On Feb. 12, Design Within Reach (DWR), the modern home goods chain, announced the three finalists of its annual Champagne Chair Contest. The challenge requires the contestants to use any or all of the materials from no more than two champagne bottles—except glass. Besides glue, they cannot use any additional materials. And the chair must measure no more than 4 x 4 x 4 inches.
The judges for this year’s contest were DWR founder Rob Forbes and designer Lucia DeRespinis, as well as Stephanie Beamer, Crystal Ellis, and Hillary Petrie, founders of New York–based design company Egg Collective.
Here are the three finalists that beat out the competition for their (bubbly-induced) ingenuity and creativity.
First Place: "Crescent Chair" by Bruce Hirschman
The judges appreciated the simplicity and beautiful shape of the chair, which Hirschman pulled from the original shape of the cork. “I’ve never seen a chair like this,” Forbes said. “It’s so friendly, like a koala bear.”
Second Place: "Bubbly Chair" by Zach Martin
The wavy elements within the chair’s legs garnered the nickname “Memphis” within the judges panel. DeRespinis said she would like a set of them for her dining room.
Third Place: "Piper Beach Chair" by Jeffrey Burke Whitten
Geometry, wit, and use of graphics gained the judges’ approval. “Having grown up on the beach, I’m a fan of folding chairs,” Forbes said, “and my only complaint about this chair is that I wish it folded.”