Canadian student wins first prize at the Formica 2020 Student Innovation Competition

Canadian student wins first prize at the Formica 2020 Student Innovation Competition

Four Canadian stand out in the competition

Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu, Quebec, Canada, June 1st, 2020

Formica Canada is proud to announce that two Canadian students are among the winners of the North American FORM 2020 Student Innovation Competition. Alexandra Clément, interior design student at Cégep de Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu, is the first Canadian to win the first prize of the competition and Jacob Ethier, master's student in environmental design at the Université du Québec à Montréal (UQAM), won second place. Matthew Lam and Benjamin Ma, students at the University of Waterloo in Ontario, received an honourable mention for their joint project.

This year, the FORM 2020 Student Innovation Competition received a record number of 150 submissions from more than 40 universities, cégeps and colleges in Canada and the United States. To participate, students in interior design and architecture programs were invited to submit the design of a piece of furniture under the theme “Blurred Lines”, examining the intersection of nature and technology. Participants could win one of the cash prizes and have their creation built and exhibited as part of the NeoCon 2021 event.

“We are very pleased with the enthusiasm that many students and teachers from Canada had for the FORM 2020 Student Innovation Competition. We are particularly delighted that students from our country distinguished themselves this year to obtain the two first places and an honourable mention,” said Johanne Levesque, Marketing Director at Formica Canada. “This North American competition was created to stimulate creativity and promote the talent of the next generation of architects and designers. The participation of each student is a great learning experience and I am convinced that the winners of this 2020 edition will be strongly stimulated by their performance.”

The winning designs were selected by top industry and design professionals, including Cheryl Durst, executive vice president and CEO of IIDA, Leanne Ford, interior designer and television personality, Vern Yip, interior designer and television personality, Tristan Butterfield, regional brand and retail lead at Gensler Chicago and Renee Hytry Derrington, international design lead at Formica Group.

Origami, by Alexandra Clément 
The Origami desk designed by Alexandra Clément encompasses modular art in its simplest form, epitomizing creativity without sacrificing functionality. Inspired by the ancestral art of Japan, the desk plays with various shapes and volumes to maximize its possible uses, including multiple built-in storage compartments. Featuring Layered Sand, White Birchply and Oiled Olivewood Formica® Laminate, this design creates subtle contrast through the different pattern layers. This design also nods to the raw material used in origami paper. Alexandra Clément received a $2,000 US cash award and will see her design built and showcased at NeoCon 2021, from June 14 to 16, at the Mart in Chicago.

“Alexandra’s origami desk beautifully showcases the intersection of nature and technology through its use of nature-inspired patterns and functional features,” Hytry Derrington said. “Paying homage to the thoughtful, clean and functional design of many Japanese interiors, this desk encourages a variety of uses, from a space to work to a place to share a meal or converse with others, and even keeps clutter at bay with smart organizational features.”

Post-Industrial Bookshelf, by Jacob Ethier 
The Post-Industrial Bookshelf design created by Jacob Ethier employs laser-cutting technology to create a new type of panel to add texture and color, revealing a beautiful, organic form suited to a variety of spaces. The practical bookshelf is designed so objects stored inside can’t be seen, simplifying the surrounding environment and enhancing visual appeal. Inspired by rich colors and varied patterns, the Post-Industrial Bookshelf utilizes Solar Orange, Grenadine and Clementine Formica® Laminate. Jacob Ethier received a $1,000 US cash award.

Third place was won by Jessica Reid, from Oxford, New Jersey for her “G Table” design. Inspired by harmonic and fluid rhythm while emphasizing the aesthetically pleasing nature of negative space, the table uses contrasting Black Crystal Finish, White Washed Birchply and Light Hammer-Copper Antiqued patterns. Reid is a student at Marywood University in Scranton, Pennsylvania and won a $ 500 US cash award.

Canadians Matthew Lam and Benjamin Ma from the University of Waterloo in Ontario received an honorable mention for their “Duality” design. Allison Plunkett from Marywood University also received an honorable mention for her “Imagination Bench” design.  

More information about the winning students’ designs is available at

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