Fratina triumphs in Red Dot Award

Fratina chair and armchair, designed by Emilio Nanni for the Italian brand Billiani, was awarded with the Red Dot, the international distinction for high design quality. Participants from 57 nations had registered a total of 5,214 products and innovations for the Red Dot Award: Product Design 2016. Only products which set themselves apart considerably through their excellent design receive the sought-after quality seal from the international Red Dot jury.

Fratina, designed by Emilio Nanni, seems to be the squaring of the circle. The frame is defined by a layout of clean lines that highlight the square, the back is made by bending the wood into a circle, at a reduced size in the chair version, more amply in the armchair.
Side and armchair are an interpretation of the classic minimalist chair, with a modern twist, highlighting the Vitruvian balance in the relationship between these two pure geometrical shapes. Available in stained or lacquered ash wood, Fratina offers a choice of seats: upholstered, with rope weave, hide, or straps.

Luigi Billiani, owner of the homonymous company, commented: “I am honoured that one of our products has been assigned the prestigious Red Dot Award for its high-quality design. Our collaboration with Emilio Nanni, who designed the Fratina chair, has brought us satisfaction for many years. The Red Dot Award has once again confirmed that merging a distinct design language with our excellence in craftsmanship is the right approach from any point of view and is appreciated on an international scale.” Fratina, in fact, perfectly represents the association of the brand Billiani – personified by Veronik and Luigi Billiani – with Emilio Nanni who, together, have chosen the path of reflection, research and experimentation, creating numerous collections that are widely appreciated by the market and by industry experts, as demonstrated by several awards.

Emilio Nanni, the designer of Fratina, has added some theoretical aspects to better explain the fundamental phases that helped to define the project and which are the main themes explored by the designer: historical memory and contemporaneity. The Fratina collection is an excellent example of these themes: “I wanted to recreate the structural composure typical of some historic designs, exaggerating and creating a disproportionate the backrest, which is embracing, characterizing and ergonomically precise, within a structural layout defined by the square.”


With 41 experts from all around the world, who are chosen according to strict rules, the Red Dot Award: Product Design guarantees a very high judging competence: Only freelance designers, design professors and specialised journalists – but not designers employed at companies potentially participating – are appointed to the jury.

The independent expert panel assesses each entry strictly and fairly, live and on site, according to criteria such as degree of innovation, formal quality, functionality and ecological compatibility. Professor Dr. Peter Zec, founder and president of the Red Dot Award: “With their performances, the Red Dot winners not only demonstrated an extraordinary design quality, but they also showed that design is an integral part of innovative product solutions.”

4 July 2016 marks the culmination of the Red Dot Award: Product Design 2016. During the glamorous awards ceremony, the Red Dot: Best of the Best laureates will accept their trophies in front of around 1,200 guests. At the subsequent after-show party “Designers’ Night”, the winners will receive their certificates and celebrate until the early hours in the Red Dot Design Museum Essen in the midst of prize-winning products. All award-winning products will be presented in the special exhibition “Design on Stage” for four weeks, before becoming part of the permanent exhibition.

With about 2,000 exhibits from 45 nations, the Red Dot Design Museum Essen displays the complete range of current product design. In the former boiler house of the UNESCO World Heritage Site Zollverein coal mine, it presents products that have won the Red Dot on five floors and approximately 4,000 square metres. Every year, the world’s largest exhibition of contemporary design informs around 150,000 visitors about current trends and top achievements.


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