Rob Forbes and the DWR Champagne Chair Contest.


Just before Thanksgiving, I opened a big green box that had been sitting in my storage room for years unmolested. I thought it held Christmas tree ornaments. What I found instead were 30 “champagne chair” studies from a contest we’d done maybe ten years ago at DWR. After the contest, these three-dozen chairs were featured in a show with Barcelona-based Vincon run by our close pal, Fernando Amat.


The chairs also served as Thanksgiving dinner table bling at my house, where they were a big hit and the subject of much discussion. I’d forgotten how magical, creative and quirky these little guys are, and what personality they carry. The Champagne Chair Contest dates back to the late 1990s, when my dear friend Wayne, who was hospitalized, sent me a champagne chair to congratulate us on getting DWR off the ground. The chair sat on my desk for months, where it was picked up, admired and loved by just about everyone who saw it. We launched the first DWR Champagne Chair Contest as a memorial to Wayne. It was a huge hit, and continues to be an annual event at DWR.


DWR has invited me to be a judge in this year’s contest. How cool is that? The contest runs from December 19 to January 12. Here are the details.

Making these chairs is a super fun way to celebrate the season. Just corral your friends and family some evening, and buy a few extra bottles of fizzy stuff so you’ll have plenty of materials to play with. You’ll have a blast and Wayne will be smiling.


Rob Forbes is the founder of Design Within Reach and PUBLIC Bikes.

  • GS Editions

    Good memories! There’s a good podcast about your chairs contest and Hans Wegner on iTunes from 2005! Toasting Hans Wegner: Chairs Worth Celebrating! by Ted Wells Living Simple. I just listened to it!

  • Mark

    We, In Canada, would like you top open your contests to us. We’re very creative and love DWR.