mmcité wins RED DOT Award for its elegant upcycling Pixel seating system
Design studio mmcité1 boasts yet another major award, this time a prestigious 2019 Red Dot design award. An international jury of leading experts from around the world has crowned the unconventional Pixel seating system, made of leftover materials. Representing the award-winning product were David Karásek, chief designer of mmcité1, and design duo Herrmann & Coufal.
Design studio mmcité1 has been designing and manufacturing street furniture for almost twenty-five years, and once again it demonstrated its sense for innovation, as well as proving that it is no stranger to eco-friendly products. mmcité backed upcycling – using material that would otherwise be thrown away – to create an outdoor seating system which stunned audiences with its variability and fresh design. As the world’s most prestigious design award, the Red Dot Award was the most pleasant of surprises. Every year the Design Zentrum Nordrhein Westphalen gives out the Red Dot awards for the best product design achievements of the year, and only one percent of entrants come away with a prize.
“Making the best possible use out of our materials is, of course, a huge consideration for us, and it begins with the design itself. Not wasting material is the most ecological thing to do, but how do you make use of something that would normally be thrown away? That was the real challenge. We wanted to design a product that would be aesthetically unique, bring something genuinely new to the public realm, and also use up timber which would have otherwise ended up burnt as firewood. We have also come up with a way to anchor small wooden lamellas to the frame in a unique, patented way.” explains David Karásek from mmcité1.
Pixel is unique not only conceptually, but also in the possibilities, it opens up. It is based around a simple square module supported by a single central leg, from where an endless variety of seating arrangements can spawn. The seat consists of wooden lamellas, which can be arranged in various orientations to form part of the playful design created by the final arrangement. The seating can be accented with backrests attached anywhere on the seating area, as well as small cylindrical flowerpots which fit the same grid as the seats themselves. The Pixel name did not come about by chance – it really is possible to create pixel-like forms in real life public spaces, not trapped on a screen. Lastly, but by no means least, Pixel creates a comfy place to sit.
Pixel was first unveiled to the Czech public at the Landscape Prague Festival, where David Karásek, Herrmann & Coufal and Viktor Šašinka demonstrated its variability with an experimental installation at Prague's Vítkov Park. A Pixel arrangement in the shape of the Czech flag marked the centenary of the Czechoslovak Republic. The seats are still there for visitors to this day since the citizens of Prague requested the installation be made permanent.
Pixel's success is not limited to its Red Dot Award. The product took designers David Karásek, Eduard Herrmann and Matej Coufal to the finals of the 2018 Czech Grand Design awards in Prague, where they finished runners up in the Designer of the Year category. It also scooped an honour in the Outdoor category at the 2019 EDIDA awards, which are given out annually by Elle Decoration magazine.