WAY TO GO WINNIPEG! The CHAIR YOUR IDEA Block Party was a huge success. Congratulations to all of the winners and thank you to everyone who submitted. Click here for the full list of winners and prizes.



Available to all Winnipeggers, CHAIR YOUR IDEA is a crowdsourced and crowdfunded open competition that seeks to generate 1000+ urban design ideas and $30,000+ to realize the winning idea.

For a $25 registration fee participants are asked to submit their creative initiative in 140 characters or less [Twitter length] and contribute one WHITE CHAIR for public use to mark their submission.

The chairs are placed in public locations throughout the city and cared for by participating local businesses for the duration of the three week competition period. The accumulating chairs and the creative new ideas associated with them will allow Winnipeggers to take a seat in the newly claimed public spaces, take part in the urban design discussion, and exchange thoughts on how to make our city even better.

The campaign launched on August 27th with release of ‘celebrity chairs’, sample ideas and chairs dedicated and by well known Winnipeg personalities and community leaders. 

At the end of the competition period the winning idea[s] are selected by a high caliber jury and the campaign will culminate in a downtown BLOCK PARTY Saturday September 19, 2015 as part of the Winnipeg Design Festival. At the event, taking place in a prominent location, the 1000+ chairs will be gathered for a final spectacular display of Winnipeg innovation, pride and spirit, and the winner[s] of the competition are announced. 

We know great ideas can come from anyone. We invite you to 'take your seat at the table' and join the conversation about urban design in our city.


Registration has closed.

To see how much has been raised, click HERE.

To find out about how to sponsor us, click HERE.


Follow us on Twitter @546arch and Instagram #chairyouridea


Chairs created by our featured designers are available to be purchased, funds generated by the sale go towards supporting the designer and implementing the winning idea next year.

Want to sponsor a Celebrity Chair? Contact us at to find out how!


Thom Fougere for Mayor Brian Bowman

Thom's Design: The mayor’s chair took the form of a long eight foot bench for “Chair Your Idea”. A bench, similar to a chair, has inherent symbolism and meaning. Unlike a chair, which can communicate a sense of hierarchy, the bench is a platform for sharing with others and can act as an outlet for the mayor to exchange ideas and thoughts with the community.


Sponsored by:


Thom Jeffrey Garcia for Jenny Gerbasi

Thom's Design: Conceived as the next iteration of renowned Italian designer Enzo Mari’s project in 1974 for “self designed” furniture (“Autoprogettazione”); ENZERO1 is as much a proposal as it is an object. The design is a hack of the IKEA “Marius” stool and is comprised of several interchangeable components made using Digital Fabrication methods. Adopting an open source model in order to make the design accessible to more people, the digital files for the chair seats, arm rests, and back rests can be downloaded without cost from a link on the “Chair Your Idea” website. ENZERO1 simply provides a foundation for people to improve, interpret, manipulate, and evolve the rudimentary design. ENZERO1.JG is a proposition for an “Open Source Urbansim”. Three stools have been repurposed to support multiple configurations for social engagement. People can decide to interact with each other or enjoy some time alone with a cup of coffee made from their local barista. A solar charger for mobile devices is provided as an amenity.


WORK/SHOP for Dave Angus

WORK/SHOP's Design: The story behind the chair is simple… we wanted to “borrow” materials that we had in the shop and assemble a chair without any permanent fasteners so we can reuse the materials again if needed. In the end, we used only three materials, local burr oak cut offs, steel rod and white nylon rope. These materials were brought together following a natural order of assembly, individually acting as both the material component of the chair and “fasteners”. The oak was lashed with the nylon rope, acting as the “seat cushion”. The bent steel was held in place and shape by only the compressive weight of the wood. Crafting an assembly of co-dependence between the materials that is critical to keeping the chair together. Multiple sizes of oak cut offs led to the decision to assembly a variety of chair sizes, offering seats for multiple people, suggesting a place for conversation as well as contemplation.


