Sustainable Design Contest Challenges Students to Explore Responsibility

May 27, 2009

SAN FRANCISCO /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ – Steelcase Inc., a global office environments manufacturer, recently announced the winners of the Steelcase Sustainable Design Contest at the 2009 Greener by Design Conference at The Palace Hotel. As part of the contest, students submitted an idea for a product, service, or business venture with a social and/or environmental benefit and winners were selected based on originality and creativity, use of core environmental sustainability principles, and clear evidence of social value. Winners of the challenge include

    •Dave Berger from Cooper Union for Solar Lights, an affordable solar-powered lighting system for the millions of people living in remote, rural regions of Africa and the rest of the world.

    •John Dreher and Mike Norelli from Massachusetts Institute of Technology for their idea, MC Shared, a human-centered energy monitoring system that empowers Americans to be more energy efficient in their homes.

    •Edgar Rudberg from the University of Minnesota for designing The Community Cactum Rainwater Collection System, a kit that aims to help water deprived communities collect and store rainwater.

"The focus of the contest is on the design of products, services, and business ideas that have an environmental and social benefit," says Angela Nahikian, director of global environmental strategy and programs for Steelcase. "The quality of work submitted by the students was impressive and the winners should be commended for understanding and succinctly conveying the social and design aspects of their ideas."

Steelcase partnered with Net Impact, a global organization of more than 10,000 students and professionals committed to using business skills to improve the world, and, the leading online information resource on how to align environmental responsibility with business success, to select the winners. Students were required to submit their idea in 500 words or less and were encouraged to submit design files, concept papers, drawings, business plans or photographs

For winning, the students received a full student scholarship to attend the 2009 Greener by Design conference. Winners will be recognized at the event and have the opportunity to present their work to conference attendees. Scholarship winners can take advantage of all conference sessions, keynotes, networking opportunities, and have the ability to meet executives from some of the world's best-known brands.

About Steelcase Inc.
A Michigan-based company, Steelcase provides furniture, services and insights to help people have a better work experience, and to help companies and organizations create inspiring spaces with a maximum impact on performance and a minimum impact on the environment. For more information, visit

Source: Steelcase Inc. (

For additional information, contact Sara Whitman at (212) 931-6121, or
[email protected].

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