Bienenstock Furniture and Interior Design Competition Winners
Since 1984, the library has awarded more than $400,000 in scholarships. It was the Bienenstock’s desire to invest in the education and future of the furniture industry.
The Bienenstock Furniture and Interior Design Competition is open to any junior, senior, or graduate student enrolled in an accredited college design program in the United States. This design competition will have two (2) categories: Interior Design and Furniture Design. A $5,000 scholarship will be awarded to the first place winner of each category. In addition to the $5,000 awards their respective schools will receive $1,000 to use in their academic programs. A $1,500.00 scholarship will be awarded to the second place winner in each category. The Bienenstock scholarships are open to any junior, senior or graduate student enrolled in an accredited college design program in the United States.
The Bernice Bienenstock Furniture Library is committed to helping students bring their best designs to the 2018-2019 Competition. Professional members of the furniture design and interior design industries stand ready to ‘mentor’ and answer any Bienenstock Furniture and Interior Design Competition questions.
2023 Competition Winners
Ilse ‘Mariana Anzures’ Puga
Entry Requirements: To design a chair of original design that is aesthetically pleasing. Create an offering that can be marketed to the residential and/or contract trade. Chair should be visually stunning, appropriate for manufacturing, fiscally feasible, and suitable within the constraints of mass production.
CHAIR – Seating form for one person, composed of horizontal surface, or seat, supported on legs and with a vertical element, or back, rising from its rear edge DICTIONARY OF FURNITURE Charles Boyce 2001
We had 53 entries from 6 different schools: University of Houston, Chatham University, Savannah College of Art & Design, Appalachian State University, Lawrence Technical University, Kansas State
Mariana Anzures comment on winning 1st Place: “Siva afi, named after the traditional Samoan fire dance, captures the raw beauty of movement in fire and dance through its dynamic form. This has been one of my most fulfilling projects as it has given me the opportunity to further discover myself as a designer, and pushed my prototyping skills to new limits.
I am truly honored to receive this award, which would not have been possible without the support of the Industrial Design program at the University of Houston. Special thanks to professors Jeff Feng and Min Kang who mentored me during this project. I’m grateful for every opportunity this program has given me, and I’m excited to continue my journey as an industrial designer.”
David Williams – feasible design
Dudley Moore, Jr. – unique form, impressed with designer’s process from ideation to completion
Scott Coley – great movement in the design
In addition to her cash award, the design department at the first-place winner’s school receives a $1,000 prize.
Sebastian Solloa, Savannah College of Art & Design won 2nd place with his entry CALMA. Inspired by nature, the inspiration comes from a falling leaf.
Richard Frinier- graceful and asymmetrical profile
Dudley Moore, Jr. – design works well with a variety of materials
Interior Design Competition Objective: test students’ interior design skills. We encourage creativity, uniqueness while at the same time, project requirements must be met and design must be realistic and implementable. Students asked to design an art gallery in a former industrial area. Urban ethnic enclaves have long held an attraction for artists and adventurous young people and the up-and-coming area where the space is located is no exception. Clients are a young couple that has just purchased two adjoining, three-story brick row houses dating to the turn of the last century. They are combining two units into a single art gallery that will display the work of cutting-edge artists in a variety of mediums. First and second floors will be used for exhibiting art, hosting events and serving as a community meeting space and will contain a catering kitchen and office. Third floor is reserved for the couple’s private living quarters.
We had 41 entries from 10 different colleges: Utah State, Randolph Community College, Forsyth Technical Community College, Pittsburg State University, Unc-G, Virginia Tech, Savannah College of Art & Design, University of Central Oklahoma, Orange Coast College, Saddlebrook College
Elle’s comment on winner 1st Place: I am so grateful for this experience and opportunity. This means so much to me and I appreciate everyone that has put time into this competition. A big thank you to my professor, Farida, who has encouraged me and pushed me to submit to this competition. This project was both fun and challenging to work on. It was rewarding to see my final project completed, and it is even more rewarding to know that others enjoy my design as well.
My design concept was inspired by water in all its different forms, which I thought would connect beautifully with the environment around Buffalo, New York. I wanted the gallery to have a calming feel, so I incorporated a lot of curves throughout – not just in the furniture but also in the ceiling and flooring design, architectural details of the interior, and the art on display. I truly believe that design is all about the details.
Bri Verstat – Most Professional Project
Kara Cox – Carried the concept throughout the project
Holly Woodward – loved organic movement of project
As with the furniture design competition, the interior design department at the first-place winner’s school receives a $1,000 prize.
EVOKE is inspired by the concept of blurring the lines between indoor and outdoor spaces on an abstract level.
Bri Verstat – tells a great sustainability story throughout
Holly Woodward – project is clean and easy to read
(Sponsored by June Anderson, Legacy Board member at BFL)
Holly Woodward: Innovative with installations and custom features
Bri Verstat – carried out beautiful curved lines in a subtle way
Previous Design Competition Winners
Boya Zhang – Furniture Design
For the 2022 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.
