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Formica Opens Submissions for 2020 Student Innovation Competition

“Shrug Chair,” designed by 2019 FORM Student Innovation Competition Grand Prize winner, Alyssa Holcomb, invites people to “shrug off” their cares. Photography courtesy of Formica.

Formica invites architecture and interior design students to enter its third annual FORM Student Innovation Competition, open now through March 13. For 2020, students are tasked with creating furniture designs, showcasing Formica Brand products, that explore the intersection between nature and technology.       

With this concept in mind, students must submit a color rendering that highlights the competition’s “Blurred Lines” theme. Each submission must incorporate at least three Formica Brand products, including one or more from the company’s SurfaceSet® 2020 collection, and suit commercial and residential spaces.

The 2020 FORM Student Innovation Competition upholds the spirit of the original iteration of the challenge, held in 2008, in which 10 renowned designers and architects considered designs ranging from domestic furnishings to conceptual sculptures. This year’s panel of judges includes Cheryl Durst, executive vice president and CEO of IIDA; Leanne Ford, interior designer and television personality; Tristan Butterfield, regional brand & retail lead at Gensler Chicago; Vern Yip, interior designer and television personality; and Renee Hytry Derrington, global design lead at Formica Group.   

“Through our design research and as we evolve as a society, we’ve noticed more and more overlap between nature and technology, thus blurring the lines for design needs,” Hytry Derrington said. “This intersection is a focus for our SurfaceSet® 2020 collection, and we’re excited to see how students interpret this challenge.”

The grand prize winner will receive a $2,000 cash award and wide recognition for their work, including having their design fabricated and displayed during NeoCon 2020 in Chicago. The second-place winner will be awarded $1,000, and the third-place winner will receive $500. The top three winners will also be invited to attend NeoCon as a guest of Formica Corporation, where they will have the opportunity to network with industry professionals in the design community.

Competition submissions can be emailed to [email protected]. For more information, including complete competition details and rules, click here. Winners will be announced in May.

In 2018, student winners created furniture pieces that doubled as works of art. These were then fabricated and displayed at the Cincinnati Contemporary Arts Center, following in the tradition of the 2008 challenge.  

Read more: Radical Innovation Competition Announces Three Finalists for 2019 Awards

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