DESIGN QUEST 2011 FURNITURE COMPETITION March 17 - May 1, 2011
This year's competition had a record number of submissions from 30 countries. Only 20% of the entries moved on to the final round of judging. The rules for the 2011 competition had no limitations on material or type of furniture. However, the furniture had to function as furniture. Thanks to everybody who entered!
Special thanks to our judges:
- Iain Thorp, Haworth Inc., Corporate Design Strategist
- Fabienne Munch, Herman Miller, Director New Product Commercialization
- Rob Scheper, Steelcase Inc., Director of Design, Global Worktools and Technology
- Jorgen Sorensen, Design Quest
- Thor Sorensen, Design Quest
Design Quest offered $2000 in prizes for innovative furniture design and the public was invited to help award the Peoples
Choice Prize during the opening reception, March 17, 2011.
- First Prize: 'Jute Side Table', Sae Jung Oh - Bloomfield Hills, MI
- Second Prize: 'Tortilla', Tomas Schön - Bolzano, South Tyrol, Italy
- Third Prize: 'Lunar Table', Cameron Van Dyke - Grand Rapids, MI
- People's Choice Award: 'Eclipse Table', Emily Knight & Corey Barnes, Grand Rapids, MI
VIEW PHOTOS FROM THE OPENING RECEPTION ON FACEBOOK
First Prize: 'Jute Side Table'
Design: Sae Jung Oh, Bloomfield Hills, MI
Material: Jute (Plant Fiber), 12 mundane plastic objects
"Very original. (I) love the mystery and discovery." - Rob Scheper
"Wonderfully imaginative, crafted, and conceived. Very tangible, human connection to the use. Familiar and yet never seen before." - Iain Thorp
"Quite original. Lots of emotion coming from this piece." - Fabienne Munch
Artist's Statement: "Manufactured objects conspicuously transform into unexpected new forms, making a strong statement about our current cultural condition of abundance. Sharp attention is focused on reconsideration of the ordinary. In this project, I started to collect discarded plastic objects, assembled them together, and wrapped them with a natural material. The transformation occurs in the amalgamated form and the concealment of this form. Innovation, invention, and beauty can emerge from anywhere, even the most familiar, ordinary and everyday."
Second Prize: 'Tortilla'
Design: Tomas Schön, Bolzano, South Tyrol, Italy
Materials: Plywood, Plastic Ribbon
"Well thought out: two pieces that ship flat. Nice minimalism. New and viable." - Rob Scheper
"Very well conceived and executed." - Iain Thorp
"Very unique design. Has potential." - Fabienne Munch
Artist's Statement: This is a new way to bend wood and a new way to produce wooden objects with a minimum use and discard of materials. TORTILLA is a plate of plywood that becomes a library with a minimum effort. No holes on the wall, no screws and no glue; only wood and a ribbon. Thanks to a precise laser/water cutting, the wooden hinges are elastic and resistant. These new hinges allow the shelves to be moved in an unusual way.
Third Prize: 'Lunar Table'
Design: Cameron Van Dyke, Grand Rapids, MI
Materials: Solid Aluminum
"Nice balance of rigor and random pattern. Pure." - Rob Scheper
"Very appealing use of material and form. Bold, interesting light patterns." - Iain Thorp
"Original. Pleasant to look at. Should come with accessories." - Fabienne Munch
Artist's Statement: A 1” thick Solid Aluminum slab polished to a mirror finish with polished aluminum legs. "I have been wanting to do a set of pieces in aluminum for 2011. This will be the first."
People's Choice Award: 'Eclipse Table'
Design: Emily Knight & Corey Barnes, Grand Rapids, MI
Materials: Stained oak and glass
Artists' Statement: Eclipse combines geometric forms with the ideology of bringing the outside in. Inspired by the recent lunar eclipse on December 21, 2010, the block wood form is carved away by air. The eye is drawn through the negative space giving the solid piece a light airy semblance.
Design: Tembolat Gugkaev, St. Petersburg, Russia
Materials: Planned MDF to be offered in vaious finishes
Artist's Statement: "Combining two common household objects, a bookcase and a lamp, this product saves space and material. And, the original form and joyful light are always cheerful! This design is intended to improve the quality of human life due to its practicality and functionality. Any owner of this cabinet will be glad of it."
