Photo by Kelly Turso

This year, the annual Collab Student Design Competition challenged students to design a table inspired by a discipline or industry within science, technology, nature, or the arts and use the work of Marc Newson, this year’s honoree, as a starting point. Students were asked to research the source of their inspiration and to rigorously and creatively incorporate elements from it into their design, ultimately coming up with work inspired by just about everything including WWII missiles, space ships, and bicycle construction.

Ten schools participated and the competition generated 181 submissions.

This year, the judges were Jeffrey Bernett, Founder, Consultants for Design Strategy (CDS); Peter Danko, Designer/Artist/Owner, DANKO Design, Inc.; Frederick McSwain, Manager, Poltrana Frau/Cappellini; Eugenie Perret, Owner, MINIMA; and Ilene Shaw, President, Shaw & Co! Productions.

Table It Competition Inspired by Marc Newson in main home furnishings  Category

The Judges. Photo by Kelly Turso

Table It Competition Inspired by Marc Newson in main home furnishings  Category

Judges providing feedback to student designers. Photo by Kelly Turso

Here are the winners!

Table It Competition Inspired by Marc Newson in main home furnishings  Category

First Place: Justin Martin, University of the Arts
STABIL
STABIL utilizes the latest in induction cooking technology to provide a social cooking experience for its users.
Faculty advisor:  Douglas Bucci

Table It Competition Inspired by Marc Newson in main home furnishings  Category

Second Place: Amanda Huang, University of Pennsylvania
MORPH TABLE
This coffee table can be customized by folding parametric panels and triangles to create various openings. By introducing the user’s interaction during the process of shaping the table, Morph offers indefinite appearances and responds to the user’s aesthetic and functional preferences.
Faculty advisors: Ben Krone and Sarah Rottenberg

Table It Competition Inspired by Marc Newson in main home furnishings  Category

Third Place: Kevin Bogan, University of the Arts
SELF PROPELLED GUIDED WEAPON SYSTEM
This tea table references WWII missiles with three legs flowing into a singular column that represents a missile’s form. Instead of relying on heavy ornamentation as many tea tables do, it rests on a simple line. The table can be appreciated equally for its formal qualities, craftsmanship, and reference to aviation’s history.
Faculty advisor: Don Miller

Table It Competition Inspired by Marc Newson in main home furnishings  Category

Honorable Mentions (Tie): Kathryn Moy, Pratt Institute
AMPLIFIED PLAY
The inspiration for this table began with looking at orchestras and how each entity is its own individual player in a whole system — and how that is similar to the way families interact while playing board games. The table’s intent is to bring families together for game play and to amplify the experience through sounds. The shape was inspired by a combination of steel drums and space ships.
Faculty advisor:  Katrin Mueller-Russo

Table It Competition Inspired by Marc Newson in main home furnishings  Category

Honorable Mentions (Tie): Vincent Falcone, Appalachian State University, NC
CHICANE
Chicane is a coffee table inspired by bicycle construction that incorporates modern composites with traditional materials. The table is inspired by the lugs that join frame tubes together on both vintage bicycles and today’s handmade bicycles.
Faculty advisor: Kern Maass

Table It Competition Inspired by Marc Newson in main home furnishings  Category

People’s Choice: Esli Teker, Parsons The New School for Design
ReFlex
The concept of ReFlex resides in the play of reflections within its mirrored layers and its flexibility of appearance through a set of customizable styles and colors. There are two interchangeable white/black glass tops with Pop Art images and a mirror. The shapes and transparencies in play allude to a boomerang floating and curving through the air.
Faculty advisor: Joel Stoehr

Founded in 1970, Collab is a collaboration of design professionals supporting the modern and contemporary design collections at the Philadelphia Museum of Art. The student competition, founded in 1992 by PMA trustee and Collab Vice-Chair Lisa Roberts, and currently run by Collab member Roberta Gruber, gives university students the opportunity to take part in non-academic design and interact with today’s modern design leaders and other design academics.