If you ever needed a good excuse to open a bottle of champagne, here’s an excellent one: to take part in the annual DWR Champagne Chair Contest. Though the 2010 winners are out, it’s never too early to start creating; competition is fierce!
The Annual Champagne Chair Contest by Design Within Reach (DWR) always brings out the most creative attempts as to what can do with a cork and a bit of wire. The rules are simple yet strict: Using only the foil, label, cage and cork from not more than two Champagne bottles (sorry!), contestants need to create an original miniature champagne chair.
Here’s the 2010 winning design by Jesse Menayan called Kub Armchair – this was the judges’ pick.
The DWR staff pick is our personal favorite – just look at that lovingly cut cork for the foot and seat pieces and the beautifully sculpted backrest! This winner was designed by Tony Nemyer who called it “Grape Divine Chair.”
The judges take the following criteria into account when evaluating each entry: craftsmanship, creativity and ingeniousness. Important is also durability as any chair must withstand shipping to the DWR office – broken or damaged entries will not be considered.
The third Champagne Chair Contest winner 2010 is Gavri Slasky with his design “Spring 2009″ who received the popular vote.
Ingenious and popular as the winning entries may be, none of them will be turned into a real-life prototype. The price for the winners is – what else could it be – a fancy designer chair. Plus, the top 50 entries will be part of a traveling exhibition around the US.
Here’s a collage of previous entries. Keep in mind that no glue, tape or paint is allowed, only the “raw material” that can be recycled from a maximum two bottles of champagne. Amazing, isn’t it?
This design of the bistro chair, though extremely stylish, is also very popular. See different versions here: Fredrik Thommesen, Gregory Tonon
Here’s a really cool armchair that could almost be a rocking chair by Flickr user Jeremy Noble.
How it all started? Designer and DWR founder Rob Forbes received a miniature chair many years ago made out of a champagne cork’s wire cage and a metal medallion. The rest is history. Forbes turned the small gift into a popular competition that by now got an audience not only in the United States but also abroad.
Says Forbes about the contest’s wide reach: “Yes, I think that this kind of hands-on interaction helps people get involved with design in simple, fun exercises that are about form and structure. It’s an exercise that does not require specialized tools or formal design education.”
We could go on and on showing you samples of previous designs but alas, even an online post has its limit. Last but not least, here are some entries of the year 2006 with the winner at the bottom right, modeled after a traditional African chair.
So popular are the winning creations and other entries that they even tour the United States: Check the DWR website for a location near you. Selected design studios will have the Top 50 champagne chairs on display through May 15th.
Editor’s note: This is a guest post courtesy of our friends at Environmental Graffiti, written by Simone Preuss’.