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100% EcoDesign

Why a competition dedicated to the design of a chair? Because it represents an icon throughout time. The chair covers different periods in time and diverse historical moments. However certain details remain unchanged and they hide under the design of an object which appears simple only on the surface.

Design, technological innovation, comfort, functionality and flexibility: all these features have always contributed to the appeal that chairs confer to designers and to those who use them. The great Avant-garde masters of the last century saw in the design of a chair the perfect opportunity to express their talents and their ideas. In some cases, the chair has become the manifesto of an entire artistic or architectural movement. Time has brought a clear and unstoppable technological progress. There have been many technological innovations in field of chair design. Nowadays the main objectives are to cut down production costs and respect the environment. Now, more than ever, the search for environmentally friendly materials is the focus of worldwide famous designers’ research activity. Design should convey a variety of meanings: versatility, ergonomics, and aesthetics. Tastes and habits have changes through time, but the main rule has always remained the same: creativity.



Recycle/Rechair is an International conceptual design competition put forward by AWR - Architecture Workshop in Rome. The goal of the competition is to award the best designers around the world that are willing to meet the challenge of designing a completely eco-friendly armchair. There are no limits to construction, material or dimension to be considered for the project. Recycle/Rechair is an ideas competition and, as such, it is aimed at investigating trends in new functional, performance and aesthetic models for the years to come.

Today, more and more people are choosing products labeled as “green” or “eco-friendly”. It has therefore become essential to follow a design ethic and seek solutions that are actually environmentally friendly. Particular attention will be paid towards the implementation and the technical ability to employ "green" materials. Whether traditional or innovative, the materials employed are required to be environmentally friendly.


Arch. Naghi Habib - Italy - Jury President   

Active since the late '80s, after graduating in architecture at the University of Rome, began working with some companies (such as SIRI, COGEMA) for which follows the design and construction supervision of residential and urban design. He also began his collaboration with leading design firms (including Ycami, Aciemo, Bernini).

Opened his own studio in 1996 producing numerous projects for private homes, hotels, restaurants and offices, then extending to several factors such as industrial design for major brands (including Ferrarelle, Algida), the interior architecture and design of buildings and villas. He edited the image of numerous projects, including showrooms and stands for companies in Italy and abroad (including Apiro, Made inMuseum). He recently designed and supervised the renovation and redesign of the Embassy of Algeria in Rome and of the Offices of the Secretary of State and Regional direction of the Treasury and the Ministry of Finance.

Arch. Laura Negrini - IED - Italy  

Laura Negrini is an architect  living and working in Rome. She has worked in Netherlands from 1997 to 2000, collaborating with UNStudio to important projects and international competitions. From 2000 to 2003 worked for Studio Michele De Lucchi, with whom she worked on the project for the new image of the Italian Post. In 2004 she founded the studio in Rome aQarchitetturaquotidiana professionally engaged in design and architectural design of spaces and public services. She is author of the monograph Ben Van Berkel (Edilstampa 2001) and curator of the special monographic issue of Industria delle Costruzioni journal about  UNStudio. She has taught at the University of Art and Design in Venice, La Sapienza University of Rome, Rome Cornell University. She has collaborated for many years with the European Institute of Design in Rome, taking from 2009  the Directorate IED Design.


GUMDESIGN - Laura Fiaschi, Gabriele Pardi - Italy   

They deal with architecture, industrial design, graphics, art direction for companies and events. Among their clients: Bormioli, Codal, De Vecchi, Diamantini&Domeniconi, Fiat, F.lli Guzzini, Invicta, Lavazza, Lefel, Opos, Mirage, Red Bull Italia, San Pellegrino, Serafino Zani, Silik, Swarovski Italia, Up Group, Vilca, Vivarini, Zeroombra, Yoox. They have won many prizes, among which First Prize at the Creativity International Competition "Swiss in Cheese", the First Prize at the competition of architecture for Marinella di Selinunte, the First Prize at the competition of graphics for "The poster of Carnival Torre del Lago Puccini" and four special mentions at the International Competition "Young&Design"; they have been selected, as designers, for the exhibitions "Prime Cup" and "New Italian Design", arranged by the Director Silvana Annichiarico for the Milan Triennale Exhibition and for the Exhibition "Theatre of Italian Creativity" in New York, arranged by Vanni Pasca. Alessandro Mendini selects for the Design Museum of the Triennale of Milan the tasting glass Swing; Dyade Ltd invites Gumdesign to represent the italian design for IDEA in London during the London Festival Design and the Magma museum receives some objects of Gumdesign in the permanent collection; are selected by Triennale of Milan for a major exhibition at the Santral Museum of Istanbul and Vittorio Sgarbi choose them for the Italian Pavilion (Venice Biennale) to the Pecci Museum of Prato. The MoMa of San Francisco select Swing and Calici for a important exhibition and for the permanent collection. Since 2008 they are in charge of the Creative Direction of Cambiovaso for the Upgroup company, that has involved, till now, thirty international designers and has been selected for the Adi Design Index 2009 and Compasso d'Oro. They are involved, in the University area, with open classes, workshops and they cooperate with the "Free University" of Bolzano, the Cried of Milan, the Ied of Florence and Rome, Pisa University and the Celsius in Lucca, the Faculty of Architecture of Genoa, the Faculty of Engineering of Trento. The most important specialized magazines and many publications document the work of the studio. Dynamism, transformability and versatility, fun and playing are the perceivable features in every design that the company undertakes; designing and dreaming go hand in hand... imagining, conceiving, inventing, creating something that is new and precisely... everything that implies emotional tension that is nothing short of dreaming!

