Chairpedia™ ---A New Online Resource for the Contract Industry

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Contract industry pioneer creates online resource for products designed and manufactured exclusively for the contract environment.

My goal is to make Chairpedia the resource that architects and designer use to research furniture, fixtures and other products needed in their work.

Chairpedia™ (http://www.chairpedia.com ) is a new one-click resource for quality products designed and manufactured exclusively for the contract environment. The user-friendly site allows architects, interior designers and specifiers to search alphabetically for companies and products for the Contract market.

The site is also a resource for information about the industry, its history, pioneers and current leading architects, interior designers and purchasing firms. The site highlights NeoCon® and other major industry shows and excerpts from an article on the evolution of the modern chair.

The site was the idea of Manfred Steinfeld, founder of Shelby Williams Industries which was the leading contract furniture company before it was sold in 1999. Steinfeld created Chairpedia because he saw a need for an accessible, online resource. He also wanted to highlight the visionaries who are designing hotels and other public spaces around the world and bring them together into one location—Chairpedia.

“Resource rooms filled with catalogs, swatch books and samples are disappearing and being replaced by the Web. My goal is to make Chairpedia the resource that architects and designer use to research furniture, fixtures and other products needed in their work. Chairpedia documents the history of the Contract Industry and its pioneers and is the only site available for those who want to learn more about the industry,” explains Steinfeld.

Throughout his entrepreneurial career, Steinfeld has recognized an industry need and stepped up to fill it. He helped found the Contract Manufacturers Association at the Merchandise Mart in Chicago and in 1969 provided the impetus for the founding of the industry’s first trade show.

In 1980, he saw a need for a resource for contract designers, architects and specifiers and Steinfeld opened the country’s first design center and book store in his Mart showroom. The center housed the industry’s most comprehensive collection of reference books and periodicals and a product gallery featuring many of the leading industry suppliers. It was a destination stop for any design professional visiting in the Merchandise Mart and a major attraction during NEOCON.

Since selling Shelby Williams, Steinfeld has started two new contract seating firms: Daniel Paul Chairs (http://www.danielpaulchairs.com) and Stack Chair Depot (http://www.stackchairdepot.com). Chairpedia is his latest project.

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Marcie Harrison
The Harrison Group
(773) 334-1011
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Marcie Harrison
The Harrison Group
773-334-1011
Email >
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