Wilsonart Challenge: Student Designers Create Delightful Laminate Chairs
For 12 years now, Wilsonart has underwritten a contest where the company has challenged students to create a unique chair using Wilsonart's laminate, making it the longest running design contest of its type in the US. This year, the company charged students from the College of Creative Studies in Detroit, MI to "design for delight." Six students--the winner and 5 runners up got to display their chairs at the influential International Contemporary Furniture Fair (ICFF) last week where their work could be seen by thousands.
Kudos to Wilsonart for supporting new design talent and for sponsoring me, as one of Veronika Miller's designhounds, to get the word out about the contest. As always, all opinions are my own. Thank you for understanding that sponsored posts help me continue my blogging adventures and bring you my unsponsored content.
Let's get to my 3 favorite chairs--none of which actually won the contest! I will share the winner too.
I was taken with the "delightful" theme and was drawn most to the chairs which embraced it.
Alejandra Bucco's "Pie Chair'" (seen in the first photo) is my top choice. So cute, it takes the (ahem) cake. Plus it matches a favorite handbag of mine :-).
I love how Kiho Jeong was inspired by the playfulness of children when he designed his "Root Bench." Recalling how children climb trees and perch on the branches, the Root Bench has an irregular form that mimics the slants and bends of branches, inviting the sitter to find their own favorite pose.
Adam Whittaker's "En Throne" chair creates a noble perch for anyone who sits in it. It's always fun to pretend you are royalty.
Finally, drumroll, the winner of the Wilsonart Challenge, was Stephen Marchio's "Prelude" chair. The form embraces the tension between construction and deconstruction. Marchio states that the use of laminate allowed him to create deeper and more intense colors than paint.
When I look at this well designed chair with it's the angles and each plane colored a different hue, I see roots in the design that stretch back to the iconic, albeit painted, Red and Blue chair by Gerrit Rietveld.
A fine tradition.
What do you think? Do you have a favorite?
Except for the Red and Blue Chair from wikipedia, all photos from Wilsonart.