The library received 47 entries from eight colleges, including Appalachian State University, Savannah College of Art & Design, University of Houston, University of Central Oklahoma, Indiana University, Kendall College of Art & Design, Kansas State and Weber State. 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, Kendall College of Art & Design had the winning entry titled the Breezy Chair. Boya states “I am very grateful to be chosen as the first-place winner. It’s a great recognition for me as I step into the professional world as a furniture designer. 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”
The judges were impressed by the great research and theme of her design. They felt the chair was cozy and cocooning with thoughtful and pleasing design elements.
In addition to her cash award, the design department at the first-place winner’s school receives a $1,000 prize.
The second-place winner was Oliver McCarthy, from Kendall College of Art & Design. He receives a $1,500 scholarship to be applied to continuing education.
Apurva Gupta – Interior Design
Judges for the 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
Winning 1st place in the Interior Design Competition, Apurva Gupta from Savannah College of Art & Design says “White Lotus was the first live-work project that I worked on. It integrates the client’s personal living space with a holistic spa that specializes in therapeutic treatment for people with multiple sclerosis in such a way that neither is compromised. 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.”
Judges commented that Apurva’s project was brought to life through her renderings and the strong connection between concept and execution.
As with the furniture design competition, the interior design department at the first-place winner’s school receives a $1,000 prize.
The second-place winner was Eugenia Dittmar from Savannah College of Art & Design. She receives a $1,500 scholarship to be applied to continuing education.
Anna Bibikova – Furniture Design
For the 2021 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.
The library received 39 entries from seven colleges, including Appalachian State University, Savannah College of Art & Design, University of Houston, University of Oregon, University of Central Oklahoma, University of Virginia and Weber State.
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.
Anna Bibikova at the University of Houston secured first place for her chair named Manta, featuring a hammock-like net woven around a fluid metal frame, which is suitable for outdoor use. She earns $5,000 for her chair concept which Wiggin describes as a “stylish, modern, light scale, shapely design”.
“Manta is definitely one of my proudest projects so far,” says Bibikova, who added that she was honored to have her work recognized. “ I have had to be innovative and truly push myself to bring this design to life, so I am thankful that it paid off and others are able to enjoy the beauty of it as well.”
In addition to her cash award, the design department at the first-place winner’s school receives a $1,000 prize.
The second-place winner was Priyanka Sanghi, from Savannah College of Art & Design. She receives a $1,500 scholarship to be applied to continuing education.
Yufei (Serena) Zhong – Interior Design
A client profile and project overview were outlined for students entering the 2021 interior design competition, featuring the CEO of a major music recording company who had purchased a luxury skybox for use by the company’s visiting artists. Developing a brand identity for the mock client and incorporating their musical focus were among the criteria for this challenge.
The library received 26 entries from seven schools, including Virginia Tech, New School of Architecture & Design, Randolph Community College, Savannah College of Art & Design, Pittsburg State, Forsyth Technical Community College, and Saddleback College.
Judges for the 2021 interior design competition include Christi Spangle, Barbour Spangle Design; Kara Cox, Kara Cox Interiors; Bri Verstat, Barbour Spangle Design; June Anderson, ASID; Gwen Emery, NCSU; Jessica Alpert, Gensler; Marilyn Russell, Interior Designer; Holly Woodward, House of Woodward.
Yufei (Serena) Zhong at Savannah College of Art & Design is first place winner for her interior design and branding project entitled Thorn Records, featuring dramatic ceilings and energetic details suited to a hard rock aesthetic. Zhong earns $5,000 for her work in which Cox says she maintained the project theme throughout.
“I always believe that design is full of passion,” says Zhong, adding, “it is a process of exploring the infatuated relationship between people and objects, thus creating infinite possibilities.”
As with the furniture design competition, the interior design department at the first-place winner’s school receives a $1,000 prize.
The second-place winner was Mengying Qi, from Savannah College of Art & Design. She receives a $1,500 scholarship to be applied to continuing education.
Xin Schiffman – Interior Design
Entrants were given the following real-world assignment:
Design a sleepover camp activity center for co-ed campers for all children, including special needs campers. Located in the Pocono Mountains of Pennsylvania, design a private residence for camp director and executive offices for camp. All plans, drawings and specifications were given to the students. They were also asked to design a logo.
The competition received multiple entries from colleges throughout the country including:
Saddleback College, Virginia Commonwealth, Virginia Tech, Randolph Community College, Forsyth Technical Community College, University of Central Oklahoma and Savannah College of Art & Design. The distinguished panel of judges included: Christi Spangle, Barbour Spangle Design; Kara Cox, Kara Cox Interiors; Brianne Verstat, Barbour Spangle Design; Gwen Emery, NCSU; Jessica Alpert, Gensler; June Anderson, ASID; Marilyn Russell, Baker Barrios, and Holly Woodward, Baker Furniture
The winning entry was named Wëlike Playhouse and was submitted by Xin Schiffman of Saddleback College in Mission Viejo, California. According to Schiffman, the name, Wëlike, (pronounced WOOLEE-KAY) was derived from the indigenous Lena’pe Native Americans living in the area and literally means “He has a nice home.” She notes, “The name closely resembles “We like” in English, and connotes “we like the playhouse”, a fun and comfortable place that will welcome every camper.” The design of the logo was adapted from a piece of furniture designed by Greg Klassen and is aptly named the Glass River, which combines the natural beauty of glass and natural wood, suggesting that a river runs through it. According to Schiffman, In the Lena’pe language, “Pocono” means “A river between two mountains.” The river theme is carried throughout the design to connect the facility to the local surroundings. The river theme is carried throughout the entire design. A running river flows from the front entrance across the floor to create not only visual interest but also a traffic path.
