Ryerson Student Wins 2017 Contemporary-Modern Furniture Design Competition

Press Release, June 6, 2017

This press release is submitted and shown here in its original form, unedited by Furniture Today.

New Bern, NC— A design student at Toronto's Ryerson University has won the 2017 Contemporary-Modern Furniture Student Design competition, co-sponsored by Cliff Young, Ltd., and the nonprofit Educational Foundation of IFDA, the International Furnishings and Design Association.

The award winner, Karunadhipathi Lihin Weera, will receive a $3,000 scholarship plus travel to New York City to present his design at 2017's day-long "What's New, What's Next" event, September 14, at 200 Lex, the New York Design Center.

"I have a passion for the world of design and its unique ability to manipulate space," says the competition winner soon to begin his third year studying interior design at Ryerson. "I have a keen interest in finding intricate solutions to design challenges, pushing boundaries while utilizing new forms of technology to do so."

Hailing from Sri Lanka before moving to Canada in 2008, Lihin describes his winning design as the "interlocking of two stools that form into a table," which means it's essentially a triple-purpose project. Each stool, to be made of molded polymer hollowed out to lighten its bulk, would weigh just over six pounds, thus could be moved about easily or combined, creating a table.

The 21-year-old student calls his winning project "dual" and looks forward to displaying it next 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, from Appalachian State University, Boone, NC.

• Ornella Gorgees, from the College for Creative Studies, Detroit, MI.

* Bryan Haberstroh, from the New Jersey Institute of Technology, Newark.]

"Cliff Young is thrilled to support the next generation of furniture designers through this exciting competition," says Leslie Zarra, president of the competition's co-sponsor. "Congratulations to all the finalists, especially grand-prize winner Karunadhipathi Lihin Weera for his innovative and forward-thinking design."

Judging this competition were Caleb Anderson, partner in Drake Design, NYC; Michel Boyd, president of SmithBoyd Interiors, Atlanta; Tori Mellott, senior design and markets editor, Traditional Home magazine, Des Moines, IA; Leslie Zarra, CEO, Cliff Young, Ltd., NYC; and Nancy Wolford, Ph.D., advisor and past chairman, IFDA Educational Foundation.

"We had 65 entries from 24 schools and universities all over the world,"

reports Linda Mariani, IFDA Educational Foundation director of scholarships and grants. "So this was truly an international competition."