Designers from around the world were invited to create chairs that preserve natural resources while amplifying human delight during Two chairs took the “gold” at World Market Center Las Vegas this week, during the third annual “One Good Chair” competition sponsored by World Market Center Las Vegas and the Sustainable Furnishings Council last week. Eric Tong’s Zpine chair received the grand prize, and Juan Mercado’s RE Flex chair won in the People’s Choice category during Winter Las Vegas Market last week.
The competition asked designers to minimize material, production, shipping and assembly while maximizing comfort, utility, durability and beauty. Sustainable Furnishings Council members, including The Phillips Collection and Handy Living, created prototypes of some of the finalists’ designs.
Eric Tong made his Zpine chair using inexpensive, sustainable honeycomb core.
Tong, from London, England, created the winning Zpine chair using a honeycomb core known as “cellular structure.” His piece converts seamlessly between a chair and a chaise, collapsing with ease. Tong said he chose honeycomb for its magnificent strength-to-weight ratio and because it’s inexpensive, sustainable and biodegradable. “It’s such a beautiful material,” he said. Manufacturers approached Tong immediately following the competition awards program to discuss manufacturing his winning chair.
Juan Mercado's Re Flex chair is made from a standard 4-by-8 wood sheet.
Mercado, of Jackson, Michigan, won the People’s Choice award by more than a 30 percent margin. His RE Flex chair, created from a standard 4-by-8-inch wood sheet, can be used as a sleek modern desk chair or a comfortable reading/rocking chair, depending on the owner’s mood. Its design is simple yet sophisticated, and requires minimal packaging and space for shipping.