‘142’ by competition winner esan arsan

wilsonart international, a decorative laminate manufacturer, sponsors an annual design competition known as ‘wilsonart challenges’. the industrial design department of a single college or university is selected to participate, with the goal of creating a series of chairs made predominately of wilsonart’s product. through visits with wilsonart experts and design professionals, the students are instructed in practical manufacturing techniques while also receiving contextual lectures on the history of chair design and laminate manufacture.

student were give the criteria of making their chair designs functional and should include the ‘chip chain’ image that is an iconic part of wilsonart’s brand identity. this year brooklyn based pratt Institute rose to the challenge, and the student’s  chairs were unveiled at the ICFF in new york.

wilsonart challenges at ICFF 2010 ‘142’ by esan arsan

‘one for two’ is a hug embracing loveseat designed by competition winner esan arsan to seat one or two people. the backrest wraps around to give the sitter a pat on the shoulder. this ‘pat’ is intended to make the users feel understood, accepted and supported. the inspiration for the chair comes from an exploration of situations where people need a little encouragement to start interacting with each other.

wilsonart challenges at ICFF 2010 ‘nabolis chair’ by mike jozewicz

amongst the four selected runner up designs is the ‘nabolis’ chair by mike jozewicz. it is an experiment in layering of material, color and meaning. wilsonart laminate, itself a product composed of multiple layers of material, is applied in a series of layers to form a topographic surface. the character of the chair’s surface was derived from the designer’s photographic study of weathering in commonplace man-made materials.

wilsonart challenges at ICFF 2010 detail

wilsonart challenges at ICFF 2010 ‘lunch bag chair’ by alexandra pulver (runner up)

the ‘lunch bag’ chair by alexander pulver is a simple stool inspired by a brown paper bags, which is a classic icon of a working class lunch. the designer abstracted the wrinkles and folds that give paper bags so much character into simple facets, thereby alluding to the bag without making an obvious reference.

wilsonart challenges at ICFF 2010 ‘wilson primitive’ by jonathan gillen (runner up)

based on the style ‘primitive maximilism’, this chair design titled ‘wilson primitive’ by jonathan gillen places an emphasis on the process of creation, work intensive practices, and primitive craft. the result is a chaotic idea placed into structure and order, a visual clean repeating system designed to interact with the user. built from reclaimed laminate samples, this chair took over 70 hours to weave.

wilsonart challenges at ICFF 2010 detailwilsonart challenges at ICFF 2010 ‘tempo’ by sushir kadidal (runner up)

the visual language of the ‘tempo’ chair by sushir kadidal draws from the sinewaves that are already employed in the visualization and depiction of sound.