A lounge chair inspired by the art of meditation has been crowned winner of SIT DOWN! a new international design contest launched in April of this year by Istituto Marangoni's recently-opened Design School together with Italian design giant Cappellini.

Open to architecture and design degree graduates from across the globe, the competition called for the emerging talents to submit their designs for a contemporary seat that blended eastern and western design sensibilities, specifically the 'oriental tradition of using rolled carpets and pillows to sit and rest', while also boasting 'an innovative shape' and taking into account ergonomic principles, functionality and comfort.

The jury was made up of design luminaries and figureheads including Cappellini’s own art director Giulio Cappellini, designer and architect Piero Lissoni, Architectural Digest director Emanuele Farneti, Fabrica design director Sam Baron, the director of Istituto Marangoni's Design School Massimo Zanatta and its director of education Cristina Morozzi. This esteemed board unanimously voted Italian designer Matteo Agati’s ‘Pagh’ project into first place.

Inspired by the cross-legged pose adopted during meditation, Agati’s backless lounge chair has won him a full scholarship to study for a Masters in Italian product design at the respected school.

Two Spanish designers – Anton Garcia Seoane and Israel Belmar – were awarded the runners up prize of a 50 per cent scholarship for the same course, while special recognition was given to Italian Marco Veroli, Russian Viktoria Mindareva and to Mexican designer Deyanira Carreon, who each receive €5000 discounts.

The international contest was held as part of wider programme put together to celebrate the Istituto Marangoni’s 80th anniversary, that will see a total of 80 scholarships presented to budding designers over the course of the year.