The second-place winner was Soraia DeSouza, also of Saddleback College, in Mission Viejo California.
There was not a Furniture Design Competition for 2020
John Lalevee – Furniture Design
Entrants were asked to design an aesthetically pleasing chair of original design from any material or combination of materials. Instructions were “to create an offering that could be marketed to the residential and/or contract trade. The chair is to be visually stunning, appropriate for manufacturing, fiscally feasible, and suitable within the constraints of mass production.”
There were 32 entries from 7 different colleges. Colleges represented included: Weber State, Kendall, SCAD, Appalachian State University, University of Central Oklahoma, University of Idaho, and the University of Houston.
The distinguished panel of judges for Furniture Design were: Dudley Moore, Jr. Otto & Moore; Scott Coley, D Scott Coley Designs; Royale Wiggin, Thayer Coggin; Danny Davis, Davis Furniture; Richard Frinier, Richard Frinier Design Studio; and Charles Sutton, Charles Sutton Design.
Speaking of John Lalevee’s winning design, Dudley Moore, representing the ASFD and Chairman of the High Point Market Authority noted, the “connectors have a modern industrial feel.” Judge Scott Coley remarked, the design is a “Unique twist on mid-century modern “.” Judge Royale Wiggin commented, “it has an urban vibe to it.
Lalevee named his piece Cromulent. The etymology of the word comes from a humorous, neologism coined by Lisa Simpson in a 1996 television episode of The Simpsons and has since become part of contemporary lexicon. It was originally used to describe a dubious or made up word, term, or phrase that is entirely plausible because it makes logical sense within existing language conventions. An internet search reveals it has come to mean acceptable or normal; excellent, realistic, legitimate or authentic.
According to Lalevee, “Cromulent was designed to advance the mid-century modern ideal of using materials for what they are good for; truth to materials. Wood is strong linearly, but joinery exposes the natural limits of wood and its directional grain. Aluminum is strong in every direction but weighs significantly more than wood. Cromulent uses wood for straight sections and aluminum for angled joinery, utilizing each material where it can serve the structure best. All of the complexity of the chair is in the brackets, cut by a CNC mill, allowing the wood pieces to be formed using conventional woodworking tools. Simplicity was at the root of this project, and simplicity I feel is the root of good design.”
He added, “My inspiration came from Scandinavian mid-century modern chairs. Their apparent simplicity is what I felt made those chairs interesting. A large part of the assignment was to make a chair that could be mass produced. Cromulent uses its own system of standardized parts and can be broken down. You can see how it’s built but it’s not the main focus of the piece.“
Cameron Van Dyke, Assistant Professor of Furniture Design in the Applied Design Department of Appalachian State University noted, “John is an exceptionally creative and focused designer. His ambition and highly technical methods were combined in this chair design – resulting in an end product that is very comfortable, simple to produce, and visually appealing. I am very excited to see how his unique approach to furniture design will change the industry.”
The second-place winner was Dymon Johnson, from University of Houston. He receives a $1,500 scholarship to be applied to continuing education.
Britnie Cowling – Interior Design
Entrants were given the following real world assignment: Prime real estate located at the base of a mountain and surrounded by park like settings, water features, and abundant wild life has been chosen for the location of a holistic day spa specializing in therapeutic treatment for multiple sclerosis patients. The spa is owned and managed by the doctor and physical therapist team of Pat and Chris Helf. Pat and Chris live in 1,000 square feet of the approximately 4,600 square feet of the building. Having had a family member with multiple sclerosis, Pat is very passionate about this new project. It is very important to reduce the stress and outside pressures and to provide a tranquil holistic environment for the patients. It is your job to design this facility (day spa and the residence for the doctor and physical therapist) keeping in mind the importance of nature and its healing environment. The clients also request that sustainable and environmentally friendly FF&E be predominately specified throughout. Designing a name and logo for the Spa was also part of this project.
The competition received 30 entries from 10 colleges including: Virginia Tech, University of Idaho, Design Institute of San Diego, Saddleback College, SCAD, University of Southern Mississippi, Randolph Community College, Virginia Commonwealth, Winthrop, and Forsyth Tech. The winning entry can be downloaded here.
The distinguished panel of judges was comprised of: Christi Spangle, Barbour Spangle Design; Kara Cox, Kara Cox Designs; Bri Verstat, Barbour Spangle Design; Gwen Emery, NCSU; Jessica Alpert, Gensler; June Anderson, ASID; Rose Dostal, RMD Designs, and Marilyn Russell, Forum Architecture.