'The Nostalgic Polish Table'
Design: Elad Shpigel, Raanana, Israel
Materials:Recycled veneers, epoxy, American nut-wood
Artist's Statement: "This project was designed for a studio course at the industrial design department in The Bezalel Academy of Arts and Design, Jerusalem, Israel. Our task was to search after old family pictures and then translate them into new ideas and figures. My project is based on the signs, aesthetics and heritage of my Polish family. One of the main goals was to explore a different material approach that would “freeze time” and thus make the right symbolization between the natural bent woods and the aesthetics of the old embroidery and Polish maps. I made the table structure in a small carpentry shop in Tel-Aviv and then designed and bent the recycled thin veneers into the sliced wooden frame."
Design: Julio F. Torres Santana, Bronx, NY
Materials: A 2 x 4 piece of Locust Wood and Wood Glue
Artist's Statement: This design relates to a unique chair. A ‘T’ beam shape is extruded along a closed curve, shaped to the profile of a sitting person. The extruded shape is arrayed on center, increasing the sitting and back resting surface without affecting the array center point. All of this creates a piece of furniture that takes total advantage of its structural characteristics while making it sustainable and esthetically pleasing and unique.
Design: Ryan Depersia, Chicago, IL
Materials: Birch Plywood, Glass
Artist's Statement: I am very interested in digital fabrication and the possibilities that new software and technologies like precision milling bring to wood working. My goal is to use a sheet material to create a piece of furniture that transcends its origins. This entry is cut from a single 4 x 8’ sheet of high-grade plywood and then assembled, detailed and finished by hand.
'Glass and Steel Sofa Table'
Design: Kenneth Genzink, Holland, MI
Materials: Carbon Steel and Glass
Artist's Statement: Glass and steel are heavy and bold mediums that can be overpowering and formidable. However, my furniture pieces feature curves, bends and interesting negative spaces. This provides an elegant support to various glass tabletop pieces in a way that make heavy steel plate look light, stylish, and classy; as if ready to “dance”!
About the Process: This piece is one of several tables I have designed with glass and steel. The process begins with a flat steel plate, shape-cut on computer-controlled equipment to produce blanks with interesting and elegant curves. The plate is then formed on a brake press to become a free-standing base capable of supporting various shapes of glass with no fasteners required.
About the Finishes: This piece is finished with a high gloss wet coat paint system in black. Alternative finishes include a clear-coat finish over sandblasted steel with polished edges, or clear-coated raw mill steel, which highlights the natural mill finish and burn marks from the torch-cutting process.
Design: Jonas Wahlstrom, Chicago, IL
Artist's Statement: Lounge chair with leather seat
Design: Jared Hagens, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
Materials: Elm Wood
Artist's Statement: Quadrant Shelving is a modern modular design system consisting of reproducible molded wood units. The idea is to create a system that is friendly to industrial manufacturing, easily assembled, and responsive to consumer needs for adaptability. One can easily adjust Quadrant Shelving in height, width, length and design by adding/removing and/or rotating unit connections to a desired arrangement. Such adaptability provides consumers the ability to design a Quadrant of their own.
'Vela al Vento'
Design: Sassone E. Franco, Weston, FL
Materials: Interior of Bendable plywood; Exterior of Leather & Wood Veneer, Structure of Stainless Steel; Hardware is Stainless Steel
Artists' Statement: Lounge chair inspired by the opened Spinnaker sail of a boat as it quietly sails into the endless horizon.
Design: Zach Raven, Grand Rapids, MI
Materials: Polished Aluminum, Wood, Upholstered Foam
Artists' Statement: Inspired by the ethereal nature of a cloud, the Cloud Lounge is perceptible from only the right angles. As the viewing angle changes, so changes the visibility of the chair. A quick glance and the upholstered surfaces seem to be floating.
Design: Mickey Rushing, Tampa, FL
Materials: White Ash & Dark Walnut with brushed/polished steel
Artist's Statement: The barcode bench is a combination of vintage and modern comprised into a clean linear seat. The thick blonde slab is accented with varying dark wood strips giving the bench a modern design intent. The metal hairpin inspired legs give the piece a classic vintage look while drawing attention to its functionality.
