FORM 2023 winners treated to the NeoCon experience

The three winners at NeoCon Talks (Photo courtesy of Formica Canada)

The three winners of the FORM 2023 Student Innovation Competition were invited by Formica to attend the NeoCon trade show in Chicago in June; an occasion which marked the beginning of their professional journeys.

The winners included Tom-Elliott Monette from Québec, who secured the grand prize, Dario Duran Godoy, who was the second-place winner from the US, and Meaghan Maass, the third-place winner from Canada.

“The FORM Competition is more than just a platform for nurturing the creative prowess of emerging designers from North America; it serves as a wellspring of inspiration as they set forth on their professional journeys. Through their engagement with NeoCon, the victors gain a profound understanding of the extensive spectrum of design trends and the diverse array of materials, designers, and enterprises that contribute to the dynamic landscape of the industry,” said Christelle Locat-Rainville, Formica Canada’s marketing director.

During the span of NeoCon, which took place from June 12 to 14, the students were offered the opportunity to witness the award-winning creations brought to life in three-dimensional form, engage with professionals within the design community, and acquire deeper insights into industry products and influential figures.

Dario Duran Godoy (3rd place), Meaghan Maass (2nd place) and Tom-Eliott Monette (1st place) at NeoCon 2023 (Photo courtesy of Formica Canada)

Throughout their stay, the three students embarked on an architectural boat tour that unveiled Chicago’s many canals and architectural treasures and showcased the city’s allure. Their explorations also led them to the illustrious Fulton Market.

At the heart of NeoCon, the winners also embarked on a visit to the Formica booth, where they delved into the realm of novel products as well as the intricacies of design and manufacturing processes. Additionally, this experience allowed them to learn more about the company’s history as Formica commemorates its 110th anniversary this year.

Guided by the expertise of Renee Hytry Derrington, the managing principal design at Formica Corporation, the winners took a tour of the trade show, discovered the latest innovations and attained a comprehensive understanding of the manufacturing process through discussions with representatives from diverse organizations.

During the NeoCon event, the students engaged in the NeoCon Talks panel, where they showcased their creations and engaged in discussions with various members of the design community.

The students also participated in a networking event within the community and attended the IIDA Gala.

Both Canadian winners found their experience to be deeply rewarding.