Ryerson University student wins contemporary-furniture design contest


This article has been republished with the permission of Furniture Today USA.

Karunadhipathi Lihin Weera, an interior design student at Ryerson University in Toronto, has won the 2017 Contemporary-Modern Furniture Student Design competition, co-sponsored by Cliff Young Ltd. and the Educational Foundation of the International Furnishings and Design Association (IFDA).

Weera, who will soon begin his third year at Ryerson, will receive a $3,000 scholarship plus travel to New York City to present his design at the 2017 What’s New, What’s Next event on Sept. 14 at the New York Design Center.

In a release, Weera described his winning design as the “interlocking of two stools that form into a table.” Each stool, to be made of molded polymer hollowed out to lighten its bulk, would weigh just over 6 pounds and can be combined to create a table.

“I have a passion for the world of design and its unique ability to manipulate space,” Weera said in the release. “I have a keen interest in finding intricate solutions to design challenges, pushing boundaries while utilizing new forms of technology to do so.”

The winning entry will be displayed in September at the Cliff Young gallery in the New York Design Center, along with submissions from these honorable-mention winners:

  • John Barton and Ben Bridges, Appalachian State University, Boone, N.C.
  • Ornella Gorgees, College for Creative Studies, Detroit, Mich.
  • Bryan Haberstroh, New Jersey Institute of Technology, Newark

“Cliff Young is thrilled to support the next generation of furniture designers through this exciting competition,” Leslie Zarra, Cliff Young president, said in a release. “Congratulations to all the finalists, especially grand-prize winner Karunadhipathi Lihin Weera for his innovative and forward-thinking design.”

In addition to Zarra, judges for the competition were Caleb Anderson, Drake Design, NYC; Michel Boyd, SmithBoyd Interiors, Atlanta; Tori Mellott, Traditional Home magazine, Des Moines, Iowa; and Nancy Wolford, IFDA Educational Foundation.

“We had 65 entries from 24 schools and universities all over the world,” said Linda Mariani, IFDA Educational Foundation director of scholarships and grants. “So this was truly an international competition.”