We have published the result and the winners.
The period for Final Trial Production of the work has finished.
The registration has closed.
The work submission in ENGLISH version was adjusted.
The work submission in ENGLISH version was adjusted.
nextmaruni Design Competition
The bulletin has announced.

MARUNI Inc. which has been producing and selling wooden furniture for 79 years since 1928, is now planning to start a new business dealing with the new type of furniture based on completely new concepts from those Maruni has kept so far. According to this purpose, the designs of chairs to be commercialized are widely sought for.


The theme ‘ Lounge Chairs and Tables matching them’
Chairs that make you relaxed
‘Small Wooden Chairs’ was the theme of the competition of 2004 and ‘Arm Chairs’ was that of 2005. The theme of Maruni Competition of 2006 has been decided to be the ‘ Lounge Chairs’.
‘A small wooden chair’is the one for you to sit on when you have meals or you study at a desk. It should let you keep a good straightened posture. ‘An armchair’ is the one for you to sit on when you drink a cup coffee or you have a relaxed conversation with someone else. It should let you feel easy.
‘A lounge chair’ should be something that will let you feel much more relaxed than the above two. Sitting on it must let you sip brandy, feel tipsy, smoke a cigarette, talk with your friend, watch TV and even take a short nap. Lounge chairs are the ones placed in living rooms of houses, in break rooms of offices, in lounges of hotels.

The theme of the Maruni Competition 2006 is ‘ Lounge Chairs and Tables matching them’, the actual main assignment is, however, the designs of‘Lounge Chairs’. The ideas concerning ‘ the tables matching the lounge chairs’ will be taken as proposals only. The works among the ‘lounge chairs’ that won Grand Prix may be commercialized. Please note that no tables will be commercialized, though they will be taken as references for the assessment of the lounge chairs that come with the tables.

It has to be wooden made.
The special feature of Next Maruni is in the principle that its products must be wooden. Though the design requested for this competition is ‘ lounge chairs for one person to sit on’, you may want lounge chairs for two persons depending on the cases. The lounge chairs that have the possibility to seat two persons will be accepted as well.

Lounge chairs quite naturally require soft and springy feel in their seats and backrests. Therefore, the materials for your proposed works have to be carefully chosen with both their cost and their functions taken into consideration. Receiving the ideas of the works that win Grand Prix and other prizes, exchanging ideas with the staff members of Maruni Woodworks, we’ll decide the final materials for your works to be commercialized products.

Dialogues with the esthetic sense of Japan
‘A message to the esthetic sense of Japan and Japanese people’ has been the consistent theme for the design works for ‘a small wooden chair’and ‘ an arm chair’ that have been assigned so far. Though this principle will not be changed fundamentally, pondering over the suggestion given by Jasper Morrison, "If the works are the ones designed for a Japanese company and for the Japanese company to commercialized them, they cannot but be messages to the esthetic sense of Japan and Japanese people", we have come to think that too much attachment to this theme may limit much greater possibilities than otherwise. Therefore, in this time of the competition for ‘lounge chairs’, you don’t have to think too much of the consistency with this theme. While you work with the Japanese company, Maruni Woodwork to actualize your ideas into concrete commercial products, the answers for this set-theme will gradually be clarified.

Ref.1 About Maruni
Ref.2 Eight Esthetic Senses of Japan and Japanese People
Ref.3 Concept book ‘Chairs’

A lounge chair both as an art work and a commercial product
Consider that the requested design works for lounge chairs should be ‘the ones as both art works and commercial products’. The consistent principle of Next Maruni has been, is and will be to sell excellent art works and to make them successful as excellent commercial products. Therefore the excellent lounge chairs designed for this competition will be among the collections of permanent artworks of the company as well as among the products that will keep being sold permanently as long as the company exists. We are expecting the excellent proposals that will be ‘the core original’ for the long future.