'Orbit Coffee Table'
Design: Jamie Sajdak, St. Catherines, Prince, Edward Island, Canada
Materials: Glass, Oak
Artist's Statement: Orbit is a modern coffee table consisting of three rings, produced using a mixture of steam-bending and lamination processes, supporting a glass top. The whole structure is flat packed by removing two bolts.
Design: Vesna Pejovic, KAKO.KO Design Studio, Belgrade, Serbia
Materials: Felt, plywood board, metal rod
Artist's Statement: Luis le Grand is an armchair from the collection inFORMel objects with a story of posture, form/fold and motion.
'Live Screen/Room Divider'
Design: Danielle Trofe, Brooklyn, NY
Materials: Injection-molded plastic, LED lighting, water pump, plastic tubing
Artist's Statement: Inspired by the living wall concept, The Live Screen is a sculptural, self-irrigating planter system that is comprised of tiered, organic-shaped pods that can house many forms of domestic vegetation. This living piece of art cultivates the intermixing relationship of the interior and exterior worlds. The Live Screen’s modern and organic form is dramatically emphasized by an illuminated strip at the base of the structure. Repetitious tiers create visual rhythm while the neutral white color allows for a clean contrast between the living and non-living elements. An electric pump, concealed in the base of each vertical pole, pumps water up to the highest planter. Gravity then carries the water through each planter depositing a small reservoir of water at the base of the plants’ roots. The pumps are timer activated so the water flows at intervals that coincide to the plants’ hydration needs.
Plastic tubing aides in water circulation through the intor of the structure. While a mesh divider directs the water flow out of the planter and into the next, allowing a small amount of water to penetrate and form a reservoir at the plants’ roots.
Design: Danielle Trofe, Brooklyn, NY
Materials: Molded wood, can also be made with injection-molded plastic and with an option of upholstered leather, natural wool or microfiber
Artist's Statement: Mimicking the soft flow and folding of a ribbon, this modern barstool is a perfect blend of form and function. The uniquely curvy silhouette commands attention while also offering an ergonomic structure. Comprised of molded wood, this seating unit flaunts a sculptural style and complete comfort.
The Ribbon Barstool attributes its stability to the even weight distribution between the two front steel legs and its molded wood base. The legs are affixed to a steel plate, which is embedded into the S-shaped wood structure. Rubber grips are used on the bottom of the steel tubing and wood to aid in slide resistance. The organic curves of the barstool are supported with translucent rubber discs wedged in the small space between the curve of the back of the seat and the wood base. This distributes the weight to the legs and base without compromising the integrity of its form.
The Ribbon Barstool boasts a sleek and structurally intriguing design. Its organic form demonstrates the flexibility and versatility of molded wood applications. Sure to create a unique ambiance in any space.
Design: Yugon Kim, Boston, MA
Materials: Anodized Aluminum, Polyurethane Resin, Wood
Artist's Statement: In this project, the client wished to have a study area in a large open space of their apartment. The plan of the space proved difficult as the area for the study was between a large wall of arched windows and an open style bedroom which faced these windows. We did not wish to block the bedroom from the windows in terms of view, light, or spatial flow. With these criteria in mind, we designed a table that seems to appear and disappear as one walks around it. This is accomplished by the 3” thick table-top composed of a series of aluminum tubes in five diameters that are spot welded to form sections with various angles to allow for one to see through certain areas of the table depending on the particular point of view. Extensive geometric modeling was needed to determine the exact tangencies of the tubes when a change in the tube angle occurs.
This welded cast aluminum assembly was anodized and was then imbedded in 1.25” of translucent cast polyurethane resin to create the working surface. A number of tubes extend downward to become the supports for the table, giving it a very nontraditional appearance for a table. This impression is important psychologically to the client and their visitors in that the table be perceived more as a piece of sculpture than furniture, thus contributing to the space rather than dividing it.
Design: Tjiang Supertini, Singapore
Materials: Fiberglass and Hardwood
Artist's Statement: A spatial furniture that allows us to escape a little while in the midst of our activities. It is a dual-function piece as a screen and seating area.
