19 September 2012
University of Oxford's historic Bodleian Libraries are launching a chair design competition that invites a designer/manufacturer team to create a new reading room chair for the institution's Weston Library, which is currently undergoing a complete refurbishment by Wilkinson Eyre Architects and is due for completion in late 2014.
The chair competition continues the Bodleian Libraries' history of commissioning bespoke furniture and will be a unique opportunity to create an iconic chair for one of the world's best known libraries. Three reading rooms, one of which is an entirely new space, will play host to the winning chair design and will be used daily by readers from across the university’s diverse faculties and from around the world.
Whilst remaining open-minded regarding the style of the chair, the Bodleian Libraries would like to see a winning design that will become a future classic.
The chair must fulfil the basic, pragmatic needs of the user, delivering comfort, support and the practical ability to work, however the competition aims at eliciting an exciting and inspired result, which will ultimately become part of academic and design history.
The competition calls upon British-based designers to team up with a British manufacturer and submit design credentials for the first stage of the competition.
The judging panel will include:
- Sarah Thomas - Bodley's Librarian, Bodleian Libraries
- Richard Ovenden - Deputy to Bodley's Librarian, Bodleian Libraries
- Professor Martin Roth - Director, The Victoria & Albert Museum
- Kenneth Grange - industrial designer
- Alice Rawsthorn - design critic and author, The International Herald Tribune
- Jeremy Myerson - Director and Professor of Design, Helen Hamlyn Centre for Design
- Jim Eyre - Director, Wilkinson Eyre Architects
- Professor Elizabeth Leach - Faculty of Music, University of Oxford
Stage One - Expression of Interest
- Launch - Wednesday, 19 September 2012
- Design credentials to be submitted
- Deadline - 4pm GMT, Friday, 7 December 2012
- Shortlist announced - March 2013
Stage Two - Design Development
- Launch - March 2013
- Design Development stage, full brief to be provided to shortlist, upon announcement
- Deadline - Mid-August 2013
- Winner announced - Wednesday, 18 September 2013
Stage Three - Manufacturing
- The winning design begins series manufacture - late September 2013