Table It Competition Inspired by Marc Newson

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.

The Judges. Photo by Kelly Turso

The Judges. Photo by Kelly Turso

Judges providing feedback to student designers. Photo by Kelly Turso

Judges providing feedback to student designers. Photo by Kelly Turso

Here are the winners!


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


Second Place: Amanda Huang, University of Pennsylvania
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


Third Place: Kevin Bogan, University of the Arts
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


Honorable Mentions (Tie): Kathryn Moy, Pratt Institute
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


Honorable Mentions (Tie): Vincent Falcone, Appalachian State University, NC
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


People’s Choice: Esli Teker, Parsons The New School for Design
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.

Jaime Derringer, Founder + Executive Editor of Design Milk, is a Jersey girl living in SoCal. She dreams about funky, artistic jewelry + having enough free time to enjoy some of her favorite things—running, reading, making music, and drawing.