Chair Tuesday: IKEA/Enmore TAFE chair competition

Last week I had the pleasure & privilege of joining some of IKEA's marketing and commercial activities staff in judging the IKEA sponsored Enmore TAFE student chair design competition. The brief was to take an existing IKEA chair and use it as a base to create a new chair that referenced a phobia and took styling cues from an internationally renowned architect. Some were more successful at this than others, but overall it was very inspiring to enter a room filled with dozens of chairs, each one wildly different to the next.
After each of the judges assessed the chairs individually, we came together to talk about what which ones we liked and why -- which was an interesting look at the other side after being a student for so long!


In the end we all agreed on this chair as the "Most Outstanding".  Unfortunately this photo from the flyer doesn't do it a whole lot of justice and I didn't have a camera with me so I couldn't take any at the time. In person, though, it really is quite an elegant chair.  The large high backrest gives it a very imposing presence and the long dowels on the back and legs give it some lovely lines.
One thing that can't be seen from this front on view is that from the side the seat rest juts out to the front, so the legs lean forward, giving it a real sense of urgency and movement. This I suppose could be argued was a reference to its phobia: Panphobia; the fear of everything (or sometimes used to refer to a fear of nature). As the legs made a circle all the way around it became a cage, and so from the side it was as if it was trying to escape & break free.  But perhaps I'm reading too much into it.

A very rewarding experience and fun to be the judge instead of being a member of the class getting judged! The three top chairs are on display at IKEA Tempe for the next few weeks so if you're not too far away you should go and have a look.