Celebrating up-and-coming design professionals, Formica Corporation recently announced the winners of its 2021 FORM Student Innovation Competition. Now in its fourth year, the competition invites interior design, architecture and furniture design students across the U.S. and Canada to create furniture using Formica brand products.
A record total of 244 entries from more than 35 universities across the U.S. and Canada were submitted under the theme of “Design for the Next Generation,” which called for students to interpret their design vision for a variety of post-pandemic commercial settings using products from the 2021 Specialty Collection by Formica Corporation. The winning students will receive cash prizes and the grand prize winner will see their design come to life and be displayed at NeoCon 2021.
The winning designs were chosen by a jury of influential industry professionals.
"This competition exemplified the vitality of ‘the voice’ of the next generation of designers – students,” said Cheryl Durst, competition judge and executive vice president and CEO of IIDA. “Their insight into craft, form, functionality, brand and user-centric design demonstrates discipline and design literacy.”
Martin Gonzalez Godoy and Bénédicte Laurent of Montréal, Québec, Canada, are the grand prize winners for their joint entry “Toboom,” a multiuse children’s design. In the future, teleworking parents will need places for children that are versatile and allow for independence. This design encompasses an area for children to work, play, relax and have storage, and is designed with fluidity and dynamic curves; the absence of corners makes it safe for children and enhances cleanliness.
The piece’s duality can be seen in its integrated seat and writable surface for flowing creativity. It also features a slide for expelling energy and encouraging playtime. This design uses Formica Laminate in Enamel, Solar Orange and Buff Elm as well as Formica Writable Surfaces. Gonzalez Godoy and Laurent are second-year students at the University of Montréal and their winning design will be created and showcased at NeoCon, Oct. 4-6, 2021, at the Mart in Chicago.
Maria Rodriguez of Fort Worth, Texas, was awarded second prize for her “Portal Desk” design, which rethinks the design of modern workspaces. Rodriguez recognized that today’s employees are on video calls more than ever and designed an all-encompassing workspace set up strategically for these calls with ample lighting and writable surfacing for notes.
The space is semi-enclosed to ensure safe social distancing between colleagues. The Portal Design uses Formica Laminate in Beige Elm, Liquid Glass and Green Slate and Formica Writable Surfaces in Graystone. Rodriguez is a student at the University of Texas at Arlington.
Ryan Todys, from Milford, Ohio, was awarded third prize for his “You, Me and a Tree” bench design. Created from the inspiration of two words – “collaboration” and “biophilic” – this design connects people to nature and is meant to welcome all with an interchanging space for a live tree, allowing for more social distancing between patrons. The piece uses Formica Laminate in Camel Elm, Beige Elm and Algae. Todys is a student at the University of Cincinnati.
Simon Boudreau and Marc-Olivier Desjardins from the University of Montréal in Québec for their “ILO” desk design and Eva Lloyd from North Carolina State University for her “LiveCycle” table design.
For more information about the winning students’ designs, visit www.formica.com/studentcompetition.