'Oceana End Table'
Design: Paulus Wanrooij,Harpswell, ME
Materials: Walnut, sapele, curly maple
Artists' Statement: Small end table with curved/hooped legs
Design: Takashi Okuma, Philadelphia, PA
Materials: Plywood and stainless steel
Artist's Statement: Serein is designed to be a bench based on concept of surf waves. With both contrast and balance, the seat is a voluminous organic shape of formed plywood and the legs are very open with sleek stainless steel pipes running under the bottom of the seat. Designed as a sculpture element, Serein is meant to be floating in the space and multiples inspire a soft wave-like appearance as seen in the ocean. By placing two three-seat benches back to back, they are seen as one object or “wave”. With the aim to give a sense of volume and presence, it is a bench for short time use. Serein can be used in spaces such as public lobbies, and healthcare institutions.
Design: Camden Noir aka Justin Shaun Labrake, Washington DC, USA
Materials: Cardboard and mod podge
Artist's Statement: "I designed this chair by cutting individual pieces of cardboard and layering the pieces on top of one another to create a laminating effect. The chair is in two pieces that can be spread out if need be. It took the better part of two years to finish the piece and there is still room for improvements."
Design: Matsurova Victoriya Sergeevna, Kharkiv, Kharkov Area, Ukraine
Materials: Fabric, plastic
Artist's Statement: The children’s furniture, Cube-Transformer, is based on a principle of a popular puzzle. The object consists of eight identical 30 cm cubes connected by flexible communication under the certain scheme. Each segment has three sides with a soft textile covering for sitting or lying, and three sides with a firm covering for work and games. Transforming cubes, the child can make various combinations of firm and soft surfaces at different height for various games. In cubes it is possible to make capacities for storage of toys and additional volumes for games.
Design: Katharina Treml and Nina Wechner, Vienna, Austria
Materials: Armoring steel, foam, artificial leather
Artists' Statement: Lilù works as a playground. It offers sitting and lying positions that are not apparent at first sight. Through playing and use, these possibilities appear. Designers Nina Wechner and Katharina Treml built Lilù as a prototype in 2007 at Technical University in Innsbruck. Since then it has been used as furniture playground and climbing scaffold. Lilù resides in Unzone Atelier in Kufstein since 2009.
Design: Seth Keller, Ferndale, MI
Materials: Maple and maple plywood
Artist's Statement: A high end chair designed for generations of use. The chair ships flat and is bolted together by the consumer. If a part might break or need replacement, simply unbolt the part and order a new one. Very sustainable!
Design: Asher Israelow, Brooklyn, NY
Materials: Walnut and Maple hardwood, Maple Veneered Plywood, Drawer hardware, Oil finish
Artist's Statement: A desk with drawers. The walnut slab floats atop the maple base. Oil finish on solid and veneered wood.
Design: John Kinnunen, Howell, MI
Materials: Ultralight MDF, Marine Plywood, Concrete, and High Gloss Paint
Artist's Statement: NK”5” is a futuristic desk influenced with fluid movement in mind; also the idea of the impossible becoming possible.
'Suspension Office Chair'
Design: Colin Bloemendaal, Grand Rapids, MI
Materials: High-density modeling foam, ABS plastic, and steel cable
Artist's Statement: Office chairs are the cars of the office, they can often and do convey a message about their owners personality. With that in mind, this office chair concept aims to introduce new forms into the world of office chairs while remaining ergonomically mindful. This chair asks the question: Why do all office chairs have five star bases? It communicates that we shouldn’t settle for standardization, for the humdrum of business as usual. We should aim for better - even in the small things.
Design:Danilo Cvjetkovic, Toronto, Canada
Materials: Body of cold cured foam, upholstered with fabric and supported with brushed stainless steel legs
Artist's Statement: Sofa designed as a soft, pure natural shape resembling the Cowry Shell and named after it.
Design: Nicole Hodsdon, Troy, MI
Materials: Fiberglass structure covered in felt. Inner strings are tubes of felt attached with plastic or metal hardware
Artist's Statement: Muse is three chairs in one. Depending on its orientation, it can be an upright/dining chair, a lounge chair, and a stool.
Design: Nicole Hodsdon, Troy, MI
Materials: Bending birch plywood, optional wood veneer, wood dye, polyurethane finish
Artist's Statement: Rest is inspired by the clean, restful lines of traditional Japanese design. Though the inspiration is in tradition, it is a decidedly modern take. The profile is restful yet solid, and you can customize it with your choice of wood veneer and bright pop of color on the inside.
