The Riki Rocker is an ode to the legacy of Riki Watanabe, long-time friend of Conde House and an esteemed and venerable figure in the design world. Back in 1981, when Conde House was still relatively young and new, Riki Watanabe recogninsed the integrity of work and potential of Conde House, and offered the brand a project collaboration.
Rocking chairs are a tricky business, requiring 2-3 prototypes usually before achieving what is termed 'perfect balance'. In this sense, the Riki Rocker by Riki Watanabe stands as a legacy in itself, having achieved perfect balance based on Watanabe's initial drawing. His essence is spelt out in the details of the chair; the slightly lowered upholstered seating, the tapered armrests in the middle of the curve. The resulting oriental look of the chair is apparently unintentional, but is telling of the influences of Japanese culture and customs Riki Watanabe enjoyed in his life.
Riki Watanabe (1913-2013) is a world-renowned and highly-esteemed designer from Japan. His work on clocks and watches in particular, were tangential and became his lifework. He engaged in projects with established brands like Seiko, and was admired and respected by the boss of Conde House back then. Watanabe also participated in the furniture design scene, having designed the Riki Rocker for Conde House. In 1949, he established Japan’s first design office, the RIKI WATANABE Design Office. His skill and expertise has been recognised worldwide, receiving the Milano Triennale Gold Medal in 1957, the Mainichi Industrial Design Prize, Shiju hosho(the Medal of Honor with Purple Ribbon), amongst many other accolades. In 2006, the “Riki Watanabe – Innovation of Living Design” exhibition was held at the National Museum of Modern Art.