The jury has reached its decision: After several days of assessing thousands of products from all over the world, Pi Chair A.1 model received the distinction “Red Dot”. In collaboration with Piiroinen, FOKlab has created Pi chair with an outstanding design that the expert committee for the Red Dot Award: Product Design 2017 has recognised with the internationally sought-after seal of quality.
“Good products do not raise questions, they provide answers – answers to
often complex and time-consuming challenges, but in a way that is obvious,
universal and enduring.” Diederik Fokkema, Partner FOKlab, Fokkema & Partners Architects
The idea for a new chair came from observation FOKlab knows the customers, knows the designers and knows the manufacturers. FOKlab has furnished thousands of square meters of workspaces, stores, conference rooms and offices – even libraries and city halls. “The diversity of our field of work is inspiring, as individual solutions cannot be duplicated,” Diederik Fokkema explains. He is one of the founders of FOKlab and feels honored with the recognition by the Red Dot jury.
As exclusive importer from PIIROINEN in the Netherlands and representative for a select group of top manufacturers around the world, PLAN@OFFICE brought PIIROINEN and FOKlab together and was closely involved in the design process of the Pi Collection.
The Pi chair was designed especially for Piiroinen and represents the first chair that Diederik Fokkema has designed. The whole Pi Collection is a result of the ambitious and efficient teamwork between Piiroinen product development department and FOKlab research of Fokkema & Partners Architecten.
When Diederik Fokkema heard of a Finnish furniture manufacturer surrounded by forests and fields that makes products of the highest quality in terms of both technical execution and materials, he became interested. “The technical quality of Piiroinen’s products in particular caught my attention. I became interested in the company, and the Dutch importer brought us together. My motivation for focusing on the design of chairs and furniture was based on the observations I made in my work and Piiroinen’s ability to transfer these ideas from designs to materials. Together with Piiroinen I was able to capture the essence of a chair in a new way. The Pi chair combines a respect for Nordic manufacturing and the Nordic environment with issues that were raised in my own work regarding functionality and varying the product assortment."
"What I as a designer and Piiroinen as a manufacturer share in common is a sense of humility when working on the details and perfectionism in terms of quality.” The Pi chair is a chair – it does not pretend to be anything else. It is a wooden chair, but its legs and seat are connected by a seamless metal frame. Technically and in terms of the materials, the details that lie in the shadows of the seat are a masterpiece of engineering expertise and enable an easily approachable, light and timeless look for the entire chair series."
Risto Piiroinen, Piiroinen managing director, says: ”This is a remarkable product development project for us with top professional designers from the Netherlands. Besides Fokkema & Partners Architecten our long time importer Plan@Office from the Netherlands has had a strong grip in the project providing customer view. Product itself is important, but even more important is, that our company is again involved in high standard international product development and is approved as a manufacturer. All Pi Collection products are made here in Salo Finland, so our company has learned a lot about new materials and about the production technology.”
The Pi chair uses uniquely deformable veneer that flexes threedimensionally in the press. The result can be seen by the naked eye, and it can be felt immediately when you sit in the chair. It takes you in its lap, and it also allows you to relax. Thanks to the unique veneer and flexing technology, we have been able to keep the chair light yet rigid, while the dimensions offer support for the back and sitting in just the right places.
Professor Dr. Peter Zec, founder and CEO of the Red Dot Award: “The Red Dot winners are pursuing the right design strategy. They have recognised that good design and economic success go hand in hand. The award by the critical Red Dot jury documents their high design quality and is indicative of their successful design policy.”
The significance of the international design competition, Red Dot Award: Product Design, with its headquarter in Essen, Germany is well established internationally. It was already more than 60 years ago that a jury convened for the first time to assess the best designs of the day. Since then, an expert team has been awarding the seal of quality for good design and innovation to the outstanding designs of the year.
Manufacturers and designers around the globe were also invited to enter their products in the 2017 competition. The jury of around 40 independent designers, design professors and specialist journalists tested, discussed and assessed each individual product, awarding the Honourable Mention for a well-conceived detail solution, the Red Dot for high design quality and the Red Dot: Best of the Best for groundbreaking design. In total, the competition received more than 5,500 entries from 54 countries this year.
The Red Dot Award: Product Design 2017 will culminate in Essen on 3 July 2017. This is when the Red Dot: Best of the Best laureates receive their trophies during the Red Dot Gala award ceremony. At the subsequent Designers’ Night after-show party, the award winners will celebrate in the midst of all the prize-winning products in the Red Dot Design Museum Essen, and the Red Dot winners will receive their well-earned certificates. For five weeks, the special exhibition “Design on Stage” will present the awarded products of the year as part of the world’s largest exhibition of contemporary design. The Red Dot Design Yearbook 2017/2018 also comes out on 3 July. The international reference work for award-winning design presents all of the year’s winning products. They will also be presented on the Internet, in particular in the online presentation, the Red Dot App and on the design platform Red Dot 21.