Taking its cue from aerospace technology used in fighter jets and space shuttles, the Prototype furniture and accessories line employs high-modulus carbon. Designer Giovanni Pagnotta of Port Chester, N.Y., first unveiled the collection-which includes the Z chair, dining table, chaise lounge, trash bin, lamp, low-rise table and club chair-in May 2002 at Issey Miyake’s New York City store. “It takes my breath away because it’s so refined,” juror Karen Wolf said of the Z chair’s streamlined form. “It’s so stripped-down that the only thing left is excellent execution of shape.”
CLIENT | DESIGN Giovanni Pagnotta, Port Chester, N.Y.
MATERIALS | FABRICATION Carbon fiber, foam, suede
SOFTWARE Ashlar-Vellum Cobalt
“It does a lot of things at the same time and does them all well,” said Richard Holbrook about the lily-inspired Calla, a one-piece injection-molded stacking chair. Heller Inc. of New York asked Milan designer William Sawaya, who also designs limited-edition museum chairs, to create an industrial armchair appropriate for commercial and residential use. Made of fiberglass-reinforced polypropylene, this indoor/outdoor chair weighs 8.5 pounds and is available in white, black, silver and red. Both jurors praised Calla’s construction: Wolf loved the way the back flowed into the arms and Holbrook commended the well-considered bottom and sides.
CLIENT Heller Inc., New York
DESIGN William Sawaya, Milan, Italy
MATERIALS | FABRICATION Injection-molded, fiberglass-reinforced resin
JAPAN AIRLINES SHELL FLAT SEAT
Beginning last summer, Japan Airlines passengers flying from Tokyo to London enjoyed new, ergonomic seats that reclined into private beds. Installed in the airline’s Executive Class, the seats measure up to 23.5 inches wide and are equipped with a pneumatic lumbar-support system, a 57-inch minimum seat pitch, a privacy partition and an LED reading light in the back. The designers at B/E Aerospace Design Studio also built 10.4-inch monitors-the largest among the world’s airlines. Both Wolf and Holbrook lauded the shell-shaped partition, remarking that it gave passengers more privacy and a sense of personal space. As Wolf put it, “The screen stops people from staring you in the face while you’re sleeping.”
CLIENT Japan Airlines, Tokyo
DESIGN B/E Aerospace Design Studio, Winston-Salem, N.C.: Glenn Johnson, industrial design manager; Michael Princip, senior industrial design engineer; GK Planning and Design, Tokyo: Yasutaka Suge, president
SOFTWARE Unigraphics V18 Shapestudio
Jurors were pleasantly surprised to discover that this soft material was actually vinyl, and they immediately began imagining different applications for it. “It’s a step beyond anything we considered vinyl,” Holbrook said, explaining the material’s unique look and feel. Designed by Suzanne Tick of New York for Knoll Textiles, Forza exceeds 250,000 double rubs in the Wyzenbeek test, which determines abrasion resistance. The material comes in 19 metallic shades and is embossed with a satin-weave fabric texture to tone down its shiny surface. A special finish protects against stains and mildew-good for healthcare or corporate settings. “If you design, you would look forward to using this,” Wolf said.
CLIENT Knoll Textiles, New York
DESIGN Suzanne Tick Inc., New York: Suzanne Tick, principal
MATERIALS | FABRICATION Vinyl, polyester backing, satin-weave fabric, metallic pigment
ZANZIPLANO / ZANZI SWING
“It makes me smile,” said Wolf as she bounced up and down on the bright red Zanzi Swing, a height-adjustable stool created by designer Raul Barbieri for Rexite, in Milan. In addition to its mood-enhancing power, Wolf appreciated the intuitive placement of the two pneumatic controls on either side of the stool. The Zanzi Swing comes in nine colors and complements Zanziplano, a series of high, low and side tables. Barbieri constructed this collection out of high-pressure laminate and chromed steel, attaching four hooks underneath the tabletops for hanging purses and small bags. “The purse hook is a big winner,” Wolf said. Zanziplano is available in four colors: anthracite, light blue, green and red.
CLIENT Rexite, Milan
DESIGN Raul Barbieri, Milan
MATERIALS | FABRICATION Injection-molded technical polymers, electrowelded steel, pressed steel with injection overprinted elastomers
SOFTWARE Autocad 2D and 3D, Free Hand 8, Rhino 1.5, 3D Study Viz