Design: Ankita Baid, Singapore, Novena, Singapore
Materials: Chrome plated mild steel, high compressed foam, velvet upholstery
Artist's Statement: "Intrigued by roses, I wanted to capture the fragility, beauty, essence and charm of a rose flower in the Aura Stool. It is a combination of beauty and functionality and it adds life to the space it is placed in!"
'The Hugo Chair'
Design: Hugo Reichmuth, Alameda, CA
Materials: Plyboo, Stain, Lacquer, Aluminum tubes
Artist's Statement: Articulating Plyboo Chair
Design: Eric Alan Macdonald, Garden Grove, CA
Artist's Statement: A revolution in premium economy airline seating. Stand up without leaving your seat.
Design: 2B Studio - Bruce Sienkowski & Will Oltman, Ada, MI
Materials: Molded plywood shell, cast metal legs
Artists' Statement: The Isaac chair utilizes the versatility of molded plywood to create both the chair shell and legs. The shell gracefully wraps around the plush upholstered cushions and bends in several directions. The back of the chair features an elegant reveal which is framed by two curved molded plywood wings cantilevered off of the arms of the chair. The soy-based foam cushions are affixed to the shell using hidden fasteners so the beautiful wood veneer is not marred by the presence of bolt heads. The FSC certified high-yield veneer core plywood is finished in a natural water based finish.
'The Big Orange'
Design: Francis Ken Nakagawa, Sao Paulo, Brazil
Materials: External cover is made of a durable microfiber fabric; “Bean bags” are filled with recycled/shredded furniture-grade urethane foam
Artist's Statement: It's a giant sack in the shape of an orange with orange slices inside. It can be used as a comfy fruit to sit on, or you can open it and use the slides as soft pillows.
Design: Peter Shuell, Grand Rapids, MI
Materials: Tubular steel, ABS plastic
Artist's Statement: Poor seating in schools is proven to lead to poor concentration, behavior issues, and musculoskeletal disorders. This chair seeks to remedy that by providing 9 sizing adjustments, and a flexible seating system that allows children to move around as they learn.
Design: Troy Page, Chantilly, VA
Materials: Hard wood or metal
Artist's Statement: "I created a chair that would be functional and have only one leg. I like the way objects look when they are floating, so I thought if I made a sitting area that balances it would appear as if you were floating."
'Lotus' Lounge & Ottoman
Design: Charles Saylor, Spring Lake, MI
Materials: Formed Aluminum, stainless steel wire form, and recycled material for cushions
Artist's Statement: A lounge designed to enhance comfort using the biomechanics and alignment of the body’s skeletal system while in the Lotus pose of Yoga. The lounge is designed to be 100% recyclable and contains a high percentage of recycled material content.
Design: Andrew Kem, Detroit, MI
Materials: Cork, birch plywood, plastic laminate
Artist's Statement: Occasional table.
'Spoon Lounge Chair'
Design: Bernadine Salvador, Antipolo, Rizal, Philipines
Materials: Contructed of metal framing to achieve the curves; Finished with woven plastic/synthetic rattan or abaca. Cushion in full upholstery, white or cream water repellent fabric. Additional small cushion serves as footrest when one wants to lie down.
Artist's Statement: A spoon inspired outdoor seating furniture. A modern Asian concept.
Design: Sopheari Mork, Holland, MI
Materials: Plastic, wood, fabric, and metal
A multi-functional chair that can be use in dorms or small apartments. It can be used as a small table, storage or as a regular chair.
Design: Tomislav Knezevic, Veli Losinj, PG Zupanija, Croatia
Materials: Larch and mahogany wood
Artist's Statement: This is triangle table with legs positioned diagonally, so each leg is supporting the next angle of the table. Polygons are shaped in that way so they make triangles on every part of table. Lags are screwed and glued to the body and covered with 6 mahogany “caps”. The inner triangle is also mahogany.
'Lumaside' End Table
Design: Justin Boetsma, Zeeland, MI
Materials: Acrylic, plywood, steel rod, and wood
Artist's Statement: The Lumaside is an end table with a design influenced by mid-century furniture and some features of the modern age. Below the semi opaque top is an Array of LED’s that can fade, flash or stay on, depending on how the user wants it. So, not only can it be used as an end table but with the light emitting from below the top, an individual could use it as a light box for drawing and sketching.
