Three Canadian FORM Student Innovation Competition winners attend NeoCon 2021

Three winners of the 2020 and 2021 editions of the FORM Student Innovation Competition were invited to Chicago, from October 3 to 5, to attend NeoCon.

Accompanied by Renee Hytry Derrington, Managing Principal of Design at Formica Corporation, this is the first time that Formica Canada has had the opportunity to offer such an experience to three Canadian winners of the annual FORM competition.

Martin Gonzalez Godoy and Bénédicte Laurent, winners of
the 2021 edition, with their work “Toboom”. Photo credit : Kenn. Busch

“The FORM Student Innovation Competition aims to foster the expression of talent in young North American designers, as well as inspire them at the beginning of their careers. By inviting the winners to participate in NeoCon, we want them to appreciate the breadth and diversity of trends in the commercial design world, the range of materials available, and the industry’s designers and companies,” says Christelle Locat-Rainville, Marketing Director at Formica Canada.

Alexandra Clément, winner of the 2020 edition, with her
work “Origami”. Photo credit : Kenn Busch.

Formica Canada invited Alexandra Clément (2020 winner), Martin Gonzalez Godoy (2021 co-winner) and Bénédicte Laurent (2021 co-winner) to participate in this major design exhibition, which was held from October 4 to 6, where they were able to see their respective works on display, meet many design community stakeholders and learn more about the industry’s products and companies, while also discovering Chicago and its unique architecture.

“Our trip began with an architecture-themed boat tour of Chicago, which was a fabulous way to see the city and learn more about its history and architecture,” says Martin Gonzalez Godoy. The winners then travelled to NeoCon, where they visited the Formica booth to learn about new products, design and manufacturing processes, and the company’s vision and plans. “This exciting visit helped us understand the specifics and use of the different materials Formica offers. I really appreciated the design possibilities that their innovations inspire,” says Bénédicte Laurent.

The three winners, with Renee Hytry Derrington,
participating in the I+S Design podcast. Photo credit : Kenn Busch.

The students were also invited to a Happy Hour event, during which their work was exhibited, and participate in an I+S Design podcast. “The exhibition of our works during the Happy Hour event is what I liked most. The works were very well presented, and the result was very impressive,” says Alexandra Clément. “It was a good opportunity to celebrate the design of our piece of furniture, but also a great occasion to further explain our intentions, detail our design process to interested people and receive feedback from design professionals,” says Laurent. To conclude their stay, the winners attended a celebratory dinner with the Formica team, as well as a member of the competition jury.

“I loved my stay, and I really appreciated the fact that I could share it with the other winners and meet part of the Formica team,” says Clément. “It was a truly great experience that I’ll never forget,” says Gonzalez Godoy.