KI sponsored the Mixology 2012 Student Furniture Designer of the Year award, which is open to any person enrolled on a recognised furniture design course in the UK.
This year’s award went to René Olivier for her innovative Tyre Furniture Collection.
René graduated in December 2011 from Bucks New University with a distinction for MA in Furniture Design & Technology. Tyre Furniture was designed during her Master’s degree where she was researching how seating was able to reconcile the inherent contradictions within “Movement & Response.”
The Tyre Furniture Collection uses discarded bus, car and lorry tyres and a detachable metal frame. The frame is cleverly designed for users to find their own discarded tyre and customise it into seating. This in turn acts as a comment about the absurdity of shipping large pieces of furniture around the world, when there are many locally sourced components which can be utilised. The metal frame is a stainless steel tube bent in a semi-circle, which enables the tyre seat to rock comfortably from side to side. The tube is also designed with a hinge to allow the metal frame to fold away for ease of movement and storage. Tyre furniture can be used and is suited to different scenarios ranging from outdoor public spaces to indoor domestic situations.
Jonathan Hindle, Group Managing Director of KI in the E.M.E.A, who was also on the judging panel, explained why René’s collection was the winning piece; “We felt all submissions this year were of good quality and demonstrated sound design thinking and execution. The overall award went to Rene because the Tyre Furniture Collection was both innovative and highly sustainable. Its use of reclaimed tyres was a simple idea, well executed and can be used in lots of different ways. Her sustainable approach to a significant global problem sets a great example to other designers who time and time again expend raw materials to make ‘nice furniture’. She deserves this award, showing social responsibility at its very best and showing how furniture, if thought about in a very broad global context, can, literally make a difference to the lives of people whose furniture is quite literally, often staring them in the face.”