Award-winning design and its makers: the chair “kayak”

Once a year, the jury of the Red Dot Award: Product Design awards objects of high design quality. In 2016, only 1.5 percent of all entries received the highest distinction “Red Dot: Best of the Best”. It goes to the best products of a category, such as the chair “kayak” designed by Patrick Norguet.

Floating lightness
Wood furniture possesses its own fascination. As a natural material wood is highly versatile, opening up indefinite design possibilities. The design of the kayak chair centres on sounding out the shaping possibilities of wood. The aim was to reduce the thicknesses of a chair as much as possible without compromising its structural integrity. The result is a wood chair with an impressively new structure and light appearance. Based on an advanced technological process, it fascinates with its particular contours as well as the design of the transitional parts from the seating area to the rest.
This lightweight chair is as ergonomic as functional with a shell that hugs the body, providing high user comfort. It is manufactured in different models including natural or dark stained oak, walnut and in some stains colour finishes of more intense tones such as coral or sage green, as well as pastel shades. It is not least due to this finely attuned colour concept that kayak is suitable for versatile interior use.

Red Dot: Best of the Best for Studio Norguet in Paris
The Red Dot jury stated: “The kayak wood chair achieves its attractive appeal through its unusual structure. A traditional form at first glance, it fascinates on a second look with a new approach towards the interconnection of the individual elements. Thus, kayak emerged as a remarkably elegant chair embodying a lightness that is exceptional for such a product. It is ergonomically shaped and offers users high seating comfort.” The jury awarded the Red Dot: Best of the Best for this outstanding design achievement. Red Dot spoke with the designer Patrick Norguet, who designed the chair “kayak”.

Red Dot: What inspires you?
Patrick Norguet: I’ve noticed that routine work in everyday life really helps me and works for my design. If you keep on repeating things every day you notice the small differences, and I feel those small differences become my design sources in a way.

How do you define design quality?
Functionality is certainly essential to a design, but just like “fun” is a part of the word “function”, I think that including emotional elements such as a sense of familiarity or joy is also a requirement for good design.