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Inspiration

The Way Forward: A new relationship between Steelcase and the Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation

August 29, 2022
Originally Published on Steelcase.com

Steelcase is looking back at their heritage with one of history’s most visionary architects in order to see the way forward to vital designs for how we live and work today. Steelcase and the Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation are joining in a new creative collaboration — a partnering that intends to range from launching reintroductions of iconic pieces to newly authored designs rooted in Frank Lloyd Wright’s principles.

In 1939 Steelcase produced the furniture designed by Frank Lloyd Wright for the SC Johnson Administration Building in Racine, WI.

Steelcase's unique connection with Frank Lloyd Wright began over 80 years ago, in 1939, with Wright’s revolutionary design of one of the first open plan office spaces, the SC Johnson Administration Building in Racine, Wisconsin. Steelcase produced Wright’s inspiring and practical furnishings for those workspaces, embodying his groundbreaking principles of organic architecture. Since 1985 they've added to this shared heritage through our ongoing stewardship of Wright’s Meyer May House in Grand Rapids, Michigan. With years of meticulous research and repair, the house has been returned to its original 1909 design — one of the most complete restorations of a Wright Prairie style residence in the world.

Through scale and materiality, the Frank Lloyd Wright Racine Collection reinterprets the furniture for how we live and work today.

Now, Steelcase is looking ahead to continue Wright’s legacy through an expansive new relationship with the Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation. They're drawing on the Foundation’s Archives and Wright’s design principles for aspiration and inspiration, to create ongoing collections of fine Frank Lloyd Wright-inspired furnishings, and to come, textiles and wall coverings, that evolve from the legendary to the unexpected. As they revisit, reintroduce, and reinterpret Wright’s work for the world he envisioned, they believe there’s never been a more meaningful time to draw from a master who was always ahead of his time.

The present is the ever moving shadow that divides yesterday from tomorrow. In that lies hope. - Frank Lloyd Wright

Steelcase is honored to be stewards of Wright’s ideas as they apply his original principles — bringing his vision of the relationships between people, nature and place to life, and championing his belief in an architecture for better living that helps to shape our collective future.

This fall Steelcase will launch the first product line cultivated from the new relationship — the Frank Lloyd Wright Racine Collection by Steelcase. Reflecting their common ground, this debut will include pieces that are both reintroductions and reinterpretations of the original furniture from the SC Johnson Administration Building.

FLW Installation at NeoCon