Chair design contest gets tighter

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By Mordecai Drache

Three interior design students can only sit and wait to see which one will forever be known as the designer of Ryerson University’s official chair.

At a ceremony held last Friday in the interior design building near Church and Gould Streets, Ryerson president Claude Lajeunesse and v.p. university advancement Gordon Cressy announced that Agata Jaworski, Marc Grossi and Parisa Manouchehri-Kashani, all third-year students, were chosen as finalists in the chair design contest.

The winning design, will be built and given to the university’s most substantial donors. No firm date has been set for when the winner will be selected.

“All great universities have chairs, so Ryerson should have a chair … that excited the community,” Cressy told the 60-member audience.

The finalists were chosen out of 66 third-year students who submitted potential chair designs and that number was narrowed down to six semi-finalists in October.

Prototypes of the semi-finalists’ chairs ranged in style from austere modern thrones to dynamic, playful structures one might find in a futuristic living room. Students presented their chairs to an 11-person panel, described the inspiration for their designs and why they aptly represented Ryerson.

The challenge, said Scott Eckert, professional furniture designer and juror, is “to synthesize creativity with the realities of the marketplace,” something interior design students often find difficult.

The winning designs were judged according to sturdiness, functionality, comfort and cost of production, as well as creativity and aesthetics.

“Design is truly a learning process,” said finalist Manouchehri-Kashani. “You realize a lot of things you couldn’t before … It’s important to be flexible, but not lose your vision.”

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