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  • First Prize: 'Morphing Shelf', Joshua Carson - Franklin, WI
  • Second Prize: 'Rocking Chair No. 2', Reed Hansuld - Toronto, ON, Canada
  • Third Prize: 'L-Stool', Olena Sydoruk - Westland, MI
  • People's Choice Award: 'Morphing Shelf', Joshua Carson - Franklin, WI

  • 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

'The Lull before the Storm'

Design Quest 2012 Furniture Competition - Ready to go!
A shot of the Design Gallery taken on the morning of October 25th

First Prize: 'Morphing Shelf'

Design: Joshua Carson, Franklin, WI
Material: Walnut, Cherry, Fiberglass Ice-Fishing Rod Blanks

Judges Comments:
"Nice use of materials," "Nice craft," "It works," "It shows appreciation for experimentation and revision," - Rob Scheper
"Smart," "Well executed," "Good use of materials" "I enjoy the rattling sound," - Fabienne Munch
"Innovative use of materials," "Great problem solving," "Fiberglass rods should run in a groove," - Jorgen Sorensen
"Tactilely satisfying," "Joins art and function," "Innovative," "The boldest entry this year," - Thor Sorensen

Artist's Description: This dynamic wall shelf changes shape depending on how it is used. An object placed on the shelf forces the piece to take a particular form. Once the object is removed, the shelf returns to the wall.

Second Prize: 'Rocking Chair No. 2'

Design: Reed Hansuld, Toronto, ON, Canada
Materials: White oak, Mono Filament, Soap finish

Judges Comments:
"Very nice," "Comfortable, but a bit low," "Looks comfortable and is flattering to occupant," "Timeless," - Rob Scheper
"Elegant," "Comfortable," "Nice balance; great piece," "Modern and informal," - Fabienne Munch
"Excellent execution; fluid design," "Fine finish," "Timeless and modern," - Jorgen Sorensen
"Strong resolution of details," "Comfortable seat and back, but too low," "Light, yet strong," "Great visual interest," - Thor Sorensen

Artist's Description: This modern rocking chair shows off a clean uninterrupted form from all angles, enhanced by the transparency of the mono filament seat. The elasticity of the woven seat conforms to all different shapes and sizes to cradle the body as you move within the chair.

Third Prize: 'L-Stool'

Design: Olena Sydoruk, Westland, MI
Materials: Laminated Wood with clearcoat finish.

Judges Comments:
"Viable, great start," "Very nice concept; love the inspiration," "Execution is lacking some. Structure could be lighter," - Rob Scheper
"Strong concept - needs more work on geometry of parts and locking solution," "Encouraging," - Fabienne Munch
"Good idea but needs work, a way of holding it together," "Good potential," - Jorgen Sorensen
"Simple but not obvious," "New and workable idea," "Need to be able to pick up with one hand," - Thor Sorensen

Artist's Description: The idea of the stool came from my childhood when we used to lift a person by holding hands and creating a seat. Four parts of the stool overlapping each other create a strong structure that is able to support a person’s weight, imitating four woven hands.

Working on the L-Stool design, I was amazed of how many variations of furniture I can make using the same part. Exploring this idea I created the L-Series, based on repetition of the elements. Additional supportive or decorative parts can be added to change the function and look. It is fully customizable and the user can create multiple configurations of the piece. The parts can be placed in the same or opposite directions, moved along the base, flipped over, etc.


Design: Jelena Simanic, E. Sarajevo, Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina
Materials: Wood and Glue

Artists' Description: A tree-like shelf, for creating a naturalistic environment in the modern interior space.

'Outer Chair'

Design: Alex Dorfman, Indianapolis, IN
Materials: Powder-coated Bent Steel Rod

Artist's Description: Outer Chair is a Danish inspired outdoor dining chair designed in Copenhagen. It tells a story of a strong city with a deep history; one that is rooted in simplicity as much as in mystery. The use of steel and triangular supports allude to this strength, while the use of pure white and a single material represent the simplicity in Danish design. What is most important though is the mystery and excitement that Copenhagen has to offer. A city as old as Copenhagen grows in waves and rebuilds and recedes and stays the same as much as it changes.

The Outer Chair has similar mysteries and secrets. The most obvious of which is one of my favorite aspects of the chair: the rotating squares that make up the seat end with a small square in the center. However, the true inner square can only be viewed from directly above and is not actually part of the seat but rather is made up of the intersections of the central supporting bars of the legs.


Design: Dmitry Koloskov, Vladivostok, Primorsky Kray, Russian Federation
Materials: Plywood, Glue, Paint

Artist's Description: Chair/Armchair.

