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FORM 2023 student innovation competition

FORM 2023 student innovation competition

The North American competition invites interior design and architecture students to share interpretations of maximalism in furniture designs

Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu, Québec, Canada, September 6, 2022 — Formica Canada today announced the opening of the 2023 FORM Student Innovation Competition. This annual competition invites architecture and interior design students in Canada, the U.S. and, new this year, Mexico, to showcase their creativity through original furniture designs that feature Formica® Brand products.

This year’s challenge asks students to submit a color rendering and project statement for a furniture design that stems from their interpretation of maximalist design. The “new maximalism” revolves around maximum color, painterly print and rich textures. It allows a space for expressing individuality and unique perspectives. Students are asked to use their creativity when defining what maximalism means to them, which could be furniture with multiple patterns, unique architectural shapes or bold, saturated colors that draw the eye.

Student submissions must include three or more Formica® or FENIX™ Brand products, including at least one from the SurfaceSet® 2022. They will have the chance to win cash prizes and North American recognition and have their work showcased at NeoCon 2023. The competition is open from Sept. 1, 2022, through March 6, 2023. A distinguished panel of industry and design professionals will judge the student submissions and the winners will be announced in April 2023.

“The 2022 edition of the competition attracted an exceptional group of Canadian students who distinguished themselves by a record number of participants, but also by the creativity and quality of the designs submitted,” said Christelle Locat-Rainville, Marketing Director at Formica Canada. “We can’t wait to see how they will interpret maximalism and to discover their creations”.

The grand prize winner will receive a US $ 2,000 cash award and their design will be fabricated and displayed during NeoCon 2023 in Chicago. The second-place winner will be awarded US $ 1,000 and the third-place winner will receive US $ 500. The top three winners will also be invited to attend NeoCon 2023 as guests of Formica where they will have the opportunity to network with industry professionals and discover the design community.

An exceptional group of Canadian students in 2022

In 2022, two Canadians, Christina Vogiatzis from the University of Waterloo and Julienne Bernier from Georgian College won 2nd and 3rd place in the competition. First place was won by Sarah Dezember and Wenhan Zhang, from the School of the Art Institute in Chicago. The students, who attended NeoCon 2022 as part of their trip to Chicago that allowed them to visit the exhibition, meet members of the design community, and tour the city, found the experience extremely enjoyable and rewarding. “I am very grateful to have been able to participate in this trip. When I registered for the competition, I had not realized the magnitude of this experience. I had never heard of NeoCon before and could not have imagined the richness of the activities I took part in on this trip,” says Sarah Dezember, who strongly recommends that students take part in the competition.

To learn more about the winners of the last edition, click here.

Inspired by the creativity of design icons

The FORM Student Innovation Competition is inspired by the original iteration of this challenge held in 2008, when 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 in Cincinnati.

In the spirit of the original challenge, the 2023 FORM Student Innovation Competition invites the next generation of designers to express their creativity in these original furniture designs, showing attention to detail, inventive design and a unique point of view.

Entries accepted Sept. 1, 2022, through March 6, 2023

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

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