Christi Spangle commented on Britnie Cowling’s winning entry, “The renderings are beautiful reflecting sophistication and artistry.” Bri Verstat noted that the design was, “Clean, crisp and well designed for the location setting chosen.” June Anderson added that the “Space planning is very creative.”
The winning entry was named Kodama and was submitted by Britnie Cowling from the Design Institute of San Diego.
Cowlings entry described the name kodama as being derived from Japanese forest spirits. In traditional folklore these small pebble-like creatures look after the trees and have been known to heal weary travelers. They are seen as a symbol of good luck and longevity. The logo picturing an old and gnarled tree represents an unhurried journey to healthfulness.
When asked to explain her inspiration, she added, “The design concept for The Kodama Healing Retreat began with my interest in Japanese folklore and mythology and the emphasis the contest program put on “green plants. A Japanese aesthetic seemed like the perfect fit for a space revolving around the healing properties of nature. Shinrin Yoku is based in a deep history of holistic practices in Japan.
Figures such as George Nakashima inspired me to create a space that acknowledged the parallels between the great journey humans, flora and fauna all embark on. The materials and finishes in the spa were meant to celebrate raw beauty, imperfections included. The finished design pays homage to the grace of the natural processes of life such as ageing and healing. Kodama Healing Retreat helps patients mend body and mind with all the unhurried decorum of an ancient forest.”
The ceiling design in the yoga studio was derived from a phenomenon called “crown shyness” that happens when the canopies of trees avoid touching each other. This creates river-like spaces where the sky peaks through the forest canopy. In Kodama, glowing orbs take the place of the sky.
Sheryl Wohl Chaffee, Interior Design Instructor at the Design Institute of San Diego, “Britnie’s awareness and sensitivity to programming and code requirements was evident throughout her design. Consideration of the patients who will use the healing center was obvious in many of the design decisions. Her space planning skills in combination with the execution of her concept was so thoughtful and artful throughout the space. She truly connected the outdoors with the interior design through careful lighting and ceiling design elements, furniture and finish selection as well as thoughtful placement of spaces. Incorporating green walls and plants throughout, as well as raw and natural finishes showed how her concept was carried through all aspects of the design. Her sustainable design knowledge and technical skills are evident in the quality of her presentation/project. Britnie is a knowledgeable, ambitious, and thoughtful design student. We are proud of Britnie’s achievement and thankful for competitions like this that support talented, hardworking students and interior design education.”
The second-place winner was Kirsten Montalbano, from Virginia Tech. She receives a $1,500 scholarship to be applied to continuing education.
Michael L. Dillon – Furniture Design
Entrants were asked to design an aesthetically pleasing chair of original design from any material. Instructions were “to create an offering that could be marketed to the residential and/or contract trade. Any material or combination of materials was accepted. The chair is to be visually stunning, appropriate for manufacturing, fiscally feasible, and suitable within the constraints of mass production” There were 55 entries from 10 different colleges, compared to 21 entries a year ago. Colleges represented included: University of Houston, SCAD, Kendall College of Art & Design, Appalachian State University, Indiana University-Purdue, Forsyth Tech, Cornell University, Syracuse University, Weber State and San Diego Mesa.
Judge for Furniture Design: Dudley Moore, Jr., Otto & Moore; Scott Coley, Scott Coley Designs; Royale Wiggin, Thayer Coggin; Danny Davis, Davis Furniture; Richard Frinier, Richard Frinier Designs; Charles Sutton, Charles Sutton Design.
Dudley Moore, President of the ASFD and Chairman of the Furniture Design Committee noted, “This is a fully realized design as opposed to just a concept” Judge Danny Davis remarked it was “functional and an excellent authentic color combination idea.” Judge Charles Sutton added this is “A stand-out design that had thought for the marketing approach”
Dillon is an academic Junior at The University of Houston. When asked about his inspiration, he commented: “Ergo exists as a statement that good design comes from empathy for the human condition. If a designer is truly attentive to the requirements of their context, the end product will have true and lasting meaning. It is only at this starting point that products with meaning can be born.”
Dillon continued, “Work has become more collaborative. Space has become more limited, and as a consequence, the spaces we live, work, and play in are becoming smaller. The legs of Ergo flip the traditional relationship of “wider at the front, skinnier at the back” to enable more chairs to fit around a table. Whether it’s in the common space of an office, around a table at your local Cafe, or around your own kitchen table- Ergo does more with the space it is given. When the chair has no seatback, it can disappear fully underneath a table, tucking away neatly and keeping routes of egress clear in tight commercial spaces.” He added, “My studies in Architecture at San Antonio College taught me empathy for the human condition and the importance of the human scale. Intensive practice with the team at the design-build firm TADA imparted to me that joyful design exists in the details. In my studies at the University of Houston I am learning the process, skills, and language of the craft, making me ever more fluent in the communication of design ideas. Ergo communicates these values and concepts I have learned to date.”
