go in the future as well as virtual reality tours through our innovation & design spaces. Our goal was to engage, inspire and share. We had a great time together and welcome FIU to join us again,” recalled Julia Melhauser, Workplace Consultant of Steelcase.

This field trip opportunity offered FIU interior architecture students to discover spaces in the education, healthcare or corporate workplace that can promote productivity and support social, economic and environmental sustainability. By exploring and engaging in the company culture and facilities, the students absorbed design strategies and initiatives to apply to their current curricular projects and future career paths.

To learn more information in Steelcase please visit, their website.

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