René Chavanne


The best designers of the red dot award: product design 2006: René Chavanne

René Chavanne wants to baffle the viewer with his works, and he has created something very special. With the “JustinCase” mobile bar, he put his intention into practice. The result was that his extraordinary design draft received the award “red dot: best of the best”. René Chavanne told us what he thinks about “mobility in design”.


To simply create an armchair would be too exchangeable a task for me. I want to surprise people with my work, and so I try to define the design aspects based on the function. The issue of “mobility” introduces exciting technical factors into my work, something that even requires developing small construction details which in turn effect the entire design. In my work I focus on an approach that goes beyond a purely aesthetic design – the combination of a pleasing appearance with functional solutions is much more interesting for me. But, putting all this aside: Mobile products for flexible use can after all also be just incredibly practical.

In the mood – form for an attitude to life
A bar is always an expression of an attitude towards life. Whether it is the spectacular 1940s jazz bars in Paris or today’s artfully staged cocktail bars in Milan and New York, these bars always have something mystical about them. They are both an expression of urbane culture as well as centres of communication. The design of the JustinCase takes up the mysticism of a bar and translates it into a portable bar system for trade fairs and other venues. The Viennese designer René Chavanne, thus, lent this mobile bar a clear aesthetics of almost futuristic appeal. The bar thematically takes up the suitcase as a metaphor for mobility and as a symbol merges it with the requirements of a bar into a single functional unit.

Thus, the highquality materials, the craftsmanship and the styling consciously recall the design of flight cases. JustinCase can be quickly disassembled and weighing in at only 27kg it is easily transported in an elevator or a passenger car. With its modular system of construction, the bar is ready for use on-site with little manual setup and without the need of tools. The bar can be extended by further units, since bars have to vary in size, and events also require different arrangements. A functional aspect of its portability is that the necessary elements for operating the bar, such as power sockets, switches and electric cables, are already integrated. In order to use the mobile bar as a music desk, the concept includes a built-in DJ console. JustinCase is an all-purpose system that integrates both a wide range of application set-ups as well as branding possibilities for companies and sponsors.

About René Chavanne
René Chavanne was born in Vienna in 1966. He attended a course of lectures on engineering and studied product design at the University of Applied Arts Vienna. After graduating in 1995, he worked as a product designer at Ron Arad Associates in London, where he was in charge of projects for clients such as Alessi, Vitra and Kartell. In 1997, he set up his own office in London and founded a design studio in Vienna in 1999. Among many other projects, René Chavanne developed the design and the interior for an Internet cafe chain and created office furniture for the Austrian company Blaha. For the design of the “JustinCase” portable bar systems, which is already being produced in series, he was awarded the “Adolf Loos Staatspreis Design” in 2005.