Jeff Feng, Assistant Professor of Industrial Design at the University of Houston, who is Dillon’s teacher and mentor commented, “Michael is a highly self-motivated individual who seeks to step out of his comfort zone to experience new ideas. It is reflected in the countless iterations of the ‘ERGO’ chair design from the overall structure to details as elastic joineries. He also equipped himself with a strong set of skills, mastering sketching to prototyping in most materials and processes. His ‘ERGO’ chair is not just a highly developed CAD model, it is fully tested in multiple full-scale prototypes. Aesthetically, he is striving for a high level of purity and simplicity which is exemplified in this chair design.”
When asked what he might tell his younger self, Dillon replied, “Don’t expect everything to be perfect the first time you conceive it. Allow yourself the license to make garbage and keep improving upon it. No matter how hard you think you are capable of working, you need to work harder and longer.” When asked about his short and long-term goals, he said,” I am passionate about design in a broader sense. “A good designer works with such intangible things as space, and context. What is interesting about furniture is its tangibility. You can see it, feel it, and sit in it, but in another sense, furniture is about the intangible space it marks – both as a physical form and as an expression of culture.” He continued, “like many of my peers, I’m uncertain about what future holds, but I know that I want to design and create. My immediate goal is to find an internship in a design consultancy that exposes me to projects and people that share my passion.”
The second place winner was Walter Mingledorff, from Appalachian State University, for the Polly Chair.
Victoria Smith – Interior Design
Entrants were given the following real world assignment: a client had just purchased two adjoining, three-story brick row houses dating to the turn of the century. The students were asked to combine the two units into a single art gallery that will display the work of cutting-edge artists. The first and second floors are used for exhibiting art, hosting special events and serving as a community meeting space and will contain an office and catering kitchen. The third floor is reserved for the couple’s private residence. They must also brand the edifice with a logo consistent with the purpose of the building.
The competition received 39 entries from 10 colleges including Virginia Tech, SCAD, Forsyth Tech, San Diego Mesa College, Randolph Community College, Appalachian State University, George Washington University, High Point University, University of Southern Mississippi and the University of Central Oklahoma.
The winning entry was submitted by Victoria Smith an academic Senior studying Interior Design at Virginia Tech. She said, “This project has truly sparked my creativity and encouraged me to understand the balance between designing an inspiring space while maintaining the focus on the beauty of the art itself. I enjoyed the challenge of integrating a subtractive approach rather than an additive one.” She branded her project “MIN” using interlocking parallelograms of various widths in black and white. Although it needs little explanation, she expanded on a deeper meaning, “Just as this rust belt city has transformed back to its original state, minimalist art is reduced to a minimum number of lines, textures, and colors. Inspired by the works of Donald Judd and Sol LeWitt, the repetition, reduction, and elimination of geometric forms adjust the user’s perception to create an exploratory experience. The underlying geometry of the existing building, created by the structural columns and walls, implies a series of cubes. Studying these cubes provided a sense of scale, proportion, and hierarchy that determined the design of the gallery and the apartment.”
She added, “Materiality is central to the work of minimalist artists. These artists focus on exposing the essence of their pieces through the elimination of non-essential forms and materials. Raw materials such as brick, wood, leather, quartz, and aluminum are utilized to emphasize the concept and reference the pieces found in the gallery. The custom reception desk, made of recycled aluminum, is a nod to the works by Donald Judd and Sol LeWitt, who use steel or aluminum in their sculptures. While most of the space remains black and white, an accent of red enhances the space and stimulates the viewers. Red is symbolic of Donald Judd’s paintings highlighted in the project. The use of recessed linear lighting throughout the gallery and the apartment enhances the geometry of each space and serves as a wayfinding element.
Judges in the interior design category included: Christi Spangle, Barbour Spangle Designs; Bri Verstat, Barbour Spangle Designs; June Anderson, ASID; Kara Cox, Kara Cox Interiors, Marilyn Russell, Marilyn Ashley Design Associates, Rose Dostal, RMD Designs, Gwen Emery, NCSU; Jessica Alpert, Gensler.
Christi Spangle one of the judges commented: “I liked the play on a minimalist movement and excellent use of space” Judge June Anderson commented “great logo and incorporation of original architectural details”, Judge Bri Verstat said the “Background colors were clear and crisp and perfect for art display”
Lisa M. Tucker, Professor, and Chair of Interior Design at the Virginia Tech School of Architecture commented, “I am so pleased and excited for Tori for winning this competition! She is such a hard worker and takes her design process very seriously. She keeps trying to make her projects better and clearly that paid off.
Tori grew up with a first-hand view of the design business. “my mom is an interior designer, and as a child, I would find myself annotating her sketches, which I’m sure probably annoyed her.”
Tori will graduate in May and has accepted a position at the Huntsman Architectural Group on Wall Street in New York City. Her short-term goals are to pass the NCIDQ and obtain a Sustainability Certification. When asked what she might tell her younger self she replied, “trust yourself and the process. Stick to what’s in your heart and everything will work out.” Currently, she is more interested in workplace design then residential design. She opined, “we spend a lot more time at work than we do it home. Design is about enhancing the quality of life no matter where you are, and I want to focus my energies on making workplaces more satisfying.”