'ZZIV Tri Tower Chair'

Design: Tom Wynn, Williams Bay, WI
Materials: Stainless Steel

Artist's Description: The ZZIV Tri Tower chair features a unique independent three tower design. The towers rise independently of each other, yet combine to provide a seat, hat, scarf, and coat rack. Like nothing you have seen or sat in, ZZIV makes sitting cool.

'ZZIV 5 Circles Stainless Steel Recline Chair'

Design: Tom Wynn, Williams Bay, WI
Materials: Stainless Steel

Artist's Description: The ZZIV 5 Circles Stainless Steel Recline Chair features a unique, almost anti-gravity, flowing design. The chair offers a relaxed seating position, comfortable enough to doze off in, yet most likely someone else will beg to sit in it before you have the opportunity to nod off. Like nothing you have seen or sat in, ZZIV makes sitting cool.


Design: Zach Raven, Grand Rapids, MI
Materials: Maple Veneer, Aluminum, Leather, Upholstery Foam

Artist's Description: The hi.chair was designed to bring a modern aesthetic to today’s childrens’ furniture. The hi.chair is designed completely in FSC certified maple with environmental finishes and polished aluminum, as opposed to harmful plastics and chromed metals. The adjustable, hinged tray and removable leather pad make the hi.chair easy to use and clean. Special thanks to Allsteel, Davidson Plyforms, and PJ Zimmerman & Son.

'Flawless Imperfections'

Design: Daniela Moran, Savannah, GA
Materials: 3/4 Walnut (18 L x 18H x 18D) and 1/4 Glass

Artist's Description: The concept of this side table is represented in the cracked top, a reminder of how imperfections can be something beautiful. I worked with straight lines, circles, and simple see-throughs, to give it a little twist. I was moved by the combination of the modern and the traditional, using a dark, rich walnut and glass, two materials that mesh really well.


Design: Trevor Stewart, Madison Heights, MI
Materials: Plywood, Wenge Wood, Glass

Artist's Description: The Contour coffee table was inspired by the continuous lines of the Scandinavian architecture of the Reiulf Ramstand, and a strong focus on pushing the limits of molding plywood. The design focuses on creating an elegant flowing line through the entire coffee table, along with a focus on playing with negative space.

'Luca Desk'

Design: David Garcia, Dallas, TX
Materials: African Mahogany Plywood

Artists' Description: Three legged desk.


Design: Aaron Mäki, Chassell, MI
Materials: Wood, Steel, Felt

Artists' Description: ÄREÄ is a versatile night stand or side table that renders into the modern household with the purpose of maximizing storage while maintaining a low profile. Combining simple forms with simple materials, this table unites with your modern decor.

'Chicago Bench'

Design: Trevor O’Neil, Chicago, IL
Materials: Walnut, Aluminum

Artist's Description: Solid walnut bench with brushed aluminum inserts.

'Wrap Table'

Design: Jeremiah Albrecht, Minneapolis, MN
Materials: Walnut Top with Powder-coated Steel Base

Artist's Description: Clean crisp lines and an elegant shape (inspired by a wrapped gift box) help define the end table as a standalone or accent piece to any interior. The dark solid walnut top adds nice contrast to the white steel base.

'Click Barstool'

Design: Jeremiah Albrecht, Minneapolis, MN
Materials: Powder-coated Metal with Upholstered Removable Cushion

Artist's Description: Simplicity was the goal on the Click barstool. Clean slightly angled lines come together to create a bold yet elegant look. The top seat clicks in with no need for fasteners. The top cushion can be removed for cleaning or replacement. The top upholstered pad can also be interchange giving the consumer a wide range of choices.

'Delta Coffee Table'

Design: Kalin Asenov, Savannah, GA
Materials: steel, glass

Artist's Description: This coffee table is designed to respond to the needs of the contemporary home. It serves as a social and family gathering point. The idea of the table as a gathering point is expressed visually by the point of convergence of the lines in the base. This is a literal translation of the function of the table to serve as a beginning or end of a social gathering or family evening.

The glass top leaves this point exposed. Further, the shape of the glass encourages closeness; one of the sides bows out in order to accommodate the needs and the function traditionally associated with this type of furniture, placed against a sofa. The other side bows in, which serves as an invitation for a close interaction between the users.

'Thick and Thin'

Design: James Voigt, St. Paul, MN
Materials: Reclaimed 4x4 Barn Wood, Powder-coated Sheet Metal

Artist's Description: The “Thick and Thin” End Table rides the line; with the play between its thin sleek powder coated steel base and thick aged reclaimed top. This minimally designed living room sidekick is sure to fit in any contemporary interior.

'Frond Chair'

Design: Alan Kaniarz, Detroit, MI
Materials: White painted CNC cut 3/4” Baltic Birch Plywood

Artist's Description: The inspiration for this furniture came from working on some art pieces for an artist friend of mine, who had me make some constructions out of stacked pieces of CDX plywood. I liked the interplay of color, texture and void between the various layers of veneer, and after words, designed my first chair.

