Bienenstock Library names annual Design Competition winners

HIGH POINT, NC — The Bienenstock Furniture Library names winners of its annual student design competitions for furniture and interior design in 2022, awarding a total of $15,000 to the top performers and their schools.

For this year’s furniture challenge, students submitted an original design for a chair that is suitable for marketing to either or both residential and contract trade industry segments. The competition criteria states that designs should be aesthetically pleasing and also suitable for manufacturing within the financial and technical constraints of mass production.

In the furniture design competition, the library received 47 entries from eight colleges, including Appalachian State University, Indiana University, Kansas State, Kendall College of Art & Design, Savannah College of Art & Design, University of Houston, University of Central Oklahoma, and Weber State.

Boya Zhang

Judges for this category include Richard Frinier, Richard Frinier Design Studio; Danny Davis, Davis Furniture Industries, Inc.; Dudley Moore, ASFD, Otto & Moore Inc.; Royale Wiggin, Thayer Coggin Inc.; Scott Coley, D. Scott Coley Designs, LLC; Vivian Beer, Vivian Beer Studio Works; and David Williams, Wits End Design.

Boya Zhang at Kendall College of Art & Design secured first place for her Breezy chair, designed with nursing mothers in mind, as well as for use after this early phase of parenting. David Williams, one of the judges, lauded Zhang for her “great research and theme.” 

Oliver McCarthy

Expressing gratitude for the prize, Zhang endorsed the library-led competition. “I would recommend this competition to all furniture design students who want to dive deeply into the design process and showcase their passion about furniture design.”

Oliver McCarthy at Kendall College of Art & Design earned second place and a $1500 cash prize. From the judges panel, Scott Coley suggested McCarthy’s chair reflects a “compelling design that could be seen in a luxury hotel.” 

Pedro Sandoval, who studies at the University of Houston, received an Honorable Mention award. “Sleek, graceful curves with strong metal framing define this airy, modern design,” said Royale Wiggin, another judge for the furniture category..

Interior design students were asked to conceive of a holistic day spa specializing in therapeutic treatment for multiple sclerosis patients in which medical staff live on the premises.

The library received 35 entries from eight schools, including Forsyth Technical Community College, High Point University, Savannah College of Art & Design (SCAD), Pittsburg State, Saddleback College, University of Idaho, Virginia Tech, and Winthrop.

Apurva Gupta

Judges for the 2022 interior design competition included Christi Spangle, Barbour Spangle Design; June Anderson, ASID; Kara Cox, Kara Cox Designs; Holly Woodward, Woodward House of Design, Gwen Emery, NCSU; Jessica Alpert, Gensler; Bri Verstat, Barbour Spangle Design; Elizabeth Scruggs, Superior Construction & Design.

Apurva Gupta at SCAD was awarded first place and $5,000 for her White Lotus therapeutic spa and residential facility. On the judges team, June Anderson noted that Gupta’s “renderings bring life to the project.” 

“It has been a wonderful opportunity to work on a project that not only requires practical knowledge but also a sense of empathy and I am extremely honored to receive this recognition,” said Gupta, with regards to the competition.

Eugenia Dittmar

Eugenia Dittmar, also a student at SCAD, earned second place and $1500. She was recognized for “creative use of lighting,” by Jessica Alpert, and Holly Woodward acknowledged the student designer for having made a “great connection to nature.”.

SCAD produced yet another winner in Joyce Reyes, who received the Honorable Mention for her unique spot rendering concept and a color palette that blends well with the natural environment, according to the judges.

The winning project briefs may be viewed on the Bienenstock Furniture Library website.

All students submitted their final projects for consideration in the 2022 Annual Design Competition in December. Project work typically occurs in the fall semester of the junior or senior year leading up to the winter submission deadline. Graduate students are also eligible for participation. 

Judging occurs on scores of one to five in the following categories: design brief, ideation thumbnails, design aesthetic, originality, functional aspect, feasibility and overall presentation.

In addition to the cash awards for students, the design department at each first place winner’s school receives a $1,000 prize.

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