Julia Maria Künnap – Red Dot Design Award Nominee
The Red Dot design award dates back to 1955, being one of the most prestigious design competitions in the world with more than 12,000 submissions from more than 60 countries. Designer and young mother, Julia Maria Künnap, made an impression on the competition jury with her simple innovative child’s chair “Mari”, winning a Red Dot award in the product design category in 2010.
Julia emphasizes the value of time and explains where the creation process steps in: “The days and hours given us can be categorized as quality time and wasted time. Time spent in shopping centres, driving there and back, or time spent looking for a suitable product from the internet is wasted time in my opinion. Instead I always try to replace this time with creativity – if you can’t find a suitable chair from a shop, simply create it yourself.”
When describing the beginning of the “Mari” chair, the designer explains: “ “Mari” was born of the simple need to position my daughter safely at the table at an appropriate height, while keeping the existing interior design of our home intact.” She describes that after some sketches, calculations and tests it became clear that all a good child seat needs are a soft seat, a padded safety ring and four straight legs.
After consulting with different people in marketing, we decided to take the hardest and slowest route – to produce the chair in Estonia and under its own brand – “Mari” designed by Julia Maria Künnap. Our goal was to use quality materials and make the final product really durable. The first chair was purchased for the permanent display at the Estonian Museum of Applied Art and Design. Right now the child seat can be purchased through the homepage and from selected design boutiques, but Julia is looking to sell it abroad.
“The “Mari” chair and the award have been an encouraging push for me to go forward and develop some of my other design ideas and my own design brand” Künnap explains.
Künnap completed a Master’s degree in jewellery design at the Estonian Academy of Arts and is working as an independent artist. Several of her works are represented in the permanent display of the Estonian Museum of Applied Art and Design. She has received the international Ruth Reisert-Hafner grant in Germany for young jewellery artists, the annual Estonian Art Journal award and the Roman Tavast scholarship for jewellery art students.