"Leaf Chair" Wins Global Seating Competition

Our first global design competition called  'sit down. move.' encouraged designers, engineers and dreamers to create innovative automotive seating solutions for the future.

Announced in 2012, we asked the applicants to consider design, comfort, ergonomics, safety and weight during the design and production process.  And, we were not disappointed to say the least. We had more than 170 entries from 33 countries.

From top: Song Wei Teo's Leaf Chair design, Pantila Debhakam's Orb design and Joonyoung Kim's Artificial Muscle design. From top: Song Wei Teo's Leaf Chair design, Pantila Debhakam's Orb design and Joonyoung Kim's Artificial Muscle design

Our global winner, Song Wei Tao from the University of Coventry in Great Britain, created a design called the "Leaf Chair" aimed at creating a cost-effective, lightweight, yet comfortable and protective car seat. His inspiration was drawn from airplane seating where blankets are provided for the comfort of the traveler.

"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.

The single piece design was made possible through the use of BASF's Elastoflex® technology and carbon fibers.

Participants were encouraged to use an assortment of available BASF products such as Ultramid® thermoplastics, Neopolen® polypropylene expanded foams, Elastoflex® W aromatic polyurethane, Steron® coating technology, Acrodur® binders for natural fibers and, and/or Catamold® a powder injection technology.

Pantila Debhakam, from the design agency Shakes BBK in Bangkok, Thailand, and Joonyoung Kim, from the College of Creative Studies in Detroit, were also recognized for their innovative design and incorporation of BASF products in their respective regions.

We have manufactured prototypes of the three winning designs and will present them for the first time at the K trade fair in Germany, Oct. 16 - 23, 2013.

The competition, sit down. move., is a joint project between BASF's global seat competence team together and the designfabrik® team, which assists designers when choosing materials, colors and surfaces. These three winner design concepts were chosen by the industrial and automotive designers Konstantin Grcic, Ken Kiyoyuki Okuyama and Dave Lyon, together with three BASF automotive experts.

We were very impressed with all of our contestant's entries and we look forward to further enhancing the solutions available for automobile seating. More information can be seen here.