There are many kinds of design chairs in the world. But there are not so many chairs in the world only to be used as an exterior chair, aren't there?
The exterior chair is different from the interior chair, for example how to use it and its durability. It has a different theme. For this competition, we want recruit ideas for exterior chairs widely. The work that is winning the Grand Prix award examination will become a product of INTER-DECOR.


What's become of the prize-winning work?
'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
Title: DROPS
Entrant: ISOTOPE (Morie Nishimura&Kazuyosi Inagaki)

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 devices.
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
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 of.

Excellence Awards: 5works
Entrant: Hiroki Mihara
Title: MOLD
Entrant: Millimeter
(Hidenori Miyaguchi&
Entrant: Noriaki Baba
Entrant: Tetsu Sumii
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 for sale.
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.