Fsc_4_thumbnail_thumb_57 Comp-gallery

GOING WITH THE GRAIN: design an object using sustainable wood


Presented by The Nature Conservancy and Forest Stewardship Council - U.S. (FSC-US).
Sponsored by EcoSystems











Judging Feedback

The results are in!

231 entries from 28 countries were received for the Going With The Grain Challenge which was hosted by The Nature Conservancy and FSC-US and sponsored by EcoSystems.

Judging this Challenge were George Beylerian, Ellen Lupton, Andrew Personette, Sara Elliot and Ezri Tarazi.

The judges considered four main criteria in selecting the winner and the honorable mentions – design innovation (originality), material use (use of plywood, CNC routing, flat pack shipping and efficiency), functionality and aesthetics. You can read the Challenge brief here.

Here are some of the judge’s comments about the competition in general:
“Amazing response”
“Great competition”
“Wow – that was breathtaking.  There is so much creativity and ingenuity.”

The Nature Conservancy, FSC-US, EcoSystems and DESIGN 21 would like to thank all those who took up this Challenge and to congratulate the winner and finalists.

And the Winner is...

Uni Table

Uni Table by Charlie Davidson from Sweden takes the top prize.

The judges had this to say about the winning design: "The designer really thought about how the table would be made and assembled, including the puzzle-shaped key detail and accommodating the router bit in the shape of the cut-outs so that the table top sits flush to the legs.  The table is deceptively simple and beautifully detailed for tool-free assembly, making good use of the alpha connectors."

Davidson will receive a prototype of their winning design made by EcoSystems and a one-year membership (providing online and offline access) to Material Connexion valued at $450.

Honorable Mentions

The judging panel selected several entries for Honorable Mentions. These designers will receive a copy of Design for a Living World, the book companion to The Nature Conservancy's exhibition at the Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum in New York.

Habitat of Plywood Twigs

Habitat of Plywood Twigs by Alessandro Columbano from United Kingdom
Judges comment: "This entry is very thoughtful response to the brief and a compelling idea.  The source of the material (the forest) influences the use, creating a new kind of habitat and making a connection between the public space of the city and a forest far away."

Little Star

Little Star by Ben Huggins from United Kingdom
Judges comment: "This design is simple, clear and believable.  The designer has considered not just the final piece, but the ease with which it can be put together and even how it will be packaged."

Swollen Surface

Swollen Surface
by Brian Hamilton from USA
Judges comment: "The swollen surface concept stands out as a brilliant way to transform the flatness perception of the material into soft 3D landscape.  The wall mounted shelves are compelling as an ‘home entrance piece,' functioning as a place to put keys and the small things we would like to remember when we are out.  The efficiency of material use is also very impressive."

Notch Table

Notch Table by Brendan Ravenhill from USA
Judges comment: "This entry has a simple, structural design.  The understructure of the table is impressive and the angled table legs are a nice functional concept."

Hyperpolic Parabaloid Lounger

Hyperpolic Parabaloid Lounger by Damian Barton from USA
Judges comment: "At first glance, the piece looks impossible because the plywood won’t bend, but on closer inspection the clever design reveals all straight pieces.  Despite the complexity of the resulting design, the piece would actually be quite simple to assemble."


Wooble by Christine Yogiaman from USA
Judges comment: "A very original and delightful entry.  This was one of just a few entries that used the surface in a tactile way to create a “mini-landscape.”  The designer thought about the full potential of CNC routing."

Single panel 2, bookcase

Single panel 2, bookcase
by D. E. Sellers from USA
Judges comment: "The designer used the material in a smart way, using simple, architectural forms to create a free-standing shelf.  This design is well resolved and would really work."