The second place winner was Meredith Fraga, from Virginia Tech. She receives a $1,500 scholarship to be applied to continuing education.
Ben Bridges – Furniture Design
Entrants were asked to design an aesthetically pleasing chair of original design from any material. Instructions were “The chair should be visually stunning, appropriate for manufacturing, fiscally feasible and suitable within the constraints of mass production.” There were 50 entries from 15 different colleges, more than twice the number of schools and entries from the prior year.
Judge for Furniture Design: Dudley Moore, Jr., Otto & Moore; Rick Schroeder, Stanley Furniture; Scott Coley, Scott Coley Designs; Royale Wiggin, Thayer Coggin; Danny Davis, Davis Furniture; Richard, Frinier, Richard Frinier Designs; and Paul Brayton, Paul Brayton Designs.
Judge Danny Davis,” liked the combination of solid wood, metal and plastic. Overall great presentation.” Judge Royale Wiggin “loved the light scale, which is very important today.”
Bridges, is an academic Junior at Appalachian State University. He is inspired by art, architecture and nature. Although highly competent in creating with software rendering, he also loves to sketch, draw, and create with his favorite tool, a #2 pencil. When asked to explain his inspiration for this project, he commented: “I have been deeply captivated by erosion and its many recurrent forms. Initially, I was drawn to the immeasurable beauty within the fluid surfaces which, by patterning themselves in a wave of seamless prose, ripple across their ancient bodies, from fissure to face, in one harmonious and continuous rhythm. What further captivated me was a new sense of realization that these surfaces were created as a harmonic yet static response to movement. They are the rigid footprints of a very fluid force. It was within this dynamic interchange between force and form that I found my point of inspiration for the Solum lounge. I began ideation by exploring how we as humans may impress force or gesture into the static forms of chairs.” Bridges attributes his maturity and clear sense of direction to a Gap in his education. He took a 3 year sabbatical from his studies to earn money to support himself and to study art and architecture independently. “It wasn’t glamorous, I poured concrete foundations for chicken houses during the week and did groundskeeping on the weekends. But there is something enormously satisfying about physical labor, and it gives you time to think about who you are and what is important to you. Mother nature may be the best artist of us all and we need to make time to observe what the natural world can teach us,” he said.
Bridges designed his chair with three unique bases, each providing a unique look. The version on the left is a formed steel wire frame. The center version features bent laminate, and the base on the right is die cast aluminum. The seat shell will be made from molded polyurethane. He created these images using Solidworks CAD software.
His short-term goals are to finish his academic work and to graduate. He hopes to find a position add a contract manufacturing company with the resources and manufacturing capabilities to bring his designs to life.
The second-place winner for Furniture Design was Chris Webster, California State University at Long Beach.
Finalists in the furniture category included: India Hillis, Art Center College of Design, Hong Hu, Kendall College of Art & Design, Refaeli Ma, Art Center College of Design, Matthew Johnson, Kendall College of Art & Design, Frederick John Barton, Appalachian State University and Eric Schroeder, Kendall College of Art & Design
Liliana Hasbun – Interior Design
This year’s project had a fictitious client that was the CEO of a major music recording company. The imaginary client has purchased a luxury skybox for use by the company’s recording artists when in the area. Entrants were asked to design the skybox and to incorporate the music company’s logo and brand, the company’s musical style and use sustainable furnishings. The quality of the entries was so profound that 16 entries were worthy of being finalists and the ultimate decision was extremely difficult. There were 47 entries from 13 different colleges.
Judges for Interior Design: Christi Spangle, Barbour Spangle Designs; Bri Verstat, Barbour Spangle Designs; June Anderson, ASID; Kara Cox, Kara Cox Interiors, Marilyn Russell, Marilyn Ashley Design Associates, Rose Dostal, RMD Designs, Gwen Emery, NCSU; and Jessica Alpert, Gensler. Head Judge Christi Spangle, “thrilled with the participation from different colleges this year and were impressed with the nice variety of genres used in this project. It gave a great opportunity to the students to show their personal aesthetic.”
First Place was awarded to Liliana Hasbun, a senior international student at The Savannah College of Art & Design, who wins a $5,000 scholarship to be applied to academic pursuits. The Savannah College of Art & Design’s Interior Design Program will receive an additional $1,000.00 scholarship. Judge Christi Spangle and Judge June Anderson “liked her attention to detail.” Judge Kara Cox “loved that she did extensive research of the music genre”, Judge Bri Verstat “very colorful and had bold consideration to architectural detail.”
When asked to explain her approach to the project, Liliana said she was inspired by her passion for singing and the meter of soul music. “The skybox liberates emotions and cultivates creativity. As one enters the skybox, a profound spiritual transformation takes place by subtlety wrapping the user with warm contrasting finishes, pure fluttering volumes, honest materials and an inviting furniture selection. The atmosphere of liberation and relaxation revivers decompression. Zones promote bonding and self-reflection without overwhelming human creativity. In the lounge, guests can mingle, collaborate with musicians, or remain in awe of musical expression while the space quietly complements the developing energy. a brand a specific “jamming” zone is provided to promote creative expression.”
