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Cinde W. Ingram

Design Excellence Update

ICFA opens competition to nonmembers

Quite a few changes are in store for the 2013 Design Excellence Award competition.
     International Casual Furnishings Association members will no longer be limited in their number of entries. For the first time, nonmembers will be allowed to enter their product designs, but will pay a higher entry fee than members.
     Furniture categories have been restructured as well to reflect the product's intended use rather than the materials used to create it.
     "We're essentially moving from more of a raw material focus to a product function focus," ICFA Executive Director Joe Logan said. "The new categories are: dining or bar table, dining or bar chair, chaise lounge, lounge seating - cushion or non cushion. We also created a separate category for heating/fire pits, in light of the growth of the product segment many of our manufacturers are offering now. Our remaining categories are shade products, fabric, outdoor lighting, outdoor carpeting/rugs and flooring, and complementary casual."
     The judging process will return to a panel of retail and design experts meeting in Chicago on Sept. 5 to select winners of both the categories and Lillian B. Winchester Best of Show rather than online voting by ICFA members. "We also will be changing the mix of the judges slightly to include more retailers," Logan said.
     Category winners will be notified shortly after the judging. "We will present the awards in their showrooms the first day of the market so manufacturers can let their customers know that they have won," Logan said.
     "We will continue our entry fee of $100 per entry for ICFA members," he said. "We will be opening the competition to non-ICFA members, but the fee has been set at $500 per entry. The opportunity to participate in the competition is a strong membership benefit for ICFA manufacturers."
     The winner of the Lillian B. Winchester Best of Show Award will be announced on Thursday, Sept. 19 at the Field Museum during the ICFA Awards Gala.

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