The Mixology15 Student Designer of the Year award, sponsored by KI Europe’s KICKSTART programme has been awarded to Jan Waterston from the National School of Furniture for his innovative and sleek design of the Velo chair. This award is open to any person enrolled on a recognised furniture design course in the UK.
Jan's inspiration came from a bicycle! He explains that, "the interaction between body and chair should be a seamless one, so that the user feels as though they and the chair are one. I felt this ideal should be reflected in my design aesthetic. I began researching modern bicycle design as I felt the bicycle is an object which the user can feel a seamless relationship to and subsequently the road. This relationship between body and object is echoed in bicycle design with tubes flowing seamlessly into one another, constantly changing shape to improve function and aesthetic."
The Velo chair is a response to modern bicycle design, with its components seamlessly wrapping around the user, constantly changing form for comfort and then blending into the next component. The laminated backrest pushes the boundaries of what can be achieved with timber and its seamless junction with other components lock them all together giving strength and making the piece irresistible to touch. Jonathan Hindle, Group Managing Director of KI in the E.M.E.A commented, "KI are delighted to be recognising and supporting emerging talent once again through our ongoing KICKSTART programme. Never has there been a more important time to encourage design talent to work in the furniture industry."