In timing with the International Contemporary Furniture Fair, Parsons The New School for Design and The Poltrona Frau Group North America presented "Waiting for You," an exhibition of work by Parsons product design students under the direction of faculty member and noted designer Andrea Ruggiero.
In this seven-week studio, junior-year product design students were challenged to design and develop concepts for a piece of furniture that explored and interpreted the theme of waiting, an activity that the average person is frequently engaged over the course of a lifetime. Students considered new forms of furniture that address how people might spend their time "waiting" today and in the future.
"When we first discussed this project with Parsons, we were already convinced of the success of this initiative," said Federico Materazzi, Executive Vice President of Poltrona Frau Group North America. "Now having seen the talent and passion for the project demonstrated by the students and faculty, we see this as the beginning of a prosperous journey together, setting apart both Parsons and Poltrona Frau Group."
The students spent the semester working on their proposals, which were presented on May 10 to a panel of judges that included Federico Materazzi as well as legendary designer Massimo Vignelli, Elle Decor editor-at-large Ingrid Abramovitch, Parsons product design director Rama Chorpash, and Ruggiero.
"The theme of waiting was deliberately kept quite open so the students could approach it from any angle," said Ruggiero. "However, they were also asked to respect the heritage of Poltrona Frau and to be mindful of Frau's tradition of leather upholstery and hand craftsmanship; the three winning designs show different sensibilities, but each one with an inventive solution or approach."
The winning designers were:
Haruka Imai, "Daydream"
"Daydream" consists of a flower-like storage accessory for small, everyday belongings and a complementary stool that allows you to wait - or pause for a moment - on your way into or out of the house. Both pieces live in the entrance hallway where we typically come and go without stopping. "Daydream" allows you to stop for a moment to savor a thought or a memory, thereby escaping reality.
Lauren Edgar, "Amichetto"
"Amichetto" is a modular seating solution for public spaces, specifically designed for waiting in a retail environment while your companion shops. Aside from seating, the bench provides space for shopping bags, magazines, beverages, and for all things essential for the ease and comfort of those waiting.
Shaun Kasperbauer, "Hester"
Sometimes you have so much fun at the pre-party that you forget all about the main event: "Hester" facilitates such evenings by combining a side table and bar cabinet in one. With "Hester," time spent waiting is time spent enjoying the company of your friends.