On the second level, a conference room invites the opportunity for collaboration yet remains flexible by providing the option for seclusion with a sliding wall panel. “Once inside the bedroom, a full hospitality suite wraps the user with intimate client specific tones and selections, never forgetting the purpose of the entire skybox experience: unwind and create.” Detailed floor plans and mood boards can be found on the library’s website.
When asked why she chose to pursue interior design, Liliana responded “I believe interior spaces directly affect a person’s behavior and quality-of-life. This career allows me to channel my creative talents in ways that upgrade mental well-being.” She has studied other creative areas including fashion, jewelry, photography and graphic design.
She added “interior designer suited me the best because of the human factor. I chose SCAD to specialize in interiors because of the vast curriculum and the professional opportunities it offered. For this project, I my inspiration was Soul music because it resonates with my personality and incorporates values that are tuned to my purpose in life: To live in an inclusive, integrative society, to uplift others, and to be honest, real and pure.”
According to Monica Letourneau, Professor, Interior Design at The Savannah College of Art and Design the Bienenstock Competition was her first interior design studio project at (SCAD). “Early on her creative thinking and enthusiasm for all facets the design process was evident. Throughout the process, she often stated that she wanted the final design to offer users a strong emotional connection that comes from soul music. She captured the soulful concept through the intense layering of wall and ceiling movements that engage with multiple patterns and textures of finishes. These combine to create dynamic moments for personal interactions throughout the skybox. The project’s focus on soulfulness relates to the combining of music styles to form a new. It is about music for everyone, and a statement about cultural inclusiveness for our own time. Liliana is passionate about producing design that aims to surprise and engage people with an interior environment. While bringing this spirit into her work, she also wholeheartedly embraces lively discussions that come with being in our SCAD studio culture. We are proud of Liliana’s achievement, and thankful for the support that this competition award offers.”
Second Place $1,500.00 winner for Interior Design was Britnie Cowling, San Diego Mesa College.
Finalists in the Interior Design competition included: Valerie O’Bryan Wilson, Saddleback College, Gabriella Fiallos, SCAD, Hannah Viparina, SCAD, Andrea Paton-Ash, George Washington University, Brianne Beal, George Washington University, Laura Henderschott, San Diego Mesa College, Kristin Till, Saddleback College, Yument Lou, SCAD, Jingxian Xu, SCAD, Heath Smith, Randolph Community College, Joevannah Harris, Virginia Tech, Elaine DaSilva, Virginia Tech, Sarah Troegner, Virginia Tech, and Nicole Long, Appalachian State University
Heather Soto – Furniture Design
Entrants were asked to design an aesthetically pleasing chair of original design from any material and be visually stunning, appropriate for manufacturing, fiscally feasible and suitable within the constraints of mass production. There were 21 entries from 8 different colleges.
Judges in the furniture design category included Dudley Moore, Jr., Otto & Moore, Inc,; Rick Schroeder, Stanley Furniture; Danny Davis, Davis Furniture; Royale Wiggin, Thayer Coggin; Richard Frinier, Richard Frinier Design Studio; Scott Coley, Scott Coley Designs.
Dudley Moore, Chairman of the Furniture Design Committee noted, “This chair makes unique use of innovative materials that are marketable and saleable.” Danny Davis added “this designer showed a compelling progression of design to achieve the final form.” Judge Scott Coley called it, “very stylish and sporty.”
Seto, is an academic senior at Kendall College of Art & Design. When asked about her inspiration, she commented: “Refinement, tonal differences, and delicate beauty –these are a few attributes from the night’s sky that I chose to implement within the context of Nocturne. The intention of this piece is to create an invitation to the user. I want there to be a unity between the user and the form. Nocturne is a free flowing spirit that is sophisticated, boundless, and bold.”
Monty Simpson, Assistant Professor of Furniture Design at the Kendall College of Art and Design commented, “Heather is an amazing young lady. All of us at Kendall College of Art and Design are extremely proud of her first place finish in the Bienenstock Library Chair Competition. Heather takes a holistic approach to the design process. She studies the interconnections between the user, task, and environment then uses this information to create a sense of unity between the user and form as is evident in the design of her Nocturne Lounge Chair.”
Adismara Kirana Prasetya, Savannah College of Art & Design was the 2nd place $1,500.00 winner for the Furniture Design category. Kendall College of Art & Design’s Furniture Design program received a $1,000.00 award for having the 1st place $5,000.00 winner.
Other finalists included: Kyung Min Lee, Kendall College of Art & Design; Bo Zhang, Savannah College of Art & Design; Nathan Sturgeon, Kendall College of Art & Design
Kim Wypasek Young – Interior Design
Entrants were asked to design a holistic day spa specializing in therapeutic treatment for multiple sclerosis patients. The hypothetical spa is owned and managed by the doctor and physical therapist on staff, which requires living quarters for these staff members. The students were required to design the facility that is sustainable, environmentally friendly and has a healing environment. A logo and name for the spa was also part of the project. There were 40 entries from 14 different colleges.
