The aim of Design Awards is to recognize, celebrate and promote innovative design, talented designers and manufacturers with vision. Design competitions are organized each year on different levels: as international, European, local; in different categories: architecture, interior, product, graphic, fashion design… or all together. If you are considering participation in one of the design contest this year, you can find some information on DEXIGNER site.
At the end of 2017 (in December) selected products and graphics for GOOD DESIGN Award were announced.
The annual GOOD DESIGN ® Awards Program was founded in Chicago in 1950 by Edgar Kaufmann Jr, the former MoMA curator, with famous names from design world: Eero Saarinen, Charles and Ray Eames, Russel Wright, George Nelson.
For sixty-seven years, The Chicago Athenaeum Museum of Architecture and Design and Metropolitan Arts Press Ltd awarded approximately 40,000 GOOD DESIGN Awards for the most innovative and cutting-edge industrial, product, and graphics designs produced around the world.
The details about the Good Design Award winners in the year 2017 you can find on the Good Design site.
In the category Furniture, there are many types of products: chairs, armchairs, office furniture, upholstery. All of them fulfilled high standards regarding design, function and aesthetics. I would like to present you only three awarded chairs because the chair is the most complicated furniture product in terms of the functional requirements.
The best examples of modern furniture design
Robby Cantarutti and Partners developed metal Filoferru chair with very attractive form. It is constructed of a single material: steel rod, used for seat, backrest and the structural elements. From its backrest, wires of the chair turn into structural elements, seat and armrests contributing the purity and elegance of the shape. The legs are linked in the lower zone and only visually intersect as they are placed in different planes. As stated by designers, their inspiration was Bertoia Diamond Chair (also metal chair from 1952), but this was just starting point.The extensive research in the production process must have been conducted to enable the realization of the chair with such complex organic shape which meets functional and ergonomic requirements.
The Ono chair is designed by Susanne Grønlund. The light chair is made from wood in line with Scandinavian design tradition. The backrest design solution makes the chair distinctive. The back with the elegant shape carries and lifts the seat from the frame. The openings in the chair's backrest enable easier handling and contribute that chair recall on semi-armchair. The position of the legs in relation to the seat bears the share in the attractiveness of the shape of the chair. The construction and structural connections were solved in a simple and appealing way. They contribute the aesthetic values of the chair without compromising functionality and comfort.
Ono chair fully meets the needs of modern users, it is attractive, multifunctional, in different colors.
Limi Chair was designed by Tapio Anttila. The seat consists of two separate five millimetres thick form pressed plywood elements that are glued and interlocked in a manufacturing process (“LIMI” is Finnish language means “interlocked”). This combination makes the seat construction strong but flexible and light. In addition to extraordinary outlook, three-dimensional formed seat gives extraordinary sitting comfort. With only two simple elements great visual sensation was achieved. The surface of the seat is available oak or birch veneer with natural or stained colors. Between two final finishing options, I prefer natural colors because of the nice wood structure.
The base is thin steel tube construction with thin steel rod support frame. This asymmetric form follows lines or the seat.
This chair is suitable for the public or private spaces.
Design Idea and Innovation
All winners confirm how important is the innovative idea for the design process. But the above-mentioned examples also remind me of some other factors important for the process of the realization of the newly designed product and its success.
The material selection: Designers selected appropriate material for their chairs, they found the material which best satisfies their design requirements. All three chairs were produced in standard materials (iron wires, wood, plywood) and even so, extraordinary results were achieved.
Then, the appropriate production process which contributes improving the design: function, mechanical properties, quality, manufacturability, endurance and performance, cost. The design teams find the best production process which gives a shape to the material, connect different pieces and grant the desired surface finishing. In our case, it is obvious that detailed studies were performed on the equipment (for the steel wire bending and welding), in the procedure (glueing of the plywood elements) or in the technologies (to connect parts of the plywood).
GOOD DESIGN is an international symbol of a company's firm commitment to innovation and superior design embodiment. Materials and products are accessed into the Museum's Permanent Design Collection and frequently exhibited in the United States and abroad. All winning products and graphics from GOOD DESIGN™ 2017 are now part of the Museum’s prestigious Permanent Design Collection