IDSA Student Members Earn Top Housewares Awards

One Winner Scores Unprecedented IHA Three-Peat!

An IDSA student member has scored a record-setting win in a 2017 national competition. For the first time in the 24-year history of the International Housewares Association Student Design Competition, an industrial design student has won first, second and third place prizes for three different designs!

And that’s prompted the creation of an Outstanding Achievement Award for Dominic Montante, S/IDSA—a senior from the Cleveland Institute of Art. "Winning all three prizes still doesn't seem real," Montante tells IDSA. "It's a real honor. My school has a tradition of winners who are still remembered today, so it's a special feeling to be among their ranks. I'm also hoping the recognition will help to launch my career since I will be graduating this semester."

The annual competition, judged blindly, challenges students to redesign a current housewares product to meet the needs of the future or create a concept for a new product. Winning projects are selected for their innovation; understanding of production and marketing principles; and quality of entry materials. Among the jurors—IDSA Board of Directors Member and IDSA Midwest District Design Conference Chair Marianne Grisdale.

In recognition of his three-peat, Montante receives a $5,000 cash prize and an all-expenses paid trip March 18-21 to Chicago for the 2017 International Home + Housewares Show. His winning product concepts may be seen by about 62,000 attendees and more than 2,200 exhibiting companies from 100+ countries. 

In the tradition of his grandfather, a craftsman, Montante began drawing from the time he could hold a pen. However, “unlike other kids who drew their families or pets, I've always drawn consumer products like vacuums and cars,” he says. “When I was determining a career path, industrial design seemed like a natural extension of what I'd been doing my whole life. What interests me most is being able to make an impact through problem solving and then realize a product from just an idea—to a physical thing. It's very satisfying to see that process.”

Montante won first place for his concept, the Klima Indoor Climate System. A window-type air conditioner or heater, the Klima hangs over a window frame, providing a clear view through the window and the ability to open the window. His second place design is the Kipp Sofa/Table, a space-efficient furniture system made of sustainable materials, featuring three upholstered chairs and a table that combine into a sofa that quickly disassembles and is easy to carry by one person. Montante’s third place winner, Scelto One Coffeemaker, is designed to reduce waste.

Other first, second and third place winners will share $6,500 in prize money. Their four schools will receive grants totaling $2,500.

First place and $2,500 was awarded to Michael Laudi, S/IDSA, a senior at CIA, for Rose Plate, which helps people with only one available hand to cut food. Second place award went to Nicole Norris, S/IDSA, a senior at Virginia Tech, for her design of the Wrinklerack Compact Ironing Station, which combines a mirror, ironing board and clothes rack and is wall-mounted with a support tube that also functions as a shoe rack and includes hooks for hanging clothes and an iron storage shelf with a built-in power outlet.

Third place awards went to Daniel Lopes, S/IDSA, a University of Notre Dame senior, for Scoop Pet Food Dispenser; and Reed Fansler, a Purdue University senior, for Belay Cable Management.