'Tasinge Stool IV'
Design: Jeff Wiebke, Newport Beach, CA
Materials: Solid Ash
Artist's Statement: The Tasinge Stool IV features a unique solid ash bent construction inspired by Rud Rasmussens Swallow Bench. The seat bottom consists of a wood slat in the middle being compressed by nine weaving slats. The ends of the bending slats are compressed to the two leg frames and are held together by wooden dowels. The leg frames are constructed with a beautiful mortise and tenon joint.
Design: Olena Sydoruk, Westland, MI
Materials: Bamboo shelves, polished aluminum leg and details with the metal base, floor protecting material underneath the base
Artist's Statement: “AppShelf” is a perfect accent piece for any room of the home or business setting. My designs have been influenced by the natural world and this design is no exception. Inspired by the shape of an apple, this shelf is as good looking as it is easy to use. The “AppShelf” is customizable and the user can change its shape by rotating the parts to create the desired look. It interacts with the user while keeping its stylish design. Designed in two sizes, the smaller version could sit on a desktop organizing your mail and the larger version could be used as a display shelf, perfect for magazines, brochures, books, newspapers, etc.
'Cafe Study Carrel'
Design: Rian Kwantes, Grand Rapids, MI
Materials: Oak veneer, aluminium, high density foam padding, molded plywood, translucent plastic, vinyl trim
Artist's Statement: The Cafe Study Carrel provides coffee shops with a location for college students to study, while leaving other larger tables open that would otherwise be occupied by individual studiers. The Cafe Study Carrels can be easily linked together side by side. The side walls and retractable front divider provide privacy. Power outlets in the side wall can be used for powering computers and for charging other devices. The seat swivels 90 degrees for easy entry. Smooth and rounded surfaces make for easy cleaning.
Design: Colin Tury, Sterling Heights, MI
Materials: Cast aluminum frame, stainless steel rear legs, mesh fabric seat, and urethane bushings
Artist's Statement: The NAIAD chair has a focus on structure. The exoskeleton of an insect is designed to be light and strong. The NAIAD chair mimics of the frame of an insect and its gentle lean brings it to life.
Design: Stephen Wilson, Milan, Italy
Materials: Wood and aluminium tubing
Artist's Statement: A bar stool which breaks up the domestic landscape.
Design: Joey Ruiter, Grand Rapids, MI
Materials: Glass and metal
Artist's Statement:When the daring minds of the Renaissance challenged the conventional way of looking at the world, they unwittingly started a quaint tradition that has endured for nearly five hundred years. Curio Cabinets, or Wunderkammern (literally, “wonder chambers”) as they were known, began popping up all over Europe as scientists, artists, explorers, and other enlightened minds sought ways to display their works and discoveries to a curious world.
Design: Amber Amrhein, Orlando, FL
Materials: The stool is Washing Machine Agitators, Quikrete, PVC, and Tamiya Color Acrylic Paint. The cushion is Foam and Cotton Fabric.
Artist's Statement: An eco-friendly barstool design that is heat and water resistant. Stylish for urban or contemporary use.
'Complect Coffee Table'
Design: Matthew Finder, Pittsburgh, PA
Materials: Solid walnut, red oak veneer, aluminum, bending plywood.
Artist's Statement: Named after a synonym for “interweave,” Complect features carefully bent plywood legs that are elegantly woven through a solid walnut tabletop. It was designed with the goal of combining simple home assembly and high quality construction into a flat-packing table that doesn’t look like one. Each leg is made from a network of vacuum-bent plywood pieces that are surfaced with red oak veneer and joined together with seamlessly applied bands of walnut. These bands of walnut serve to both embrace the joinery that makes up each leg and strengthen this joinery from the outside in. The delicate spaces left between the legs and the tabletop visually lighten the table’s appearance and emphasize the woven aspect of its construction. These spaces also allow light to pass through the table and reveal slivers of aluminum rod that contrast the warmth of the walnut and
red oak. Complect is easy to assemble and disassemble, and requires only a screwdriver to put together or take apart. Its legs are kept in place with solid walnut connection pieces that use standard screws to ensure both the worry-free replacement of lost screws and the use of a tool that is familiar to many households. The screws are countersunk into the connection pieces to leave the underside of the table as devoid of visual disruption as the topside. Complect is just over 15” inches tall when assembled, and under 3.5” tall when disassembled.