For the past seven weeks, 15 Parsons product design students have been working under the direction of noted designer and Parsons alumna, Andrea Ruggiero, putting together the “Wasteless” exhibition being showcased at New York’s International Contemporary Furniture Fair (ICFF).
The basis of the competition was to convert leftover scraps of Poltrona Frau leather into luxury accessory pieces in an attempt to maximize the potential of the material and emphasize Poltrona Frau’s Zero-Waste Design initiatives.
On Friday, the students presented their projects to a panel of judges that consisted of Federico Materazzi, executive vice president, Americas, Poltrona Frau; legendary designer Massimo Vignelli; Metropolis editorial director Paul Makovsky; Parsons Interim Product Design Director Mark Bechtel Ruggiero; and Sara Gobbo, Senior Marketing Manager for the Poltrona Frau Group.
After much consideration, the panel announced the three winning designs at a cocktail reception held at the Poltrona Frau showroom in Soho:
Jenny Hsu was awarded first place for her design “Piqnique,” a charming woven case for meals on the go that doubles as a luxurious leather placemat.
Yuna Kim and Benjamin Billick came in second and third respectively for their designs, "Miovino" leather wine glass tags and "Tuft" candleholders.
Unlike previous years, the judges conferred an honorable mention to Noemi Szalavari, whose "Spirale" vase possessed tremendous poetry and potential, but needed further development.
All 15 of the student designs were displayed at the Poltrona Frau showroom in Soho during ICFF. The three winning designers will visit the Poltrona Frau factory in Italy this summer, where they will work with the master craftsmen to fabricate prototypes.