Lennard Taylor for Ace Burpee

Lennard's Design: Lennard wanted to make a chair that reflected his and Ace Burpees outlook on helping others and wasting nothing. The three main pairs of jeans that make up the back and seat of the chair are actually Ace’s old jeans, the other two pairs that make up the base are Lennards. The interior of the chair is stuffed with fabrics which would normally be destined for the landfill. The painting at the base is a representation of human beings standing shoulder to shoulder to better our world. Enjoy :).


Roan Barrion for Jessica Dumas

Roan's Design: Designed by Roan Barrion and executed by his metalsmith Matt Jonker, Chair 78 and is characterized by both its dynamic posture and visual lightness. The chair features a slim, low-profile seat consisting of a supple leather panel, suspended and floating within its frame. From there begins an animated composition of hand wrought steel, with gestures that sweep, curve, merge, and intersect to form the legs, backrest, and arms.


Hare and Hare for Mandel Hitzer

Hare and Hare's Design: 

As designers, makers and partners it is inevitable that we are in a constant state of creation and that our household is occupied by curious explorations. This has served as a tool for ourselves, these unfinished moments of making often end up in the hands of the other only to continue with fresh eyes. We have found that this method of trust and collaboration has often brought forth the best in both of us. That honouring the existing, while challenging perceptions makes for an interesting design solution.

And so to create our chairs we have embraced this typically accidental method and have used it as absolute intention. Karen would reveal, creating seat forms on the lathe. And Jason would respond, creating a means of support for each unique piece. Both playful and utilitarian our ‘Milky’s’ are made of solid maple and white HDPE (a.k.a. puck board). Using the little details as an opportunity for a connection, they click together as well as decouple for ease of travel while wondering the city streets in search of a good meal.


Liz Wreford for Paul Jordan

Liz's Design: Sit. A dog sitting. A person sitting. A person sitting on a dog sitting. Stay.



Renee Strutters for Obby Khan

Renee's Design: As a symbol of rich social culture, the squat four-legged stools that line the streets of Istanbul accommodate the simple act of pause within the busyness of the everyday. These stools are found around nearly every corner of the dense urban environment. Their simplicity speaks to utility, function, and collective interaction. The scale of the stool allows for comfortable use by individuals of all ages adding to its integrity as a universal urban fixture. The Çay [chaay] stool, made of solid ash and maple is both dimensionally and functionally based on the Turkish tea stool while considering contemporary process and design. The base made of round wooden dowels intentionally allows for comfort and ease in lifting, shifting and moving the stool to allow for informal gathering as well as easy stacking and storage. The curves of the CNC milled seat are based on the curves created by the diagonal cross weave pattern commonly used in the construction of the tea stool. Its solid yet soft appearance encourages casual daily use.


Wanda Koop for Wanda Koop

Wanda's Design: Wanda Koop’s chair adaption was inspired by Sightlines. First shown at the New Music Festival in 2001 and later touring nationally, Sightlines is a body of work that reformed and restructured our way of seeing the images broadcast during the Gulf War, reshaping the edge of imminent danger and enabling people to enter a place of thoughtfulness and reflection. In her design, the transparent chair, with its floating sightline, transforms the environment in which it sits. Tobias chair purchased from IKEA and a special thanks to Western Paint for donating their time and the materials required to paint the legs.

Erin Riediger for Eva Kovacs

Erin's Design: The chair is somewhere to sit, rest, converse, reflect. It encourages a dialogue and brings us together as people and as a city. The seat is divided by diagonal fins that invite two people to sit facing each other in conversation. This configuration is inspired by the personal investigation and dialogue Eva Kovacs uses to reveal the stories of individuals who define our city.

Sponsored by:


Fireside Design Build fro Tabitha Langel

Fireside's Design: Fireside’s process has always been about collaborating with and being inspired by a local network of artisans, fabricators, businesses, and trades to create products that are born of community. The chair began with a trip to the salvage yard where we were found a discarded steel hopper that had once been part of a large machine used in a local bakery.m Being paired with Tabitha from Tall Grass, a long-standing local bakery, this was a natural and serendipitous launching point. Once it was powder coated white, we were able to create the seat and fill it with a bushel of locally-grown organic Manitoba wheat. We stabilized it with a piece of salvaged local Ash, acting as a brace near the front. From start to finish, this chair was created by staying true to a process that we believe in not only from a design perspective but of a desire to engage with the community we live in.


