Formica Corporation has announced the winners of its inaugural SurfaceSet 2016 Student Innovation Competition. The Cincinnati-based surface giant invited college students studying design or architecture from around the United States to design a commercial space using a minimum of three colorful SurfaceSet products. A total of 25 students answered its call for submissions.
The winner of the competition was Elizabeth Ickes, a student at the University of Cincinnati who designed a commercial “Farmer’s Kitchen” that could be used by local food vendors to make and sell their products. Her winning space utilized SurfaceSet’s Raw and Unfiltered palettes to add color and texture into the final piece. In her submission statement she wrote, “The overall look and feel is a response to the trend of transparency, utilizing simple, honest materials that let the food speak for itself.” Ickes won $5,000 for her submission.
Second place went to Megan Miller, a student from the University of Minnesota, who won $1,000 for her multiuse office space targeted at millennials, and third place went to Caitlin Bakofsky, a student from Philadelphia University, who won $500 for her design for a luggage retail store.
All of the students were judged based on a variety of parameters, which included submitting a color-rendering of a proposed commercial space that contained at least three SurfaceSet laminates, plus a 175-word description that touched on why color was integral to their spaces.
The judges included celebrity designer Jonathan Adler; Renee Hytry Derrington, group VP of design for Formica Corporation; Gerri Chmiel, North America residential-design lead for Formica Corporation; and Scott Dannenfelser, North America commercial-design lead for Formica Corporation.
“It’s encouraging for students to be noticed for their design work,” says Hytry Derrington. “I enjoyed seeing the work of students, because they’re our next round of customers. It’s refreshing to see how bold they are with their designs.”
Formica hopes to have future student competitions.