red dot award: design concept winner’s interview series

During the final registration phase of the “red dot award: design concept 2012”, we bring you a series of interviews with some of our outstanding winners from last year and updates of their latest design endeavours after their red dot win.

The Snug Chair, a design inspired by the shape and aesthetic of the beanbag, won Australia-based designer, Dennis Abalos the “red dot” at last year’s “red dot award: design concept”. The designer shares with us his collaboration with Feel Good Designs, who helped to realise his concept into a commercial product.

red dot: What does it mean to you to be awarded the “red dot” at the “red dot award: design concept” for your design?
Dennis Abalos: The “red dot” for me and the Snug Chair means international recognition. It’s great to be able to showcase your design concept on a worldwide scale and have international acclaimed judges choose your work for an award.

red dot: What inspired you to come up with such a design?
Dennis Abalos: The Snug Chair is inspired by the shape and aesthetic of the retro beanbag. The intention behind the Snug Chair was to design an organic shaped seat out of a hollow, singular form.

A leisure chair for the home which provides a comfortable seating solution as well as a striking unique sculptural aesthetic in any setting.

red dot: Why did you decide to submit this particular design to the “red dot award: design concept” before turning it into a commercial product?
Dennis Abalos: I thought the Snug Chair encompasses a great concept and its unique form and aesthetic was bold enough to give it a “red dot” mark. I submitted it to receive recognition purely for its strong and unique concept.

red dot: What were some of the challenges you faced in realising your concept?
Dennis Abalos: The Snug Chair went through a lot of mock up prototypes in order to get the perfect level of comfort in the seat. I also tested the form in various materials from fibreglass, to plywood, to bamboo and finally rattan.

It’s necessary to undergo so many revisions and test pieces in order to perfect not just the form for function but also form for aesthetic and sculptural appeal.

red dot: We see that the Snug Chair can be ordered from Feel Good Designs’ webpage. How has the sale response been? What are some of the feedback you’ve received?
Dennis Abalos: It is early days but the initial response has been great and lots of interest. Sales wise, Feel Good Designs manages that aspect for me.

red dot: How did your collaboration with Feel Good Designs come about?
Dennis Abalos: I approached Feel Good Designs over a year ago to design some timber furniture for their new collection. Instead they saw the Snug Chair concept I made out of fibreglass and were very keen to manufacture the chair.

red dot: Did Feel Good Designs come in before the concept came about? How involved were they in the manufacturing process?
Dennis Abalos: Feel Good Designs have great relationships with international manufacturers and they facilitated the production from my design concept to final design and engineering plans.

We collaborated in the prototyping and testing phase of the manufacturing process. We tried different natural materials and a few test pieces until we were satisfied with the final outcome.

red dot: What motivates your designs?
Dennis Abalos: When I design, my main motivation is to develop a product that is original and innovative. This can either be through creating a unique form, solving a functional problem, using new materials and technology or applying different manufacturing processes from another industry.

» Further information on Dennis Abalos and his works

» Online exhibition of the "red dot award: design concept 2011"