Chair of the board

steelcase SW1

UAE: Coalesse, the premium furnishings brand of US company Steelcase has launched the SW_1 conference room collection to the Middle East, designed by Scott Wilson and Minimal.

The collection provides an alternative to generic conference room products and is designed to enhance social connectivity giving users the freedom to change postures and positions while sitting in meetings.

The line includes occasional, standard, low conference height tables, low conference lounge and standard conference chairs.


Made of aluminum and steel, the chairs and tables are almost 100% recyclable. The upholstery on the chair is designed so they can be updated over time while re-using about 85% of the existing product. It has snap-off cushions to extend the life and use of the chair instead of having to buy new furniture.

Wilson started working for Steelcase in the 90s when it owned IDEO, design consultancy. He is the former global creative director at Nike and founded Chicago-based Minimal in 2007.

After setting up his own design studio he was contacted by Bob Arko, VP of design with Coalesse to explore a new collection.

“The SW_1 range started as a two-piece collection but has grown to three chairs, an ottoman and over 50 tables ranging from occasional tables, low collaborative conference tables and standard height tables up to six meters long,” said Wilson.

“We also created a simple accessible power solution called the PowerPod for top-of-table use which has received a strong response.”

The PowerPod is a portable power source and accessory tray in one. It can be used for ipods, ipads, cell phones and laptops and has a power strip which works on top of the table. “The Coalesse research provided initial insights.

Then this was combined with my experience working in creative cultures such as Nike and the behaviours which occur in these environments,” said Wilson. “From an aesthetic and material standpoint, I wanted to create something that didn’t feel so institutional and felt more inviting and conversational. Something people would look forward to using during long meetings.”

Wilson said it was his first foray into contract furniture and there was a lot to learn. He added the conference-lounge chairs provide ergonomic comfort for a more relaxed “lean back” posture and freedom to move and the low collaborative tables offer a more social and informal experience than conventional conference room products, featuring a tablet that extends off the table to create a personal work zone.

The collection comes in a spectrum of sizes and materials, including round, square, super-square, rectangle and super-elliptical.

All SW_1 products are BIFMA-certified with a 10-year warranty. SW_1 chairs and tables are produced domestically by Coalesse and built to order in six weeks.

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