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Student Furniture Design Competition 2011

The MADE: In America Student Furniture Design competition is sponsored each year by the winner of the BEST: Made In America award. The 2011 award winner is Century Furniture. Each year’s award winner creates the All American Room, which debuted this year at the Washington Design Center.

The All American Room initiative was created to give America’s home furnishings industry a high profile showcase to generate interest in American made products. After its premier in 2009, it became apparent that the room could instill awareness and interest in the concept of a uniquely American design aesthetic and had value as an educational tool to inspire young designers.

American designers of the 21st century will be incorporating a far wider range of cultural traditions in their work than their predecessors. The Furniture Design Competition was conceived as a way to encourage the fusion of these varied traditions into a modern aesthetic that builds upon and enhances the elements of classic American design as expressed in the All American Room.

The competition is open to students individually or in teams currently enrolled in an accredited postsecondary design school. All interested students must submit an application letter along with proof of enrollment. Only one submission per individual or team will be permitted.

Students interested in submitting a design are encouraged to attend a special orientation session. Application materials and other resources are made available for interested participants. Those unable to attend should send in questions by email prior to the session.

Submissions are restricted to designs inspired by the 2011 MADE: In America, All America Room, as realized by Century Furniture. The design must incorporate the style of the furniture created for the room while introducing a 21st century interpretation of classic American made furniture. All designs must be producible in Century grade materials and conform to the company’s quality control production standards. The winning entry will be created by Century and selected boards may be showcased at Century showrooms and at various MADE: In America events. Dates for the competition will be announced in fall 2011 and the competition will coincide with the spring 2012 academic semester. Interested students should email

From the Washington Design Center Blog

The MADE: In America Student Design House
Posted: 21 Nov 2011 01:09 PM PST

Most student designers toil away in studio, learning CAD, drawing room plans, and designing presentation boards for imaginary clients, but their vision is never realized beyond the grade on their report card. That’s why, for the first time, The Washington Design Center and the MADE: In America Foundation are allowing teams from five area schools to practice in real life.

The Inaugural student design house opened last week, featuring the work of five teams from Anne Arundel Community College; Howard University; Montgomery College, James Madison University, and The George Washington University. Each team was mentored by a showroom in the WDC, and students were assigned to use furnishings, lighting and accessories that were made in America. 
We were stunned to see these students take what used to be the dilapidated remains of our former show house space and bring them back to glory, using only objects that were available on showroom floors — nothing was by special order or custom upholstery.
Here are the gorgeous results, all photographed by Morgan Howarth.
We’ll start with the room decorated by Howard University, which was deemed Best in Show last week by the ladies of the Congressional Club, whose spouses are current and former Members of Congress.

One of the student designers BUILT the intricate millwork and mantelpiece in four nights.
 The purpose of the Design House is to challenge young designers to interpret classic American interior design for the 21st Century, using American-made products from this year’s MADE: In America award winners: Century Furniture; Keith Fritz; Duralee Fine Furniture; Kindel; MacKenzie Dow; Brighton Pavilion and Mc Neilly. The sponsoring showrooms who carry these lines are Century and Duralee (of course); Michael-Cleary; AmericanEye; Charles Ray; and the Rist Corporation.
Anne Arundel Community College’s central space is the first that visitors enter when they come to the student design house. We love its symmetry and architecture:

Century Furniture, top winner of this year's MADE: In America awards, was the exclusive provider of furnishings for this space.
George Washington University’s team created this moody and elegant dining room — we adore the sexy chandelier from Michael-Cleary, which illuminates Keith Fritz’s gorgeous dining table (and don’t miss Keith’s star-studded mirror on the right):

The students painted the U.S. Constitution's preamble on the rug.
James Madison University students created this soothing, neutral bedroom:

James Madison University decided on a green approach; every piece chosen for this room is eco-friendly.
And the students at Montgomery College got creative in using the pre-existing stone wall from a previous design house
to incporate into a handsome office with wonderful trim detail on the ceiling:

The team used a reproduction of FDR's fireside chair (foreground) from the Rist Corporation.
The student design house is definitely worth a visit, so you can read the detailed explanations in each room as to how the team pulled the design together. And a HUGE congratulations to Howard’s team for its achievement; it is well deserved. The rooms are open on the Washington Design Center’s concourse level through Jan. 31, 2012, so don’t miss it!