How a human-centered approach to design changed the way we work.

High-performing workspaces are a challenge to design. And what does the process look like when the designer is also the client? See how redesigning our own office took us on a creative collision course that changed how we work. Welcome to Project URTO.

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A beautiful collision.

When we started our Santa Clara headquarters redesign, the process set us on a collision course. So we named the Project URTO after the Italian word for collision. Instead of simply adding more space, we gathered data to examine how we actually used our office. The result: a new workplace which brings culture, design, and technology together in a way that gives employees a sense of belonging – and the freedom to choose how and where they get their best work done. Here’s how we did it.

Data Analytics

Using Steelcase Workplace Advisor, we embedded sensors around our office. We discovered that we were only actively using 29% of a space that felt “too small.”

Culture Analysis

We began analyzing how One Workplace employees preferred to work. They wanted autonomy, freedom, and connection. We knew our space had to be agile enough to encompass it all.


Designing a high-performing environment means a number of things: striking the right balance between form and function, addressing the cognitive, emotional, and functional wellbeing of the people inside, and helping them do their jobs better.

See URTOnomy In Action

Our office doubles as a Design Lab where anyone can experience URTOnomy on display. Schedule a tour to get ideas, insights, and inspiration.
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