'The Second Designtope Competition'
was held with a view to commercializing the prize-winning
work. Regrettably the work that won the Grand-Prix Prize
this time is not to be commercialized. The following
are the comments given by the joint organizer CASSINA
IXC.Ltd, Morie Nishimura and Kazuyoshi Inagaki who presented
their work 'ISOTOPE' that won the Grand-Prix Prize,
and Masayuki Kurokawa of Designtope. We hope these comments
will be good pieces of advice for designers and future
designers in the production of their future works.
|Grand Prix Designtope Award
Entrant: ISOTOPE (Morie Nishimura&Kazuyosi
It's certainly a chair created with an innovative concept.
Its production cost will be, however, too high for it
to be commercialized due to the solar panel and the
storage cells, etc built in it. Our company sells chairs
for outdoor use, too but most of them can be purchased
for less than 30,000yen. We also think that it will
be very difficult to mold the silicon rubber into a
form of a comfortable chair with such devices as above
inside. It will be also difficult to make this chair
keep the long-time durability in its shape and function.
<ISOTOPE (Morie Nishimura&Kazuyosi Inagaki)>
The freshmen like us can rarely get such a chance
as to realize their ideas in the actual works from
the scratch. The 'Drops' we introduced in this competition
was not the introduction of only its conceptual image,
but was the prototype that actually works. Although
our intention of presenting the work in this competition
was to get the chance to develop this prototype into
more completed model for commercialization, unfortunately
it was not possible this time because of various reasons.
We want to keep up our effort to solve various problems
through trials and errors so as to make this work
completed as an accepted product in the future. We'd
like to express our deepest thanks to those who gave
us such a precious chance as this.
<Masayuki Kurokawa of President, DESIGNTOPE>
I find the difficulty here of the design-competition
whose purpose is to commercialize the good works presented.
Your work will give us a full of good poetic image,
which is an important initial step for a commercial
product to be born. In order to get it out of just
a good image like that and to realize for it to be
used in the actual outdoor settings, a number of technical
and commercial problems seem to have to be solved.
In the selection of the work for Grand-Prix Prize,
there may have been the gap between the ideas of judges
and the ideas of the company which assigned the theme.
The work you presented surely moved the judges. CASSINA
ixc. to which your work was presented is, however,
not a maker, therefore the evaluation of the technical
aspects of your work was not possible for it to make.
Additionally, although the presented work was in consistent
with the given theme 'an out-door chair' , CASSINA
is a company dealing in furniture and not in lighting
Your work seems to require the consideration of technical
feasibility for its commercializing as a lighting
device rather than as a chair, which may be beyond
the scope of CASSINA ixc.. Frankly speaking, though,
the really revolutionary and shockingly epoch-making
work will not be born until the piles of problems
as above are overcome. I am afraid the conditions
of the competition this time may not have been the
optimal ones that allow you to fully exercise your
passion and enthusiasm.
Now that the right to commercialize your work is in
your own hand because it's been given up by the joint
organizing company for the competition. You should
believe that it's now up to your free will where you
take your work for its commercialization. I hope you
keep up your effort to solve the technical problems
with the help of some other company, and when you
have completed it, you can even take it to CASSINA
ixc. again to ask for its sales.
The problems of this kind are usual things for those
who work in designs. The successful designers are
those who have the enthusiasm and the skills to continue
their efforts to develop their works beyond such difficulties.
This is the path I myself have traced, having given
birth to various new products. Among them, there was
one that took more than ten years for development
and another that cost several million yen in three
years for commercializing. The important thing is
that designers must be in the center of the passion
and the enthusiasm for the realization of the 'ideas'.
When you begin to find the way for the solution of
the technical problems, come to Designtope, right?
We may help you find the companies that show interest
in the commercialization of this idea of yours. Designtope
is always willing to make efforts to connect such
enthusiastic designers as yourself with industrial
institutes of various fields.
|Grand Prix User Award
|Titile: SWING CHAIR
Entrant: Noriaki Baba
This chair is on the basis of a very clear concept and
depending on the material to be used for it, it can
be actually materialized, I believe. From the point
of view of the marketing, however, it will be difficult
to expect the great amount of its sales if it is on
the catalogue for the line-up products of our company.
One of the reasons for this is that it?fs a chair that
has a quite low seat close to the ground or the floor.
While it is true that the sofa composed of cushions
designed by Santachiara, for example, seems to have
gained a certain degree of popularity recently, there
is also the fact that the demand from our customers
for the chairs with low seats is almost none. Another
concern of us about this chair as a furniture company
is its safety. We cannot reasonably know how the users
of a certain product use it. In fact, there have been
the cases in which the product was damaged because of
its unexpected treatment which was beyond our expectation.
This chair will certainly attract children?fs attention
and the possibility of their using this chair not as
a chair but as a toy has to be taken into account. What
if the misuse like that causes them to get injured?
This kind of thing is something we are always most afraid
|Excellence Awards: 5works
Entrant: Hiroki Mihara
|Titile: SWING CHAIR
Entrant: Noriaki Baba
|Title: THE EARTH CHAIR
Entrant: Tetsu Sumii
|Title: SINGING IN THE RAIN
Entrant: Teruyuki Kuno
Let me write only my general comment about the Prize
for Excellent Works.
First of all, what our company sought for in the competition
this time were such items as a chair, a table, a bench,
etc. with rather orthodox designs and with high practicality.
They are for out-door use, so they should be able to
be sold for reasonable prices. In a nutshell, what we
wanted was something to be shown in our company's catalogue,
which we can sell like hotcakes. Unfortunately many
of the works presented for the competition this time
seemed to be experimental without paying so much attention
to the makers in terms of the cost of the production,
the possibility of mass-production, etc. It may, after
all, be the nature of competitions.
Not only through the competition like this, our company
has always been making close contact with various designers
for materializing their ideas as the actual furniture
The difficulty always we have is to materialize the
images drawn in 3D images with computers into actually
tangible objects. Materializing ideas is quite different
from commercializing the materialized ideas. There will
be the problem of the strength,cost and others, which
imposes various limits on the commercialization of a
product. As a result, the ones that will be eventually
on the market are to be extremely limited in spite of
the time and the efforts having been spent for them.
I thought every work awarded the Prize for Excellent
Works was possible to be materialized, if we ignore
its production cost. We have to consider, however, the
possibility of the success of the product from the business
view point, that is, such questions as exactly how many
of them can be sold and how much sales they will make
have to be asked. I know this sounds vulgarly realistic
but whether the product will give us satisfactory answers
to these questions or not is to be the most crucial
point for commercialization of a proposed idea or a
model. Whether it can be consistent with other items
of furniture lined up in our company?fs catalogue from
the various points of view such as its use, visual image,
etc. or not can be an important question, too. All things
like these considered, every work presented for this
competition has some advantage and some disadvantage.