Zaha Hadid's original chair, Cirrus, which fetched US$200,000 at auction. Zaha Hadid's original chair, Cirrus, which fetched US$200,000 at auction. CREDIT: Whole Nine Yards PR

Formica Unveils Design Competition

Monday 14 March 2011, 9:55AM
By Whole Nine Yards PR

Formica has unveiled a cutting-edge design competition aimed at encouraging both experienced and emerging designers to pit their design talents against 10 of the world’s best architects.

Sales and Marketing Manager for The Laminex Group (the Fletcher Building company that represents Formica in New Zealand), Nicky Duggan, said the competition came about following a successful collaboration in 2008 between Formica US and the Centre for Contemporary Arts in Cincinnati.

“World-renowned architects were invited to design a limited collection of furniture, using Formica laminates and solid surface materials,” Nicky said.

“Ten distinctive chairs – all museum-worthy pieces in their own right - were constructed using over 420m2 of Formica product.”

Spurred on by the success of that project, Formica in New Zealand arranged to bring the impressive collection here where it will appear as the Formica Formations™ exhibition from 11-20 March at the Auckland Arts Festival 2011.

“At the same time, we also devised a competition that would allow New Zealand architects and designers to really flex their creativity and see if they could surpass what was achieved overseas.”

The 2011 Formica Formations™ competition requires entrants to submit design drawings only for a piece of sculptural furniture that would use Formica brand materials.

“The competition aims to celebrate and showcase the creativity of architects and designers throughout New Zealand, therefore, we have endeavored to make it accessible to as many people as possible.”

As a result, there are two entry categories – professional architects and designers, and emerging architects and designers. Individual and group submissions of no more than four team members will be accepted. The design drawings will be judged by a panel of three local and international design experts. Formica will fabricate the winning design from each category for display at an official awards ceremony later this year.

The winners of both categories will win the chance to have their design fabricated at considerable cost, along with the kudos of winning in their category.

“Formica has a long history in New Zealand,” Nicky said.

“It has come a long way from the Formica dining suite of the 1970s when metal legs, two-tone bench tops and vinyl chairs were the style of the day.”

“We’re eager to see what the next generation of architects and designers can do to really push the limits and boundaries of not only our product range but also how furniture is traditionally viewed.”

The closing date for submitting entries in the Formica Formations™ competition is 31 July 2011. For further information go to www.formica