Firstly we must admit that when we saw the Houdini chairs in Milan last year… we ignored them and kept walking.
Which doesn’t necessarily mean that we didn’t like them… But isn’t exactly an indication of our confidence in them either.
Following a carpentry apprenticeship, Freising (the town next to Munich Airport) born Stefan Diez studied Industrial Design at the Staatliche Akademie der Bildenden Künste in Stuttgart. After spells working with Richard Sapper and Konstantin Grcic, Stefan Diez opened his own studio in 2003. Widely regarded as one of the most talented young German Industrial designers, Stefan Diez has worked with firms such as Thonet, Wilkhahn and Moroso.
As already indicated the Houdini Armrest Chair was launched by e15 at the 2009 Saloni in Milan.
Where we ignored it.
The secret of the Houdini Armrest Chair lies in its construction: lengths of oak-veneered plywood are carefully formed around and glued too a milled central ring. It is the overlapping of these plywood lengths that give the Houdini Armrest Chair its distintive form and character. Our main problem with Houdini is the legs – which for our money look like a cheap afterthought and not part of a well considered master plan.
What we really don’t understand however is that only the “armrest chair” appears to have been nominated. Whereas with other nominations, such as Grassworks or Breathe, the whole collection is nominated – the judges apparently didn’t like the side chair version of the Houdini range.
Which can’t bode well for it’s chances.
Houdini Armrest Chair by Stefan Diez
Chances of winning the 2010 Brit Insurance Design Award: low