TThe restriction of their production process
The main material must be wood. The combination of the frame parts should basically be made by wood dowel attachment or by tenons and glue. If you have any other suggestions concerning the way of its composition, they will be accepted. The use of plywood should be limited only to its sub-material. Concerning the materials for the seat and the backrest that should produce comfortable springy feels, we leave to the free ideas of the participants.

The judge for the competition is a product designer, Alberto Meda with the support of Maruni's ' NEXTMARUNI PROJECT COMMITTEE, whose task is to examine the technologies and the costs necessary for the commercialization of the products.

Alberto Meda

Born in Lenno Tremezzina (Como) in 1945.
Master in Mechanical Engineering at Politecnico of Milan in 1969. From 1973 to 1979 technical manager of Kartell. In 1979 he starts as freelance industrial designer for various companies: Alfa Romeo Auto, Ansaldo Sistemi Industriali, Alias, Alessi, Cinelli, Gaggia, Ideal Standard,Ideal Standard, Luceplan, Legrand, Mandarina Duck, Omron Japan, Vitra, etc. Now he works and lives in Milan

"Creativitalia" 1990, and a personal exhibition at the "Design Gallery", Matzuia Ginza in Tokyo.
"XVIII Triennale in Milan" 1992, "The lightness" section of "Il giardino delle cose".
"Mutant materials in contemporary design" at MOMA- NewYork 1995.
"Meda - Rizzatto exibition" at Binnen Galerie-Amsterdam 1996
Lighting affinities-Milano 1996
A personal at Salon du Meuble -Parigi 1999

1989 "Compasso d'oro" for "Lola" and in 1994 for "Metropoli" lamps by Luceplan.
1992 "Design Plus" IF prize for Titania lamp
1994 "European Design Prize " for his work with Luceplan.
1995 "Design Plus" IF prize for UNI-X lamps
1997 I.D design review-’Best of category’ with Vitra - Meda chair
1998 Good design Gold Prize-Japan with Vitra - Meda chair
1999 Designer of the year -salon du Meuble de Paris
2000 Bundespreis Produktdesign with Meda chair
2001 Good Design Award Chicago Athenaeum vith Arabia's Water
2003 Reddot award for Iittala Knives

Since 1994 The Museum of Modern Art in New York, includes in its Design Collection "Light light " chair 1987 and "Soft light "chair 1989 , "Longframe" 1993 by Alias , and "On-Off "lamp by Luceplan 1988.

The Awards
Grand Prix (Given to one work)
Grand Prix Award is given to an excellent work that agrees with the theme of this competition.
<The Award Winner will receive 300,000 yen as the initial loyalty fee and after the work has begun to be commercialized, the running loyalty fee depending on its sales price will be paid. The initial loyalty is, however, paid as a part of running loyalty payment in advance.>

Several Selected Works:
Excellent proposed works that have the future possibility of their commercialization will be selected.
<The creators of the Selected Works will make one-year priority contract with the sponsoring company (MARUNI Inc.) for the consideration of their commercialization. If they are decided to be commercialized, the running loyalty for them will be paid after their production starts. In the case the applicants who presented the Selected Works want another company to make them commercialized during the period of one-year priority contract right for Maruni Inc, Maruni Inc. will agree to transfer the concerned right to the company the applicant refers to with due payment.>

The Announcement Of The Competition Results
We have requested 11 world-famed designers to design a Lounge Chairs with the same theme of this Design Competition. The work that won the Grand Prix Award in this competition will be introduced in the Exhibitions held in Milan and Tokyo. Designtope will announce only the name of the Prize Winner because of the nature of this competition of commercializing the Prize Winning work(s). The details of the work that won Grand Prix Award as well as Selected works are planned to be after their commercialization that will be in April of 2007.

Schedule (Times and Dates are according to Japan time)
The Schedule for the year 2006
July 10(Mon) --- September 15(Fri): Application Period
July 16(Mon) --- September 30(Sat): Work Submission Period
October 1(Sun) --- October 31(Tue): Viability Examination Period for Presented Works
The beginning of November:Final Review and Decision of Grand Prix Award Winning Work, Decision of Prized Works (The results will be notified to their designers.)
The beginning of November --- The end of March in 2007: Period for Final Trial Production of the Work (The trial product will be manufactured through the opinion exchanges between its designer and the competition sponsors.)
The middle of November: The announcement of Grand-Prix and the selected works on web site.

