DMY AWARDS: TON awarded best exhibitor
This year, the DMY Berlin international design festival brought more than 500 designers, studios and 15 universities to Tempelhof airport. And, of course, TON was there. The company presented its new Merano chair and bar stool, which showcases the concept of an unconventional swing, combining concept design, tradition and partnership with young designers. In recognition of this exhibition and its long-term efforts, TON was awarded the DMY AWARD for best exhibitor.
Jan Juza, marketing director of TON says: “We use the technology of handmade wood-bending, which has been used in Bystřice pod Hostýnem since 1861. We strive to use it in connection with innovative designs. Therefore, we cooperate with local and foreign designers with particular focus on young talent. For example, the concept for our stand at DMY was designed by Mūtanta studio in Prague. The family of Merano chairs was created by Alexander Gufler." And as a result of Juza's efforts, too, the brand has enjoyed rapid change. Only last year, TON’s product portfolio expanded thanks to innovations from Thomas Feichtner, Sam Sannie, Lime studio, Kai Stania and Michal Riabič. "We are going to present our collaborations with Arik Levy next year. In addition, we are also partnering with students of the Academy of Arts, Architecture and Design in Prague." Jan adds: "We have also been supporting other young designers at our Tonlab residential studio, where we provide them with a base to develop their creations, while offering many events, including lectures and workshops to the wider public."
And Tonlab is the base for Mūtanta studio, representing Tomáš Varga and Daniel Gonzalez, who created the interactive concept for TON’s stand at the DMY. "The concept was inspired by a period photograph of workers swinging on chairs, who, through this playful yet serious way, first tested chair no. 14 at the beginning of the twentieth century. And it should be stressed here that model no. 14 is a chair from Bystřice pod Hostýnem, the site of the longest uninterrupted production process in the world. We decided to transfer the advertisement’s bold arrangement, while at the same time acknowledging the tradition by updating it to reflect TON today. The advantage of this concept, consisting of a swing placed over the Merano chair, comes from its interactivity, so visitors are not limited to a merely soulless impression of the product, but get the chance to swing themselves." Tomáš describes the idea: "The aspect of truthfulness is valuable here, too, as the chair we exhibited was tested repeatedly over the whole period of TON's presence at the show." The Merano chair was used as a rather unconventional swing during the whole exhibition and emerged unscathed! "We had tested it in advance at a load of four hundred kilos, and visitors here were not particularly careful with it. And needless to say, its construction contains no screws or metal parts. Only wood and handwork. We create everything - from scantlings to bending, assembly, painting and upholstering - in our own premises. In this way, human hands work with every product at least thirty times. The traditional technology of handmade bending with the help of a flange is, in particular, a process that only three companies in the world are capable of doing," Jan adds.
Merano chair and bar stool, the latest products from TON, were created by Alexander Gufler, a young Austrian designer with Italian roots. Alexander explains, "I would characterize the models as simple and functional in terms of their shape. From an aesthetic point of view, I wanted them to look like statues; but on the other hand, during manipulation, comfort and convenience were very important to me too." Alexander has been cooperating with TON since 2010 when the company launched production of his Merano armchair. This armchair is currently one of our most popular products and its design was acknowledged by the Red Dot Design Award and Good Design. Jan Juza, marketing director of TON, concludes:"Cooperating with young people is what our company has been doing and is planning to do in future, too. We are similarly enthusiastic and we like to support ideas that make sense."
If you haven’t visited DMY and are interested in seeing the winning projects, don’t miss out on the chance to visit the DMY Design Gallery on Blücherstraße 23, where the exhibition runs from June 26th. You can see the Merano chair and more TON innovations in the showroom located at Chausseestraße 13, Berlin.