Interview with designer rick yestadt (ry), regarding views on design, and for the award-winning design Y.o Chair.

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Interview with rick yestadt at Thursday 21st of April 2016: DI: What is the main principle, idea and inspiration behind your design?
ry : The convertible chair design, y.O, started with inspiration from early 20th century furniture designs and working early in my career in the office of Marcel Breuer, the last practicing master from the Bauhaus. The Wassily Chair and Corbusier’s Sling chair were inspiring examples of good design. This experience along with living in small urban living spaces in New York City, emerging global urbanization and a desire to contribute in new ways to manage natural resources combined to inspire this new revolutionary (literally, it revolves!) type of chair.

DI: What has been your main focus in designing this work? Especially what did you want to achieve?
ry : The focus was to push the boundaries of what a chair is, has been and could be looking ahead. A goal was to help redefine the future of Dynamic Furniture as a category to save resources and accommodate smaller more efficiant living spaces with cool modern designs that still look familiar and smart.

DI: What are your future plans for this award winning design?
ry : Well, we are looking for the right match in marketing and manufacturing and perhaps licensing the patented intellectual property. It would amazing to create an open source for other designers within the licensing agreement to explore the possibilities and aesthetics of this unique rotational geometry.

DI: How long did it take you to design this particular concept?
ry : The current design was started 3 years ago using autocad and, with the help of my prototypers Ryan Murphy, Michael Murphy and Dave Hall (CNC wizard), using computer cutting technology.

DI: Why did you design this particular concept? Was this design commissioned or did you decide to pursuit an inspiration?
ry : Pure inspiration! What client would wait 3 years! Hahaha... This particular concept was first an exercise in subtraction to see what was the least amount of material required to meet all of the geometric, rotational and human dimensional requirements.

DI: Is your design being produced or used by another company, or do you plan to sell or lease the production rights or do you intent to produce your work yourself?
ry : Great question. It is being produced on a limited scale at the moment but we expect this to change. Interest is high in micro apartments, hospitality and indoor-outdoor applications. The y.O ZmartChair is produced out of CNC cut panels of Richlite, a completely waterproof material made of recycled paper and phenolic resin developed for the U.S. Navy.

DI: What made you design this particular type of work?
ry : Mostly curiosity to see if could be done. There are many more possibilities as part of the patent in the design and protype stages that include a stackable version , flat-pack and different materials.

DI: Where there any other designs and/or designers that helped the influence the design of your work?
ry : Breuer, Cobusier, Charles Eames, Arne Jacobsen. It's the way they looked at what could be and embraced contemporary materials and manufacturing technology to create something unique with intrinsic value through good design.

DI: Who is the target customer for his design?
ry : Commercial, Hospitality, smaller rooms or poolside converting from lounge to casual eating. Urban dwellers. This chair is designed to help them dwell less and live more, you know what I mean? So cool to be able to move your furniture and adapt to circumstances, meeting rooms to cocktail lounge, friends drop by or diner is done, now let's relax and flip to the lounge position!

DI: What sets this design apart from other similar or resembling concepts?
ry : y.O ZmartChair converts from Dining to Lounge in one motion in a matter of seconds without latches or hardware using only proportion, geometry and gravity while remaining in one piece as one object. It's a beautiful thing to behold.

DI: How did you come up with the name for this design? What does it mean?
ry : My initial is 'y' and the supports looks vaguely like a lower case "y".

DI: Which design tools did you use when you were working on this project?
ry : AutoCAD, Sketchup, pencil, tracing paper, exacto blades, hammer, wrench and bamboo BBQ skewers.

DI: What is the most unique aspect of your design?
ry : y.O ZmartChair is a unique idea and form that looks somehow familiar in it's aesthetics.

DI: Who did you collaborate with for this design? Did you work with people with technical / specialized skills?
ry : Prototypers Ryan Murphy, Michael Murphy and Dave Hall (CNC Wizard extraordinaire), Brooks Purlin with Richlite, Anthony Iolascon (Sketchup Wizard ) and Kevin McDevitt on drums but also has several amazing cameras.

DI: What is the role of technology in this particular design?
ry : Designing in autocad in conjunction with rapid prototyping with CNC machine was an amazing experience.

DI: Is your design influenced by data or analytical research in any way? What kind of research did you conduct for making this design?
ry : All dimensions and ergonomic data was from the book (and for those who know, associated tools) called 'Human Scale 1 2 3' by Neils Diffrient, Alvin Tilley & Joan Bardagly.

DI: What are some of the challenges you faced during the design/realization of your concept?
ry : Upon sitting down to work, you must quiet the mind. Then... first, the seat dimensions have to respond to both the dining position and the lounge position upon rotation. Secondly, locating the pivot point. Thirdly, only and unless the position of the seat pivot point is high enough relative to the occupants hips does balance and stability occur. And lastly, there is the aesthetic challenge. The chair must look normal in both positions not odd, quirky, unbalanced or unattractive.

DI: How did you decide to submit your design to an international design competition?
ry : First was that I wanted to share what was accomplished with an appreciative audience. Also, I am looking for the right association to bring this unique design to market.

DI: What did you learn or how did you improve yourself during the designing of this work?
ry : Believing in an idea that was given from an unknown source and accepting the responsibility to bring it into the world.

DI: Any other things you would like to cover that have not been covered in these questions?
ry : No, except to say Thank you to the dedicated people at A'Design.