The Steelcase Coordinated Office Approach

Stephen Coles

Union Carbide Cafeteria

The Steelcase Coordinated Office Approach”, recently submitted to our photo group by IAAFOTS

A reprise of the Steelcase advertising posted back in MCM’s first year. See below for more immaculately/absurdly coordinated office spaces from 1960s-era issues of Fortune magazine. Thanks for sharing your pristine scans, Paul!

Management Decides...

4000 Line

For the Man of Action

Steelcase Coordinated Offices

See also: Steelcase Matchbook.

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  1. 01.16.09 Mary-Frances

    Great offices! I actually did a double take to see if it was the same as on MadMen. You have to LOVE The bear and guns motif!

  2. 01.16.09 becky

    I LOVE this post! These offices are very Sterling Cooper – I’m currently obsessed with the Mad Men set design.
    You inspired me to go revisit some pictures of the FLW Johnson Wax Building.

  3. 01.16.09 Stewf

    I too was reminded of Mad Men. I’ve been working on a long review of the show’s production design. Expect it soon.

  4. 01.16.09 becky

    Stewf, I took some shots of my TV for the Palm Springs episode (sometimes you gotta do what you gotta do!) and collected a few images from their website at these locations. Please feel free to swipe if you need any of them for your post:

  5. 01.16.09 Stewf

    Fantastic, Becky. I have been snapping stills from the DVDs, but I’ll keep yours in mind. Oh, DesignPublic! That reminds me, I have some clearance items to pick up…

  6. 01.18.09 mousewords

    Some of those scenes are all too familiar! Growing up in 80’s Chicago area, with family working in downtown offices, a lot of that was still around. When they redecorated for 80’s chic, we inherited some of those bright orange and olive green desk chairs! :-)

  7. 01.19.09 Katie

    Yikes. I worked at Prudential Corporate offices in the early ’70s and we had those orange chairs! :-)

  8. 01.19.09 — presodent

    my mother worked for steelcase for 20 years until 2003. we have some of their chairs and desks at home and they weigh a ton but have lasted for at least 15yrs. great design and durability.

  9. 01.19.09 laura sweet

    In keeping with the mid-century Steelcase colored desk theme, the igl jet desk has just been reissued and fits with your post, especially since Ernest Igl worked for Steelcase! I Just blogged about it, see it here:

  10. 01.20.09 — sean murphy

    I worked on a government installation and they still use steelcase stuff from the this era. Our job was to reconfigure offices using this stuff, and unlike the modern equipment, you dont have to wrap this stuff in blankets and bubble wrap to move it across the room. I love the look and “procured” certain items for my home office, very cool stuff.

  11. 01.21.09 — Scott Harpel

    Most of my Mid Century collection is Steel Case Pieces I got from Ohio State for free, only problem though is there all in storage at my Grandparents house while I study in London, and did not think to take pictures of them before leaving.

  12. These are cool! Seeing these make me sad that I had to give or sell chairs from that era not long ago due to lack of space. At least I kept a dozen conference chairs; some are at the office with the rest in storage. BTW, I talked about your post.

  13. 01.28.09 Avi Flombaum

    Wow, beautiful. It’s so amazing how these icons of design have defined our experience of not just space, but time. Thanks for sharing +1 rss reader!

  14. 08.27.09 Velocity John

    Fantastic pics! I want to turn our offices into picture #1. Thanks!

  15. 04.17.14 — David Jon Timm


    I was searching for some vintage office photos and I came across your vintage SteelCase picture. That is my mother in the black dress with red hair. She used to model for SteelCase when she was around 19 or 20. She has a few catalogs that she was in and they are fantastic. I’m hoping to frame them one day.

    My cousin Brian Miller has been the photographer for SteelCase for years as well.

    Great to see this.

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