D'Arc - Daniele Calisi, Rosa Topputo, Alessio Tommasetti - Italy  

Light years far away in a far far galaxy there existed a city that was built on the harmonic ideas of its own inhabitants…But that’s another story…Our life takes place in the Eternal City, looking back on a boiling hot May of 2007, when for the nth time ideas with their related dreams were overcome by those speculations economically more profitable. At that time we took the decision to keep on dreaming with our creative minds adding an extra touch of irony and criticism. This is the reason why we chose to set up a Studio, which denounced in its very name our will not to give up to reality, though extremely conscious of the current state of things: Desperate Architects Rome City, or rather D’Arc.

D’Arc.Studio is an Architectural Studio which is not restricted to one single Discipline, but opens itself up to the influences of both Art and Science, absorbing from them what can turn to be an essential piece of the project: each side of the polyhedron comes from the different experience of each member of the Studio, who is sometime in accord or run into a dynamic collision, but eventually able together to create a complete and elaborate whole.We don’t try to give shape to an architectural poetics, a noble academic language, a recognizable archetype form.

We take a careful look to what really exists, what could become and what evokes feelings worth to be studied and translated: the grain, the colour and the smell of a canvas, the pages of a book which run through fast and autonomously, a picture where you seem to be in, a series of notes which we would have personally written, a movie shot thousand times, a number of comic boards which tell and touch, a sign made of leaves black lead light sound and pixel.

We live, we don’t plan.

We are still desperate, but we are here. Always on the move, and we don’t wait for the world to get better. We try to better ourselves. Thank you.


Martin Refsal  - United States 

Martin Refsal is a blogger and designer living in New York City. He received a B.A. in Studio Art from St. Olaf College in Northfield, MN in 2006 and is currently pursuing an M.B.A., with a concentration in Media Management, at Fordham University

Martin's blog, CMYBacon, is an exploration of inspiring and funny things in the world of art and design, and was named one of the best new design blogs of 2010 by AOL's ShelterPop. He currently works in the art department at ALM Media, designing for The American Lawyer magazine.


DM Design - Daniele De Angelis, Maura Casaburi - Italy   

Dmdesign was born at the end of 2009. Its team is composed by two young Product/graphic designers, Maura Casaburi and Daniele De Angelis. It was born with the intent to create and diffuse the idea of designing and manufacturing cardboard fornitures. The idea lead us to define such objects, came us by asking some simple question, such as: what is ecological design? What distinguishes a sustainable product? Which basic materials are employed and under what conditions are these acquired? Are renewable raw materials used? Are these recycling materials or can they be recycled? What are the production circumstances? Is it possible to produce it in a way that saves energy and water? Is the emissions level as low as possible during production and is the product without emissions when used? What type of transportation and packaging is used? What ultimately happens if a product is defective or its useful life is over? We hope we were able to answer most of these questions with our design.

When people buy sustainably manufactured products, they get more than just a good conscience, but also do something good for themselves: long-lasting enjoyment of a good product and use of it without health risks are qualities that should not be underestimated.
Ecological products are in demand not only because of the current debate on sustainability and climate change- many companies have already recognized that these important criteria are necessary in order for products to be seen as high quality, which determines the demand for them.
Good designers have the task of translating the demand for ecological products into high-quality items.


First Prize





Peter Plantan

Nusa Zupanc











The K'un project was disqualified due to an irregularity.

 AWR Staff    






Second Mention



Tomo Arakawa




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This competition is closed for other registration, the Deadline was: 2011-12-16