Judges in the Interior Design category included: Christi Spangle, ASID, Barbour Spangle Design; June Anderson, ASID; Kara Cox, Kara Cox Interiors; Bri Verstat, ASID, Barbour Spangle Design; Marilyn Russell, Marilyn Ashley Interiors; Gwen Emery, Director of Library Environment NCSU; Rose Dostal, ASID, RMD Designs; Jessica Alpert, Gensler.
Christi Spangle commented: “This is a very creative floor plan. The atmosphere felt very therapeutic.” Judge Kara Cox commented: “Great use of organic elements in the space. Best combination of technical and artistic comprehension.”
Kim Wypasek Young, an academic junior studying Interior Design at UNC-Greensboro, submitted the winning entry. She named her project Prana Spa explaining, “Prana is a Hindu word that means life giving force or healing wind, reinforcing the objective of the day spa: enveloping the patient in a healing force.”
Her design strategies for Prana take advantage of two distinct natural elements: the strata and variable striations of rock formations, and the flowing and forming qualities of wind. The influence of wind in the design of the interior spaces can be seen in the circulation and easing of harsh vertical edges. Upon entry, one is greeted by a sense of prospect and refuge created by the variations of ceiling heights and the use of compression and release, giving private areas a safe comforting feeling and larger areas, for healing exercise, an energizing presence.
Corinne Vassallo, of Virginia Tech University was the 2nd place $1,500.00 Interior Design winner. The UNC-Greensboro’s Interior Architecture program received a $1,000.00 award for having the 1st place $5,000.00 winner for the Interior Design category.
Other finalists included: Hunter Van Bramer, University of Idaho; Laura Gwyn Clapp, Randolph Community College; Gabrielle Mariotti, Marymount University; Eric Harris, George Washington University; Abbi Johnson, University of Idaho.
Eny Lee Parker
Entrants were asked to design an aesthetically pleasing chair of original design from any material and be visually stunning, appropriate for manufacturing, fiscally feasible and suitable within the constraints of mass production. There were 42 entries from 13 different colleges.
Dudley Moore, Chairman of the Furniture Design Committee noted, “This chair has a beautiful, sculptural quality.” Furniture Design judge, Danny Davis added, “This designer showed understanding of manufacturing processes by being able to prototype the process of bending the wood.”
Parker, a student at Savannah College of Art & Design commented, “The Honest Chair originated from an exploration into the fundamentals of bending wood. Though the design development was inspired on Frank Ghery’s curvaceous architecture, the outcome resembles more Sori Yanagi’s work.” She added, “The chair’s intention is to communicate how unlimited we are, through process and form. As designers, we should not only appreciate materials, but push their natural characteristics to become something unimaginable.”
Catherine Cheek, Virginia Tech was the 2nd place $1,500.00 Furniture Design winner. Judges for the Furniture Design category included Dudley Moore, Jr., Otto & Moore; Rich Schroeder, Stanley Furniture; Danny Davis, Davis Furniture Industries; Royale Wiggin, Thayer Coggin, Inc.; Richard Frinier, Frinier Design Studio.
Other finalists included Deanna Smith, High Point University; Rebecca Goddard, Appalachian State University; Christian Dunbar, Savannah College of Art & Design; and Heather Seto, Kendall College of Art & Design.
Entrants were asked to design a project to create an art gallery that encompassed two floors with a third floor being a residential space. Students were asked to create a design plan for the entire complex. There were 23 entries from 10 different colleges.
Judge June Anderson commented, “It is very imaginative and smart to use a live existing artist in the presentation. This design produced a sales & marketing environment for the art.” Brianne Verstat commented, “This plan is technically and aesthetically pleasing. It has a great mix of materials, while allowing the art work to be the main focus. The design is open, airy and modern.”
Erica Brooks, a senior interior design student at Virginia Tech says, “LineUp is a play on words that references the linear movement, both through and up the space. The fictional couple who lives here wants a cutting-edge, connected space that reflects both the inspiration of the artists and comfort of a home. The gallery displays modern artwork, including the work of Julien Bouillon.” Brooks explained “Bouillon uses a large variety of media to include 2D drawings, 3D sculpture, and electronic videos making him a good candidate for this versatile gallery.”
Tung Nguyen from Winthrop University was the 2nd place $1,500.00 Interior Design winner. Judges for the Interior Design category included Christi Spangle, Barbour Spangle Design; June Anderson, ASID; Marilyn Russell, Design Magnifique; and Brianne Verstat, Barbour Spangle Design.
Other finalists included Angela Tournay, Forsyth Technical Community College; Hazel Change, Appalachian State University; Luke Marot, Forsyth Technical Community College; Adrienne Rogers, Brenau University; and Abigail Uhrich, The Art Institute of Raleigh-Durham.