This year, the fourth annual Chair Affair student design competition asked architecture and package design students from 49 schools throughout North America to create chairs from nothing but corrugated board and glue. After much deliberation, the competition sponsors, American Institute of Architecture Students (AIAS) and the International Corrugated Packaging Foundation, have chosen six lucky winners. First place went to Cuesta College's Jessica Leung for her Hole on Hole chair, which I must say looks very inspired by the Campana Brothers' Favela Chair. To see and hear about the other winners,
Two teams — Winston Mi and Jessica Brown of Rhode Island School of Design, and Sarah Clement and Michael Wallace of Louisiana State University — tied in second place. Mi and Brown's "Profile and Silhouette," clearly draws inspiration from architect Frank Gehry's innovative corrugated board 1972 Easy Edges Side Chairs, which are in the MoMA Collection. Meanwhile, Clement and Wallace's "A Corrugated Chair or a Chair Made of Corrugated" conjures Gehry's Bubbles Chaise Lounge, with its soft top layer.
Honorable mentions went to Keith Holman, Benjamin Shullaw, Neal Birchum, and Sean McDow for University of Oklahoma for their "Adjustable" chair; Brad Smith of Cuesta College for his "Caterpillared" chair; and Jonathan Coop of California State University Long Beach for his "Corrugated Board Chair."
It's inspiring to see how these students have created stylish, modern furnishings from such a common packaging and display material. Corrugated board is made from a natural renewable resource, and seeing these innovative creations suggests that the possibilities for sustainable furniture design truly are endless. While I personally like these contemporary creations, what I'd love to see is a corrugated chair designed for traditional design enthusiasts. Sustainable furniture designs will never make a huge impact if they don't appeal to everyone's tastes.