RIT’s annual Metaproject is now in its 13th iteration, encouraging students to produce design that’s “semantically correct, syntactically correct, and pragmatically understandable, but also visually powerful, intellectually elegant, and timeless.” All while staying in line with the Design is One philosophy at the school’s Vignelli Center for Design Studies. For Metaproject 13, students partnered with alumni-owned, high-end furniture brand Lazzoni and shared their work during NYCxDesign 2023.
The term “metaproject” acts as an overarching theme when referring to an industry partnership that places the students’ work into a more global view. The school’s philosophy is part of the conversation of Metaproject in order to make use of and challenge modernist ideological foundations in practice, learning from available archival resources. Lazzoni shares this same point of view, asking the students to develop a unique seating solution based on the mindset.
Students taking part in Metaproject 13 presented their scaled ideas knowing that there was the possibility of their seating project being manufactured and added to Lazzoni’s catalogue – a first for Metaproject. On May 20th, the full-scale versions of contemporary chairs and sofa prototypes were showcased at Lazzoni’s Madison Avenue showroom. Dylan Malone’s Shell Chair, a convertible armchair that becomes a lounge with a simple pull, was crowned as the winning design that will move on to production and become available to consumers.
Shell Chair, Dylan Malone \\\ Transforms from a sleek armchair into a relaxing lounge with just a pull. The tri-tone upholstery gives near infinite customization for any modern home or office. The design language is expandable to a wide range of related products such as loveseats and sectionals.
Hareket, Clare Maxwell \\\ The Hareket seating system utilizes inventive typology through simple geometry and encourages rearrangement to promote various social interactions. The simplicity of the form leaves its use to interpretation.
Hagia Sophia Seating System, Danny Harig \\\ The modular Hagia Sophia Seating System brings endless combinations of seating solutions into a living space. Inspired by Turkish architecture and tempered by the Vignellis’ restrained approach, it is a home of relaxation and conversation.
The Stage Lounge, Emma Yee \\\ The Stage Lounge is a place that supports togetherness or separation, collaboration or solitude, work, rest, or even play. The movable, weighted cushions allow for an easy shift from one scene to another.
Şebeke, Joey Ruan \\\ This gridded system of tufted modules can be easily reconfigured from an armless chair to a sofa. With a back that can fold down in two orientations, one can create varying seat depths and widths, armrests, and surfaces..
Enjoy Chair, Linying Xu \\\ The Enjoy Chair intends to create a space for relaxation and a place for small items which often get lost. TV remote, phones, and other items fit neatly into the storage slots in the chair’s arm. Combining functions leads to an enjoyable seating experience.
Hafiza, Matt Hotaling \\\ The Hafıza is a minimal but elegant barstool for the home. Inspired by the Laz typography, hafıza means memory in Turkish, a perfect name for remembering and creating new memories.
Temel (root) Sofa, Rebecca Arens \\\ Emerging from the ground, this sofa brings the user down to their roots. Comfortably seating two, the curvilinear form is soft and welcomes you to sink in and relax.
The Honeycomb Collection, Max von Bartheld \\\ The Honeycomb Collection is a basic geometric shape elevated to incorporate design and comfort, inspired by nature and the vast honey culture of the Turkish people and the Las tribe. The Honeycomb Loveseat is a compact chair that holds two people for a closer connection.
Havadan Sudan, Ruth Shin \\\ Havadan Sudan seating defies typical seating classifications and cultivates a micro-climate of shared consciousness for its participants who are challenged to sit in, on, and with its physical structure.
Arc, Rebecca Harris \\\ Arc is an interactive seating device designed for – and not to constrain – the body. Using Vignelli’s design sensibilities and Lazzoni’s established brand language, this is a seat for the home that allows for lounging, focused work, and everything in between.
Moon Chair, Will Davis \\\ A chair that takes inspiration from the crescent moon pictured on the Turkish flag to create a space for the placement of a circular ottoman. The design is meant to be unique and recognizable to serve as an iconic chair, while also utilizing a cohesive, minimal, and elegant design language that fits into the Lazzoni brand.
Tas, Brynna Justice \\\ Tas seating holds space for the user and encourages conversation within the vessel. It has the ability to be modular and custom for large scale contract work, while also developing an open and comfortable environment for every user and every activity.
To learn more about Metaproject, or 2023’s Metaproject 13, visit rit.edu.
Photography by Elizabeth Lamark and Fulden Gulbay.