Jun 14 2016 - 1:29pm

Rochester Institute of Technology industrial design students came away with a major award from the 2016 International Contemporary Furniture Fair in New York City. RIT’s Metaproject 06 booth received the ICFF Editors’ Award—Best School, which recognizes innovative designs at ICFF. Five editors canvassed more than 700 booths on two floors of the Javits Convention Center to determine this year’s winners.

“Winning this award has a major impact on our industrial design program in the positioning of RIT among our peers in design education,” says Josh Owen, professor and chair of the industrial design program. “Designers pay close attention to this metric."

Almost two dozen seniors took part in Metaproject 06, an annual interdisciplinary and collaborative design project between RIT and an industry partner, which this year was Poppin, a manufacturer of workplace furniture and supplies. Focusing on a "Work Happy" theme for milennials, students examined trends in modern offices that present challenges such as shrinking or shared work spaces; privacy needs; and standing desks.

Students designed accessories using the guiding principles of simple performance and a distilled design aesthetic, with a feasible and manufacturable solution, says Jeff Miller, IDSA, Poppin’s vice president of design. In the past six years, Metaproject partners have included Herman Miller, Wilsonart, Corning Museum of Glass, Areaware, Kikkerland and Bed Bath & Beyond.

Metaproject 06 also represented an interdisciplinary project teaming industrial design seniors with new media design, third-year students to develop a digital experience around the projects that were part of the showcase at ICFF.