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Five New Chair Designs Given Top Honors

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One from Sweden, one from Argentina, one from France, and two from Italy. These are the countries of origin of the winning designs at the Promosedia International Design Competition 2006, the competition rewarding the most innovative and brilliant ideas in the field of chair designing, without forgetting that the designs must give birth to functional objects that can be mass produced. Over 400 designs where submitted this year from all over the world: many European countries, the USA, Canada, Mexico, Thailand, Japan, Australia… Although according to the competition rules only one first prize and two special recognitions can be awarded, the Panel of Judges of the tenth edition of the Design Competition decided that another two designs were worthy of special mention. This is a clear sign that the world of young designers is extremely lively and able to generate high quality designs. Does this mean that there is still room for innovation in chairs? Yes, according to the young designers from allover the world who took part in the Competition. There is still room to astonish or provoke, reassure or reinterpret, and to do so in many equally good and yet contrasting ways, as also the final choice of the 2006 Panel of Judges clearly shows. The Panel of Judges which met on 30th May, consisted of: Olga Bozkho, International Department Editor of the Russian publication “Taburet”; Katrin Cosseta, editor of Interiors and Architecture of the Italian publication “Interni”; Marco Ferreri, designer; Daniele Lattanzi, Area Manager for Friuli Venezia Giulia of the Banca Popolare FriulAdria SpA; Alberto Pratelli, President of ADI, Friuli Venezia Giulia; Marco Romanelli, designer and critic; Franco Buttazzoni, President of Promosedia. Extremely different from each other are the five selected designs currently in the hands of the prototypists of the Industrial Chair District who will turn them into the chair models that will be displayed inSeptember at Promosedia2006 – International Chair Exhibition, as part of a special exhibition set up by Marco Romanelli and dedicated to young designers. Main actors in the exhibition will also be six young emerging international designers selected by Romanelli, Patricia Urquiola and Fernando & Humberto Campana. The Judges were unanimous in awarding the First Prize to the STICH chair, designed by Sami KALLIO from Sweden, for the following reasons: The designer achieves an extremely innovative image for the chair in wood, by the adoption of triangular wooden modules: from the perception of rigidity usually associated with this type of chair, it actually becomes a very contemporary multiform image. A coloured cord connects the modules and is not only a source of remarkable expressive impact, but enables the backrest to be lowered forming a sort of small table with a pocket. Thus functional results are combined with significant research on decoration. Furthermore the Panel of Judges awarded Special Recognition to the following: Mu-Nari by Roberta TINELLI for the ability to conceive the chair in a highly abstract way, but still perfectly answering the functional criteria. Of particular impact is the use of curved solid wood which in this design is able to gracefully depart from the historical Viennese chairs. Finally the Judges appreciated the reference to the irreverent and unforgettable creativity of Bruno Munari, one of the great fathers of Italian design. Augusta by the Argentinian designer Hugo Hernan FRETTO for his ability to interpret in an absolutely new way the construction and form principles of minimalism, proposing significant extremism. The Judges found the work of strengthening the sections and deformation which takes the object into the field of sculpture was particularly interesting. Finally, the Judges decided that the following were worthy of Honourable Mentions: Bianca e Nera by the architect Giulia LUSNARDI (Italy) for the obvious desire to offer an innovative type intermediate between a chair and stool, as well as for the elegance of placing a felt cover tightened by straps over the veneer structure. Expans by the French designer Elodie HAMON, for the ability to bring the chair to a high level of meanings and references, arriving at a solution which seems to approach artistic research due to its complexity of form. Promosedia has explored the world of design in search of new ideas and talents, and now the task of following up on this lies with the manufacturing companies. Because, if on one hand the Competition was conceived to provide young designers with a chance to measure themselves and compete against other designers of their own generation, on the other there is another important objective this initiative wants to attain: creating a bridge between the new recruits and a market which needs to be increasingly heedful and responsive to changes. Home furnishing follows the evolution of lifestyles and new generations naturally bring about changes in style and behavior. Hence, it is important to be able to understand them, to anticipate their tastes, to look to tomorrow’s demands.

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