Found: the car seat of the future

The three best design concepts for car seats from the competition titled “sit down. move.” were presented by BASF on March 5 at the accompanying program to the Geneva International Motor Show. The global winner chosen by the jury was Song Wei Teo of the University of Coventry in Great Britain.




The two further winners were Joonyoung Kim of the College for Creative Studies in Detroit, Michigan, United States, and Pantila Debhakam of the design agency shakes bkk of Bangkok, Thailand. Renowned industrial and automotive designers Konstantin Grcic, Ken Kiyoyuki Okuyama and Dave Lyon, together with the three BASF members of the jury, evaluated more than 170 entries from 33 countries in order to select the best studies.
Three novel concepts relating to the clever utilization of BASF materials greatly impressed the panel of experts. “Song Wei Teo’s extraordinary design of a car seat made in just a single piece using lightweight materials won us over,” stated the jury in explaining its choice of the winning entry. Aside from receiving the trophy created by staff of the designfabrik, the global winner was awarded a prize money of 6,000 Euros. The two further winners received 3,000 Euros each. In view of the large number of creative and professional entries, the jury decided to additionally give three special mentions in the categories “material utilization”, “color and trim” and “visualization”. “The three concepts highlight these specific design elements in a particularly original manner,” said the jury in praise of the winners Christian Delise (Japan), Hyejin Park and Minuk You (USA) as well as David Panzeri (Italy), each of whom received 1,000 Euros.

When this international contest was announced in September of 2012, designers from all over the world were called upon to develop car seats with an eye towards such aspects as comfort, ergonomics, safety and weight. “We will manufacture prototypes of the three main winning concepts and present them to our customers as well as to other interested parties at various events,” explains Eva Höfli, BASF designer and contest coordinator.

The competition “sit down. move.” is a joint project of BASF’s global seat competence team together with the designfabrik, which assists designers in selecting materials, colors and surfaces as well as in constructing innovative products. The assortment of available materials includes not only thermoplastics such as Ultramid (PA), thermoplastic polyurethanes such as Elastollan, foams based on expanded polypropylene (Neopolen) and aromatic polyurethane (Elastoflex W) but also the transfer coating technology Steron, binders for natural fibers (Acrodur) and Catamold, BASF’s powder injection technology.