Formica Corporation Invites Students to Enter Third Annual FORM Student Innovation Competition

Formica Corporation Invites Students to Enter Third Annual FORM Student Innovation Competition

Future designers are challenged to create furniture designs exploring the intersection of nature and technology for the opportunity to win cash prizes and showcase work at NeoCon 2020

CINCINNATI (Sept. 9, 2019)—The 2020 FORM Student Innovation Competition invites architecture and interior design students to showcase their creativity by designing furniture pieces showcasing Formica® Brand products. As part of Formica Corporation’s greater effort to support and inspire future designers, students will have the chance to win cash prizes, national recognition and have their work showcased at NeoCon 2020. The competition is open from Sept. 9, 2019 through March 13, 2020, with winners announced in May 2020. 

For this year’s challenge, students are asked to submit a color rendering of a furniture design highlighting the intersection of technology and nature for the competition’s “Blurred Lines” design theme. Contestants must use at least three Formica® Brand products, including one (or more) from the company’s SurfaceSet® 2020 collection. Designs must be usable in both commercial and residential settings. 

A distinguished panel of industry and design professionals will judge the student submissions, and includes: 

  • Cheryl Durst, executive vice president of IIDA
  • Leanne Ford, interior designer and television personality
  • Tristan Butterfield, regional brand & retail lead at Gensler Chicago 
  • Vern Yip, award-winning HGTV designer and author
  • Renee Hytry Derrington, global design lead at Formica Group 

“Through our design research and as we evolve as a society, we’ve noticed more and more overlap between nature and technology, thus blurring the lines for design needs,” Hytry Derrington said. “This intersection is a focus for our SurfaceSet® 2020 collection, and we’re excited to how students interpret this challenge.”

The grand prize winner will receive a $2,000 cash award, and their design will be fabricated and displayed during NeoCon 2020 in Chicago in June. The second-place winner will be awarded $1,000, and the third-place winner will receive $500. The top three winners will all be invited to attend NeoCon as a guest of Formica, and will be able to network with industry professionals and get a taste of the design community. 

“I love seeing what new talent can bring to the design world,” Ford said. “Students always bring fresh eyes and a unique perspective and I can’t wait to see the creativity as they play with different textures and patterns in their designs.”

Inspired by the creativity of design icons  

The 2020 FORM Student Innovation Competition is inspired by the original iteration of this competition held in 2008, in which the company invited 10 world-renowned designers and architects including Jaime Velez, Zaha Hadid, Michael Graves, Bernard Tschumi and Massimo Vignelli among others, to create works of art from Formica® Brand products. Their designs, which ranged from domestic pieces to conceptual sculptures, were then exhibited at the Contemporary Arts Center.

The 2020 FORM Student Innovation Competition upholds the spirit of the original challenge, but now the next generation of designers are invited to express their creativity in these designs, showing attention to detail, inventive design and a unique point of view. 

Entries accepted Sept. 9, 2019, through March 13, 2020

Competition submissions can be emailed to [email protected]. For more information, including complete competition details and rules, visit

Please Note: Formica®, Formica® Surfaces. For Real®, SurfaceSet® and the Formica® Anvil Logo are registered trademarks of The Diller Corporation. 1-800-FORMICA™ is a trademark of The Diller Corporation. All rights reserved. ©2019 The Diller Corporation.  

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