The Frond Chair you see before you is one of the latest pieces that has developed into a line of furniture that I’m calling “Möbel Link Modern Furniture”. The chairs, tables, lounges and stools are CNC cut from sustainably grown, FSC certified, Baltic Birch plywood, and are assembled and finished in my shop, which is located in Detroit’s Russell Industrial Center.

Plywood is dimensionally stable, and has a great weight to strength ratio that makes for a very sturdy, but light weight piece of furniture. And, in a lot of cases, we can make an entire piece of furniture from a single piece of plywood.

'Collection Bench'

Design: Constance Chen, Taipei, Taipei, Taiwan
Materials: Ash Wood, Stainless Steel

Artist's Description: Collection Bench celebrates the mutual bounding between people and books. This multi-functional piece features a horizontal plane that seats people and continues to fold to seat books. The angled pocket allows books and magazines to lean neatly on a side. Dovetail joints at folding edges are designed as structural as well as visual elements; this detail offers a greater appreciation of wood and craftsmanship. Two stainless steel bars work in tension to enhance stabilization to the bench. They also serve as railings for the pocket to prevent books from falling aside. The lightness and sheen of metal contrast the solidness and warmth of wood. Together they bring depth and balance to space.

Collection Bench can play different roles in different scenarios. In public reception space, it functions as an independent bench to welcome guests and invite them to sit and read while waiting. In residential living rooms, it can be used as a coffee table, holding the owner’s current reading collection, organized for relaxing.

'Fortune Wheel Stool'

Design: Chih-Chan Chan, Taipei, Taipei, Taiwan
Materials: Beech, Ash, Hard Maple, Cherry, Walnut

Artists' Description: Fortune Wheel Stool is designed for sitting and for playing; for children and grown-ups. The stool top is consisted of a round basin holding 16 fan-shaped wooden pieces made of ash, hard maple, cherry and walnut. Each species has its unique texture and grain. Their colors vary from light to dark, inspiring fun and freedom in arrangements. These carefully treated wooden pieces are also toy blocks for children to build up imagination, as well as a learning tool to comprehend concept of division.

In the center of the color wheel is a wooden stick that screws into the stool. This stick is for children to play percussion, exploring possibilities in movements and sounds. The screwing activity allows children to practice using their finger muscles, and prevents the stick from disappearing.

We not only grow up with the toys of our childhood, we also develop memories associated with them. Unfortunately, after children grow up, many toys are given away or even thrown away because they have lost their use. Missing a part of valuable memory is always a pity. Fortune Wheel Stool, designed to be played with as a toy when we are little and seat us as a stool when we grow up, can always be with us and our future generations.

'Blended Centuries Coffee Table'

Design: Steve Arver, Rockford, MI
Materials: Walnut, Spalted Maple and Ash

Artist's Description: The table top and legs are created from end-grain cross cuts of Walnut and heavily Spalted Maple. The crosscut pieces are book matched to create redefining geometric patterns that may give the illusion of being a solid board. These patterns are laminated on a hardwood sub-straight.

'Moss Top Series: Split'

Design: Corey Barnes, Highland, MI
Materials: Oak, Steel, and Moss

Artist's Description: I wanted to solve the issue of ruining your coffee table with water marks from cold beverages. I decided to turn something negative into something positive by using what causes the problem to your advantage. To do this, I’ve created what I call a “living coaster”.

I wanted to use a modern, more man-made aesthetic for the table in contrast with its more organic and natural solution. Don’t let the sweat from your drinks ruin your furniture; rather use it to feed your “living coaster”.

The moss tray area is proportioned so that only condensation from drinks will support the moss’ life. Moss needs little water to live, but I didn’t want the user to have to support an entire tabletop of moss. Also it is placed at the back of the tabletop so that the rest of the surface may still be used to rest your feet or set items such as magazines or a laptop.

'Dining Chair No. 5'

Design: Reed Hansuld, Toronto, ON, Canada
Materials: Ash, Re-purposed Leather, Soap Finish

Artist's Description: Tapering turned legs join together to create a striking form with Danish reference. A cantilevered upholstered seat for comfortable dining and a modern look. Mortise and tenon construction, handmade quality to last a lifetime.


Design: Nicholas Germann, Cincinnati, OH
Materials: 4’x8’x3/4” Nominal Baltic Birch Plywood, Sapela Hardwood, 1/4” dia. Birch Dowel Rod

Artists' Description: Part of an ongoing series of designs that explore the concepts of Digital Craftsmanship (i.e. the use of CAD, CAM, and CNC technologies as a toolset to create Craftsmanship quality artifacts). This particular design is the second iteration on the use of traditional joinery techniques adapted to CNC Machining methods. All parts were cut using a CNC Router.

