Students Compete in Wood Furniture Design Competition

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ID students compete as finalist at IWF.


Three Georgia Tech Industrial Design students were chosen to compete as finalist against 47 others in the International Woodworking Fair (IWF) Design Emphasis furniture competition in August. The Design Emphasis competition is held every other year at the IWF at the Georgia World Congress Center. The competition is open to all college students enrolled in a furniture design course or program.

Under the direction of Alan Harp, furniture design instructor and research scientist, students Katie Banks, BS ID '06, designed a dresser; Sergio Gill, BS ID student, designed a chair; and Robert Szurgot, MID student, designed an end table. Banks', Gill's, and Szurgot's pieces were chosen as finalist from 270 entrants from over 40 schools and universities around the US. In the final judging, Banks' dresser was chosen as a Merit Award winner in the case goods category. 

"The Georgia Tech pieces on display were some of the best quality pieces we've had to date," said Harp. "Each year the students raise the bar a little bit more, and the competition gets tougher from the other schools. It is truly an honor to have this many pieces in the show."

This is the second consecutive year that a student in the furniture design course has placed in a national competition, and the fourth consecutive year that GT students have been selected as finalists in the competitions.

Katie Banks' Dresser: The form of the dresser is a direct product of function based on the needs of the designer. The end result was a marriage of a conventional vanity and a contemporary dresser. The piece is solid wood and is largely made from Jatoba, has accents done in Wenge, and the back is maple plywood. The dovetailed drawers are made from solid maple and maple plywood. Some CNC machining was used in the construction. The dresser is finished in tung oil.

Sergio Gill's Anthropomorphic Chair: Designed as a stylized reclined female figure, the seat utilized many different computer technologies. A female model was scanned with a full body scanner, the form was stylized in another software program, and made into machinable parts using AlphaCAM software. The seat is made of birch plywood with a tung oil finish.

Rob Szurgot's End Table: Designed in AlphaCAM 3Axis CAD/CAM, this end table features sculpted mahogany legs and Baltic Birch surfaces. Designed for shipping, the legs and upper support are attached with machine screws in threaded inserts to allow for easy assembly. The table is finished with a tung oil finish.

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College of Design

Institute and Campus, Student and Faculty
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AWPL, College of Architecture, Furniture, school of industrial design, student design
  • Created By: Leslie Sharp
  • Workflow Status: Published
  • Created On: Oct 16, 2006 - 8:00pm
  • Last Updated: Oct 7, 2016 - 11:09pm