Formica Corp. Announces Top Three Winners of the FORM Student Innovation Competition

Formica Corp. and a panel of design judges have announced the top three winners of the FORM Student Innovation Competition. The competition provided students the opportunity to take on the original 2008 FORM challenge, where designers and architects constructed works of art from Formica Brand products; creating something to sit upon, lay upon, lean upon or play upon.

Rachel Marie Thompson is the grand-prize winner of the competition with her Deflextion design, which is a chair meant to give the illusion of movement as it is observed from every angle and uses three different Formica Laminate designs, Bright White, Graphite Grafix and Black. Kimberly Wheeler’s Carrara Bellis design took second place, and Sara Camacho’s Cebra Chair took third. The top three students all attend Michael Graves College at Kean University.

“When creating Deflextion, I was determined to seek out a way to create a curvature form in a unique way,” Thompson says. “This design was inspired by pieces that were created with laser-cutting techniques and origami forms.”

Submissions from around the U.S. were judged by Melodie Leung from Zaha Hadid Architects, Rob Van Varick and Donald Strum from Michael Graves Architecture & Design, R. Roger Remington from the Vignelli Center for Design Studies and Rochester Institute of Technology, Raphaela Platow from the Cincinnati Contemporary Arts Center and Renee Hytry Derrington, global design lead at Formica Group.

“Having been involved in the first competition in 2008, I enjoyed reviewing the range of student design proposals,” Leung says. “These proposals reminded me of the creative potential of working with Formica Brand products.”

The Contemporary Arts Center in Cincinnati, where Formica Corp. is headquartered, will run an exhibition until April 8, featuring the winning student’s fabricated design, renderings of other finalists’ designs, and works by Massimo Vignelli, Michael Graves and other architects from the original FORM competition.

“We are thrilled to give the next generation of architects the opportunity to share their work,” Hytry Derrington says. “The quality and thoughtfulness of the designs submitted to the competition was astounding, and makes us excited for the future of design.”

The FORM Student Innovation Competition was open to college students across the U.S. and Canada. Entries were judged on their use of Formica Laminate colors and patterns, overall design aesthetics, the intersection of design and function, and the project statement submitted by each student. The competition awarded a total of $3,000 in prize winnings to the top three finalists. More information about the winning designs is available online.

Details about the 2019 FORM Student Innovation Competition will become available online later this spring.

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