During my junior year in the Industrial Design program at Cal State Long Beach I took a furniture design class. Our professor Joe Ricchio (also, my former boss) arranged an excellent competition for the students. It was called Wilsonart Challenges, and was sponsored by Wilsonart Laminate. Grace Jeffers, who is extremely knowledgeable and passionate about laminate, traveled from New York to give us the project details and guide us through the process. She inspired us with an explanation of the company's history (including a story of how she saved this amazing house!), the many uses of laminate, the way it is manufactured and all of it's unique qualities.
Stardust Spectra Laminate
Project Brief: Design a chair that incorporates the use of laminate (as many or as few patterns as desired). Keep in mind that the winning chair will appear as a two page inside cover spread in popular design magazines. This means the chair design should be one that makes people want to keep looking.
Each student in our class designed an amazing chair! It was so fun to see all the variety. The chairs were judged by Grace and a few others, and the top 5 were displayed at the Wilsonart ICFF booth in New York.
Eric MacDonald's chair won first place. His inspiration was the shape of the sample chip itself. He ingeniously gave it dimension and rotated it, creating the seat and the back.
When I pull out my external hard drive I will do a sequel to this post, showing you the other chairs from our class.