'Hi-Fi Lounge Chair'

Design: Dave Comer, Summerville, SC
Materials: Sapele, Aluminum Rod, Black Leather, Orange Elastic

Artist's Description: Lounge chair and ottoman ergonomically designed for naps or long sessions listening to LPs. With cushions in (2) diameters, chair is customizable by rearranging the order to suit individual needs.


Design: Joachim Jensen, Grand Rapids, MI
Materials: May include Leather, Fabric, Wood, Plastic and Metal

Artist's Description: Iconic barstool with strong graphics, designed with mathematical rigor, balanced yet creates visual tension.

'Facet Chair'

Design: Seth Keller, Gaylord, MI
Materials: Salvaged Elm

Artist's Description: The Facet Chair is made of salvaged Elm from a grain silo in central Michigan.

'Lamp Table'

Design: Clare Heyboer, Holland, MI
Materials: Polished Aluminum Extrusion, Quartered Walnut, Quilted Maple Veneers and Walnut Solids

Artist's Description: Designed for today’s contemporary interiors, with a nod to the past mid-century styles. The top features a reverse matched walnut and maple panel bordered with a walnut gallery.
The clean line aluminium frame is constructed using a unique manufacturing system that requires no welding or grinding. The open lattice framework below repeats the geometric top pattern and offers a sturdy shelf for magazines or newspapers.


Design: Willie Hoffman, New Haven, CT
Materials: Europly-Plus Plywood, Wooden Dowels

Artist's Description: A sculptural stacking stool designed for extra seating and easy storage.

'Exeter Scotch Cabinet'

Design: Joshua McVety, Grand Rapids, MI
Materials: White Oak, Raw Silk, Stainless Steel and Paint

Artist's Description: This is a tall liquor cabinet set-up, with a glass/bottle storage and a stainless flip-down mixing surface. Designed in the spirit of the era of the cocktail.

'Danse Laptop Cart'

Design: Will Oltman, Bruce Sienkowski, Claas Kuhnen, West MI
Materials: Injection molded PC/ABS, Urethane, Steel, Aluminum

Artist's Description: The Danse Laptop Cart was designed through collaboration between 2B Studio Inc. designers, Bruce Sienkowski and Will Oltman, and Claas Kuhnen of Consume. Both small and large spaces require clever solutions for technology support and space utilization. Whether using technology in an impromptu meeting space or a living room, we feel that mobile technology requires mobile support solutions.

The Danse Laptop Cart is a functional, ergonomic, and collapsible technology support device. Utilizing lightweight and durable materials, Danse can withstand the rigors of use in commercial and residential environments. Users may adjust the height and tilt of the work surface with few intuitive controls. An aluminum channel in the center of the work surface allows a user to manage cables and adapters as well as dissipating heat from laptops and accessories. A gently arcing base provides a counter balance to keep the cart steady and also acts as a footrest. With a quick flip of the work surface and footrest, the cart folds into a compact form that can be easily stored. The molded hand grip and urethane wheels add to the laptops ability to Danse.

'Flowing Mirror'

Design: Christopher Eitel, Grand Rapids, MI
Materials: Oak, Mirror

Artist's Description: This wall hung mirror is a full scale, functional prototype, made of 1/8” bent laminated oak. The frame flows around the mirror curving outward (from the wall) where it begins a staggering of the laminates that ultimately creates small shelf at the bottom of the mirror. This staggering or off-setting of the laminates is subtly distinguished throughout the piece.

'Harmonious Existence' Chair

Design: Rafael Avramovich, New York, NY
Materials: Blackened Steel , Acrylic (for chair) and Glass (table)

Artist's Description: My intention is not only to create beautiful furniture, but to evoke emotion as well. It is essential to me that the viewer is left with a sense of empathy that goes beyond the visual.

The Harmonious Existence collection includes furniture and lighting and is a continuation of the Living in Harmony, Collection, built using a variety of materials, representative of different nations living together in peace. Harmonious Existence introduces more geometric shapes, allowing for its evolution.

'Somber Mans Table'

Design: Domenic Fiorello, Broadview Heights, OH
Materials: India Ink, Epoxy, Maple

Artist's Description: The pattern on this table came from the texture I used to draw on a character when I would feel design blocks. I created the pattern by drawing it in the program, Rhinoceros, then having it laser cut into the legs and top. After cleaning up the lines a bit I filled the grooves with dyed epoxy. The legs were formed using a CNC router.

'Pitch Coffee Table'

Design: Jamie Sajdak, Toronto, ON, Canada
Materials: Glass, Walnut

Artists' Description: Intricately simple, this coffee table is designed to be easily transportable due to its collapsible nature. Though designed to be collapsible and potentially mass produced, its material and design keep it feeling like a handmade original piece due to its sculptural nature.

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