Modern classrooms need modern chairs. That seems to be the motivation behind the Steelcase Node, which updates the classic school furnishing with a number of very useful additions.
Forget Steelcase's pitch about multiple modes of learning. The design can, pretty much, speak for itself - a classroom chair with generous desk space, wheels and under-the-seat storage should easily make sitting through sleepy lectures leagues more tolerable.
While compact enough for in-class use, the Steelcase Node doesn't scrimp on the things that make life easier. It's got a comfy-looking seat shell that the company says is tailored for "short-sit use," since you'll rarely go past a couple of hours inside one classroom anyway. The removable desk can be attached to account for either left- or right-handed students, and can be adjusted to varying distances to account for the student's size. There's also enough table area to hold most of the stuff you need in front of you (which, for most students, would be a laptop, a book, a mobile phone and, perhaps, a bottle of water).
Designed for mobility, it lets you scoot from spot to spot using a full set of casters, as well as swivel for quickly facing your classmates. Plus, the base of the chair can hold a backpack and other stuff, sparing you from having to dump your things on the floor.
Created in partnership with IDEO, the Steelcase Node comes in a wide range of colors and options. It ships in three parts that the company says can be assembled in 30 seconds. No word on pricing, but it will likely depend on how many you buy (since they're obviously going to market this to schools).