RIT’s Metaproject 13 Encouraged Students To Push the Boundaries of Seating


RIT’s Metaproject 13 Encouraged Students To Push the Boundaries of Seating

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.

scale models of furniture

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.

scale models of furniture surrounded by students

building front reading LAZZONI

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.

exterior window reading metaproject in yellow

showcase interior with modern furniture

showcase interior with modern grey furniture

armchair with pull out ottoman

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.

triangular shaped furniture

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.

modular seating system

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.

person sitting on light pink sofa with curved backrests

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.

grey armchair made of blocks

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..

curvaceous modern grey armchair

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.

modern black and chrome barstool

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.

orange and patterned modern sofa

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.

hexagonal grey armchair

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.

curvaceous modern grey chair

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.

reclining black armchair with person reading seated

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.

modern black chair and ottoman

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.

modern white chaise sofa with a person sitting on it

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

Photography by Elizabeth Lamark and Fulden Gulbay.

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