Winning students announced in outdoor furniture challenge

Alexander RoseThe winner has been announced in a competition run by hospitality furniture supplier Alexander Rose to inspire students on university design courses.

The gold prize was awarded to Matt Thompson from the University of Derby, who has been offered a five-year royalty fee with Alexander Rose on sales of his design and an all-expenses paid trip to the Alexander Rose factory in the Philippines to see his winning design put into production.

Students on full-time undergraduate and postgraduate furniture and product design courses across the UK were challenged “to design either a single piece of outdoor furniture or a furniture set incorporating the Alexander Rose weave material”.

The entries were judged by Alexander Rose managing director Borge Leth and head of design Alan Morley, together with industry professionals Diarmuid Gavin, one of the UK’s leading garden designers and a Chelsea Flower Show gold medalist, and Jonathan Hindle FCSD from the Worshipful Company of Furniture Makers.

Judging took place at the Furniture Makers’ Guild in London where entries were judged according to criteria such as the rationale and creative aspect of the design and the technical explanation of the construction process in both written and visual format.

The judges also examined the originality, commercial understanding and ease of manufacturing. Ergonomic constraints and suitability for the outdoor environment were also discussed.

The silver award went to Andrew Hodgson from London South Bank University who won an all-expenses-paid trip to the International Spoga Furniture Exhibition in Köln in Germany.

Bronze was awarded to Krasimir Boshov, also from London South Bank University, who will be invited to outdoor furniture trade show Solex which is at NEC Birmingham from July 7 to 9. Matt’s winning design will also be unveiled at Solex.

The judges said: “The process of selection was certainly a challenging one. Matt’s winning design was chosen for its elegance, practicality and ‘Mad Men’ evocation of a 1950s modern mid-century theme reinterpreted in contemporary weave materials.

“Andrew’s entry was very well presented and he brought an extra layer of style and prestige to a contemporary classic design. Krasimir’s sculptural piece embodies the power of furniture to create a strong visual statement in any setting.”

Pictured from left: Judges Jonathan Hindle, Alan Morley, Borg Leth and Diarmuid Gavin

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