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The chair, an exercise in style

The Maison & Objet show was an opportunity to see the new seating collections presented by the editors. If designing a chair is always a challenge – even a “must” – for designers, the styling exercise starts early. And the well-named manufacturer La Chaise Française decided last year to submit to this real challenge the students of the Ecole Bleue, under the direction of Guillaume Delvigne. As a wink to the event that has just ended, let’s look back at the projections of these future designers.

If French chair manufacturers are becoming more and more rare, La Chaise Française wished to keep the French know-how alive by joining forces with a factory created in 1905 to develop eco-responsible seating collections. Its first goal is to succeed in setting up a true editorial line in which economic common sense and ecological approach must give birth to seats with sensitive and refined lines, simple and balanced. It is in this context that La Chaise Française asked the students of the Ecole Bleue to think about a comfortable, timeless seat, intended to strengthen the range in the “home office” or “home chair” segments, while emphasizing a truly eco-responsible approach, with a French spirit.

A reflection was carried out in the form of a competition, with the presentation of the projects before a jury of professionals composed of Hector de Bartillat, General Manager of the Chaise Française, Guillaume Delvignedesigner and teacher and Sandra Biaggi, designer and founder of The ODP Letter, awarded four winners, two of them tied, on May 19.

Wilson Shelker, first prize for the Albatross chair


Presented in walnut or oak and with “winged” arms, the Albatros chair fully meets the specifications given by La Chaise Française in this precise context. A project considered very successful for this model of teleworking chair whose design and materials would find their place perfectly in our interiors.

The Albatross chair, design by Wilson Shelker

Marine Bachelet, second prize for the Ese chair


Ese is a voluptuous seat that calls for comfort and design. It seduced the jury with its original shapes and colors in perfect harmony with the current trend.

The Ese chair, design Marine Bachelet

Axelle Rafenne’s T2 chair and Laurena Keller’s AC10, third prize ex aequo


For this third prize, the jury members were unable to decide between two projects, which finally finished in third place, ex aequo. The first project, which was a real favorite for two members of the jury, is the T2 chair by Axelle Rafenne, which was recognized as having everything to become a design icon with its very marked and geometric shape.

The T2 chair, design Axelle Rafenne

The second project that stood out was that of Laurena Keller, for the AC10, which corresponded more to one of the objectives of La Chaise Française, which was to reinvent interiors by creating objects that would be both precisely designed and useful. A chair that pleased the jury with its roundness and originality.

The AC10, design Laurena Keller