When I saw the Wilsonart × RIT finalists in their booth at Javits over the past weekend, it didn't even occur to me that our own Allan Chochinov had been one of the judges for the competition. The brief for the inaugural Metaproject was simple: "to create a seating prototype that celebrates the richness of Wilsonart International's lamiate surfacing materials." Over the course of the semester, the 20 senior ID students in Professor Josh Owen's class selected a research topic that would ultimately be addressed with a "seating-object typology."
The original post from three months ago featured the runners-up and second-place winner, though Dan Fritz's winning design would not be unveiled until ICFF. Thus, the weekend saw the debut of "The Trance," a piece of furniture that "encourages the act of sitting down and removing oneself from the distractions of daily living."
The seat consists of 280 steel asterisks, individually surfaced with a hexagon of Wilsonart Laminate, joined by 1,100 welds to form the wing-like curvature of the seat. Fritz elaborates:
I was inspired by the way Harry Bertoia created a comfortable form out of mesh with his iconic Diamond chair. I also wanted to create a chair that would make a person stop, sit and pause...a type of meditation chair. The form and repetition of hexagonal elements facilitate this.
Congratulations to Dan and all of his classmates, including Colleen Mackenzie, whose "Stanchion"—which I included in "Things That Look Like Other Things: ICFF Edition"—took second place:
Colleen Mackenzie - The Stanchion
And again, congratulations to the runners-up:
Andy Clark - The Cooler Bench
Dan Kestler - The Union
Tim Kuo - The Encounter
Francesca Pezze - The Nodule
Great job, guys!