• Steelcase partners with Grand Rapids airport to bring smart designs to travelers

    POSTED December 6, 2017

Steelcase launched a 10-year sponsorship at the Gerald R. Ford International Airport this fall to design new two business centers and two work-life lounges in each concourse for travelers. 

The four new spaces are part of a multi-year, two-phase $45-million Gateway Transformation project at the Grand Rapids airport.

These spaces were designed around the central question of how airport destinations can provide connection, respite, information and comfort in new, unexpected ways. Steelcase designers intended to make a meaningful and calming experience for travelers flying into and out of west Michigan for meetings and events.

Designing across generations and traveler types provided an innovative challenge for the design team as Steelcase aimed to create an easy, positive experience that feels tailored to each traveler.

“You need to understand how and why people use a space, and then create spaces to reflect clarity, simplicity and purpose,” says Cherie Johnson, Steelcase director of global design.

The business centers are an area for mobile workers offering a variety of settings to accommodate both focus and collaboration. These centers cater to individuals and groups, with a central location to collaborate.

Each concourse hosts a work-life lounge that is a multifunctional social space to encourage networking and respite with many options for all traveler types. These spaces offer opportunities to sit or stand in a space that supports a variety of modes for work, waiting, interactions and privacy levels, Steelcase says.

These destinations provide space for collaboration for large groups or families while also supporting privacy, quiet, concentration and creative performance. They are designed for focus and interaction as well as rest and rejuvenation.

These destinations are intended to leave a positive impression of the Gerald R. Ford Airport and Grand Rapids community, encouraging people to think differently about how they travel and what they remember about their visit to west Michigan.

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The guide identifies the two most valuable factors in attendee satisfaction as venue location and activities in the host city, followed by capacity, uniqueness and proximity to local attractions.


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