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Students Create Award-winning Designs With Laminate

October 22, 2021

In this episode, the winners of the 2020 and 2021 Formica FORM Student Innovation Competition sat down with Chief Content Director Robert Nieminen to talk about what inspired their winning designs and the challenges and benefits of using laminate as a medium. Formica's Group VP of Design, Renee Hytry Derrington, also shares the company's passion for supporting design education and how the competition has evolved over the years.

Call for entries to the 2022 FORM Student Innovation Competition is open now until March 4, 2022.

Meet our guests:

Renee Hytry Derrington, Group VP Design, Formica Corp.

Renee Hytry DerringtonWith more than 35 years in the international design industry, Renee Hytry Derrington has worked for Kohler Co. in product design and spent the last 30 years designing products for the world’s largest hard surfacing brands. She currently leads the international design team representing Asia, Europe, India and North America at Formica Group. Blending a practical approach with an acute understanding of market trends, Hytry Derrington designs products that solve industry challenges to match a full range of design aesthetics. A brand zealot, she creates corporate trend forecasts and speaks internationally on residential and commercial trends. She has collaborated with other design experts in the field, including Abbott Miller, Jonathan Adler and Laurinda Spear to create unique laminate collections and worked with Zaha Hadid, Michael Graves and Massimo Vignelli (to name just a few) on a bespoke furniture exhibition. Notably, Renee recently developed the award-winning Reclaimed Denim Fiber and Paper Terrazzo designs, which incorporate waste from blue jeans and Formica Group’s own paper to produce laminates with a new purpose. With a degree in Architecture from UW-Milwaukee and Masters in Industrial Design at The Ohio State University, Renee lives her brands in an “all Formica and Kohler home” on Lake Michigan.

Martin Gonzalez Godoy and Bénédicte Laurent

Martin Gonzalez Godoy and Benedicte LaurentMartin Gonzalez Godoy and Bénédicte Laurent are second-year students at the University of Montréal in Québec, Canada, and are the grand prize winners of the 2021 Formica FORM Student Innovation Competition for their joint entry “Toboom,” a multiuse children’s design.

Alexandra Clement

Alexandra ClementAlexandra Clement is a student at Cégep Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu in Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu, Quebec, Canada, and the grand prize winner of the 2020 Formica FORM Student Innovation Competition for her “Origami” desk design. 

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About the author
Robert Nieminen | Chief Content Director

Robert Nieminen is the Chief Content Director of i+s and BUILDINGS media brands, and an award-winning writer, editor and design industry veteran with more than 20 years of experience in the publishing industry.