Bienenstock Furniture Library names 2024 annual student design competition winners

HIGH POINT — The Bienenstock Furniture Library (BFL) names the 2024 winners of its annual student design competitions for furniture and interior design, awarding a total of $15,000 to the top performers and their schools.

For this year’s Dudley Moore, Sr. Furniture Design Competition, 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 50 entries from seven colleges, including the University of Houston, Pratt Institute, Purdue University, Savannah College of Art & Design, Appalachian State University, Drexel University, and Kansas State University.

Judges for this category included recognized furniture designers Dudley Moore, Jr., Otto & Moore Inc.; Scott Coley, D. Scott Coley Designs, LLC; Danny Davis, Davis Furniture; Royale Wiggin, Thayer Coggins; Richard Frinier, Taylor West, West Design Group; and Catina Roscoe, Catina Unlimited.

Valente Zambrano

Valente Zambrano, a furniture design student at the University of Houston received first place recognition and a $5,000 cash award for his chair design, LUNDA. “The emotion I wanted to convey through my design was peacefulness, a scarce thing in the world,” said Zambrano. “I wanted people to look at this as a haven to go to after a long day, unwind and let go of life’s problems.” 

In honor of the first place winner’s home school, Professor Jeff Feng will accept his department’s cash prize of $1000.00.

Pratt Institute student Liam Monaghan was awarded second place and a $1500 cash prize for his project entitled R-CHAIR

For the 2024 Barbour Spangle Interior Design Competition, interior design students were tasked to design a Skybox for a major music recording company. The luxury skybox will be used by the company’s recording artists when they are in town. Students incorporated the music company’s logo and brand identity into the design of the space and chose the aspects of the company’s musical style. The space needed to incorporate sustainable furnishings, materials and finishes wherever possible and reinforce the luxury message.

The library received 30 entries from seven different colleges, including  Savannah College of Art & Design, Randolph Community College, Forsyth Technical Community College, Pittsburg State University, Western Carolina University, Virginia Tech, and Saddleback College.

The seasoned professionals judging for this year’s interior design competition included Christi Spangle and Bri Verstat, Barbour Spangle Design; Holly Woodward, Woodward House of Design; Elizabeth Scruggs, Superior Construction and Design; Monika Nessbach, Design Bar;. Kara Cox, Kara Cox Designs; Stephanie Walker and Lisa Woods, Crimson Design Group; Jillian O’Neill, and Jessica Alpert, Gensler. 

The first place prize of $5,000 was awarded to Leila Nathan of Saddleback College for her design project, Entendre

“The skybox concept was inspired by the diversity and duality of Alternative Indie music, while incorporating hidden design details reflective of the record label’s name, Entendré,” said Nathan. “To pay homage to the music genre’s fascination with the past, I combined luxury materials with vintage pieces alongside textured walls and sculptural light fixtures for a striking and unexpected juxtaposition of elements.”

The young designer expressed thanks to her professor, Farida Gabdrakhmanova, who added, “Leila’s mastery in handling materials, colors, and textures brought a remarkable depth and richness to her project, showcasing her exceptional talent and creativity.”

On behalf of the school’s design department, Gabdrakhmanova accepted the award for $1,000.

Savannah College of Art & Design student Aneesha Dama received second place recognition and a $1500 cash prize for her project, Symphony. The first place winning project briefs may be viewed on the Bienenstock Furniture Library website.

At the end of last year, participating students submitted their final projects for consideration in the 2024 Bienenstock Furniture Library’s Design Competition. Project work typically occurs in the fall semester of the junior or senior year leading up to the winter submission deadline for the annual event. 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.

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