Rely, a collection of furniture from Grand Rapids-based American Seating geared to the college classroom, garnered a “Like” from Metropolis Magazine. The design magazine highlighted 38 new products of the hundreds unveiled at the office furniture trade show in Chicago last week.
Several West Michigan products, from textiles to conference tables, impressed the judges at the design magazine. They include:
• Steelcase’s Susan Cain Quiet Spaces
• Configura’s CETdesigner 5.0 by Configura
• NuCraft’s Kai Table, designed by Joey Ruiter
• Herman Miller’s Locale designed by Sam Hecht and Kim Colin
• Herman Miller company Maharam’s Scholten & Baijings Collection
• Steelcase’s Coalesse <5_MY chair
Several of the products also won top NeoCon awards from Contract Magazine as well.
Copier is thrilled to be in the company of some of the industry’s top designers just two years out of college. He joined American Seating 18 months ago after internships at Grand-Rapids based office furniture giant Steelcase and Benton-Harbor-based home appliance giant Whirlpool.
The design process began by “understanding what the needs were at the very beginning and transferring those needs into products,” he said.
“And the furniture needs to look good,” added Copier, who may have inherited some of his creativity from his dad, Mark Copier, an award-winning newspaper photographer who worked for the Grand Rapids Press for decades.
Copier designed the movable lectern as a touchdown spot for professors to quickly set up shop, by providing a place to hang a briefcase and set a coffee cup.
The Rely collection was designed as a fully coordinating system of highly mobile and easily configurable tables, white boards and lecterns. The elements can be easily matched with additional furniture products such as study carrels or tandem lounge seating to create design consistency throughout a variety of environments.
The furniture was created in response to requests from the company’s higher education customers who wanted to able to reconfigure a room in the middle of classes.
“It’s no longer one professor talking for the entire class,” explained Deb McDermott, American Seating’s vice president of marketing. “It’s them talking and then asking students to reconfigure (their desks) into discussion groups for collaboration.”
Shandra Martinez covers business for MLive/The Grand Rapids Press. Email her or follow her on Twitter @shandramartinez.Originally posted in MLive on June 13, 2015