Ewa Tarsia for Terry MacLeod

Ewa's Design: Junior Polar Bear represents the intimate link between man-made structures and nature, and also my hope for the future of the arctic and its inhabitants. I have used the JUNIOR chair from IKEA™ because it is the young who will inherit our legacy. The acrylic dots and glass pebbles reference key elements of the arctic landscape; snow and ice, which are melting as this ecosystem transforms with the warming of our planet. The polar bear is an iconic resident of the arctic. The simple outer form of my “polar bear dot” hides internal complexity in the same manner that the visual simplicity of the arctic landscape hides a delicate and complex ecosystem. Looking through the two peepholes reveals the structure, a structure which glows at night with an eerie glow reminiscent of the borealis… the mystery of life… and hope. CHAIR YOUR IDEA illustrates the power of collective thought to initiate dialogue, build momentum and effect positive change around urban design by challenging conventional perceptions of, and connections between, sustainable urban design and the environment. For many months of the year Winnipeg’s world is white, so the choice of this colour, with its connection to our everyday lives, was particularly inspiring and poignant. The harmony and synergy embodied by the chair and dot represent my wish for mankind and the natural world to coexist, working together in a sustainable and ethical manner so both may flourish.


Evan Marnoch for Alexander Mickelthwate

Evan's Design: Coming at this project as a graphic design studio, we wanted the chair to reflect our industry, and materials familiar to us. We chose poster tubes. They are the containers which house our printed posters, and the cardboard from which they’re made is sturdy yet can be manipulated easily. The intentionally exposed cardboard acts as a frame for the large central white rectangle intended to represent a blank vertical poster. We’ve inserted an offset printed, 1 colour poster, within each tube which reveals the idea of the celebrity, Alexander Mickelthwate, whom our chair represents. The ink is Pantone fluorescent 811, which provides subtle but bright hits of colour in contrast to its white centre and raw cardboard tube ends.


Wood Anchor for Royal Canoe

Wood Anchor's Design: Design and culture are not separate operations. Our designs are a product of our culture of collaboration. Rather than a design trickling down from designer to fabricator, our process is more a ping pong rally between the two. This chair is a product of our culture. No more than the result of a good conversation, and like any good conversation it likely included a mixture of stories, what ifs, practical advice, challenges, frivolous banter and an inside joke (or two). We design somewhat fortuitously, simply by being people building things well together.


Joe Kalturnyk for Stephen Sim

Joe's Design: The Teeter Chair is a chair that only works with two. It acts as a conversation starter or one ends up on the floor. Only through mutual play can we enact a change of state. Durable and built for outdoors the chair doubles as a toboggan or sled in the winter and, as an added bonus, with some skill, can mill grain in the summer. All things prairie, all things Winnipeg!


Nina Quark and Tanner Twerdun for Talia Syrie

Nina and Tanner's Design: We believe that great design is achieved when you strip an idea down to its essentials and you can no longer take anything away without affecting the designs original integrity. We stayed true to this philosophy while designing and building our chair. Our intent was to strip a chair down into its bare essentials and to try to fuse as many of them together into one piece. Back rest, arm rest, seat and legs are all intended to appear as one seamless piece that all rely on each other for the chair to be functional. All connection details are hidden within the ash seat slab or within the steel tubing. The chairs design is a reflection of the tooling capabilities that we had at hand to fully fabricate the chair on our own, in our garage. Its an encouragement to others that you can fully see an idea through to its compleition with only a few tools, in your own space.

Sponsored by:


5468796 Architecture for Downtown Peggy

546's Design: Dowtown Peggy is a passionate advocate and dynamic voice on social media for all things downtown. The chair design draws inspiration from Peggy’s animated character, beginning as a flat, two-dimensional surface which is then cut and bent to create a playful, three-dimensional form.


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