That was the challenge posed to designers for the One Good Chair 2010 competition and now the five finalists are gearing up to display their prototypes for the first time at the 2011 Winter Las Vegas Market January 24-28.
Similar to last year's theme, Minimum/Maximum, "Use Less, Make More" challenged designers to demonstrate that smart design can not only minimize material consumption but also maximize comfort. Contest judges specifically looked for pieces that minimized material, production, shipping and assembly while maximizing comfort, utility, durability and beauty in the product.
The finalists selected include:
Eric Tong from the United Kingdom for his Zpine Lounge Chair, which is based on a new technology he developed to open up unlimited possibilities for the use of honeycomb. A vastly undervalued material, honeycomb is very cheap to make and is sustainable and biodegradable, yet gives a magnificent strength to weight ratio.
German team Pitt Berkemeyer and Georg Thesing who designed the ELXE chair, which combines elegance with functionality by connecting the seat shell with the front and rear legs for a mobile piece that corresponds to the needs of modern life.
Helena Bueno and Heinz Miller of the Baita Design Studio in Brazil for their Broom Chair, which as the name suggests, was inspired by the broom manufacturing process, offering the maximum simplicity to assemble. When dismounted it can be stored in a minimal space.
Juan Mercado from the United States who designed the RE_Flex chair, which contemplates sustainability not only in the sense of material conservation, means of production and packaging, but as a concept in which objects can be sustainable through a reuse, transformative process that allows the object to be used in multiple ways for multiple events and activities.
Australian Tom Fereday for his Allt Chair design, which is based on a simple and highly efficient flat pack furniture design. Through an innovative, non-permanent fastening system combined with a durable light weight seat and back support, the Allt chair is efficient in terms of both material use and overall weight and size.
“All of the finalists epitomize what the Minimum/Maximum challenge is all about, not to mention, these designers hail from across globe bringing a fresh, universal perspective to the competition,” said Margaret Casey, director of programming for World Market Center Las Vegas. “This was not an easy challenge and we received entries from literally all over the world. These designers should be very proud of their prototypes and their efforts to create a chair that is both appealing and sustainable.”
Judges include Zem Joaquin, founder and CEO of EcoFabulous, the online source for the “well lived” “eco” life and Summer Rayne Oakes, a former environmental scientist and entomologist who is now considered “The World’s First Eco-Model.” Other judges include Kira Gould, director of communications for William McDonough & Partners and co-author of Women in Green: Voices of Sustainable Design; Shashi Caan, a multi-disciplinary designer and educator, co-founder of the Shashi Caan Collective and Chair of the Interior Design Program at Parsons the New School for Design; and Sarah Backhouse, host of “Planet100” on the Discovery Network’s Planet Green channel and a member of the Entertainment and Media Committee of the UN-affiliated International Renewable Energy Organization.
The winner of the competition will be announced at a panel discussion and reception moderated by Lance Hosey, competition organizer, author of The Shape of Green Design, and CEO of GreenBlue The reception will take place Wed., Jan. 26 from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m.
Now in its third year, The One Good Chair competition is sponsored by the Sustainable Furnishings Council and the Las Vegas Design Center. Other supporters of the 2010 competition include Metropolis magazine as a media partner and manufacturers Handy Living, the Phillips Collection and Weyerhaeuser serving as prototype production partners.