The schedule for the year 2007
April 18(Wed) ---April 23(Mon) : Exhibitions is to be held in Milan.

The qualifications for the application
No restrictions are set such as your status, jobs, ages, nationalities, etc. And both individuals and groups can participate in the competition.

Application Method
Fill in the application form in the web-site and send it. Later you will receive your application number and password by e-mail. Please keep the application number and the password for the work submission as they are required when you submit your work to the competition site. You can submit more than one work but you need to make an application for each of your works respectively.

The conditions and the method for the work submission
 1 paper text
 3 visual images for Lounge Chair
 3 visual images for the table

1. Comment : 'The title of the work and what you want to express by your designs with their special characters.'
The language used for the text is to be English. Those who speak Japanese should put the text In Japanese along with English one. The maximum length for the Comment A is 400 words in English and 200 letters in Japanese.

2. Three dimensional visual image showing the main design (one for each eLounge chiarfand ethe tablef)
500 x 500 pixel (only RGB / in JPEG format / within 100kb)

3. The technical drawings of the work seen from the three angles (one for each eLounge chiarfand ethe tablef)
Detailed measurements and required materials have to be shown in them.
500 x 500 pixel (RGB format / in JPEG format / within 300kb)

4. One detailed drawing with the measurements and the materials (one for each eLounge chiarfand ethe tablef)
500 x 500 pixel (RGB format / in JPEG format / within 300kb)

*Each of the presented visual image files should have the name in English-one-byte characters with the file extension of (-jpg).

Example: compefile1.jpg

The method for the work submission
The period for the work submission July.10---September 30 2006
The submission and the reception of the works are done on the web-site. When you have the required forms, three visual images, and the two text-files (Refer above) ready to be sent, please complete the registration process for your work(s) following the instruction of the application form for the work submission (Click the Work Submission button in the web-site and follow the instruction). Remember we will not accept the works submitted in the form of attached files to e-mails.

1. Dont put any information on any of the images from which the applicant may be identified.
2. The images can be in any forms. For example, they can be photos of a model, hand-drawn sketches, 3D computer graphic images, etc. It is totally up to the applicant.
3. The presented works are limited to unreleased ones.

<Concerning various rights>
The rights concerning the presented works such as their copy rights, intellectual property rights belong to their presenters. The right for their commercialization is, however, to belong to MARUNI Inc. for the period of one year. And the sponsor company(MARUNI Inc.) will hold the rights to keep, record, exhibit, publish and advertise the presented works for free. In the case the sponsor company (MARUNI Inc.) decides not to commercialize the presented works and then the concerned works are decided to be commercialized by the companies other than MARUNI Inc. , MARUNI Inc. will keep the rights to exhibit, publish and advertise the presented works.
* In the case that Maruni Inc. transferred the rights for the commercialization of concerned works to another company with due payment for them to be commercialized, the rights to exhibit, publish and advertise the presented works must be sincerely discussed among all the concerned parties including the works’ presenters, the concerned company and Maruni Inc.

<Concerning award-winning works>
In the case that any prize-winning work is revealed to be an imitation, a piracy, etc, which possibly impinges the intellectual property rights of other individual(s) or organization(s), the prize will be nullified even after its announcement.
If the work you presented is decided to be commercialized, certain aspects of your proposals such as materials used for the seat and the backrest of the proposed lounge chair may be changed through the idea-exchanges between you and the technical staff members of Maruni Woodwork with the consideration of its cost and its functionality.

Direct inquiries to:
DESIGNTOPE Competition Secretariat


However, details regarding selection standards will not be disclosed. Please refer to the instructions on the registration form and the FAQs regarding questions on application procedure.