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News Bites: Furniture Design Alum Wins Bienenstock Furniture Library Design Competition

Posted March 31, 2014 in News BitesFurniture Design

KCAD alum Chris Eitel (Furniture Design, ’13) has won the 2014 Bienenstock Furniture Library Design Competition, taking home a $10,000 scholarship and a membership to the American Society of Furniture Designers.

Alum Chris Eitel (credit: Chris Eitel)

The competition challenged students from around the country to design an original cocktail table that married exceptional aesthetics and innovative functionality while also remaining fiscally feasible and compatible with the constraints of mass production.

Initial sketches of Eitel's winning design (credit: Chris Eitel)

Eitel’s winning design features three interlocking Lucite panels that house a beautifully veneered burl walnut storage box. Thanks to the translucence of the Lucite panels, the box appears to float, and its unique construction hides both the hinges and the lift stay from view. Ultimately, the cleverness of the design – its material selection, construction, and appearance – won the judging panel over.

A final rendering of Eitel's winning design (credit: Chris Eitel)

In crafting the piece, Eitel turned his infatuation with the cantilevers and the structural aesthetics of Frank Lloyd Wright into inspiration.

“I began with a design inspired by the mid century modern architect,” he said. “As I explored my design through ideation, I became more interested in the idea of a cantilever suspending itself in space. This idea of suspension became the focal point of further ideations and ultimately my final design.”

Eitel currently works as a personal design assistant to the renowned furniture designer Vladimir Kagan. He will be awarded the $10,000 in scholarship funds at the 2014 High Point Market, the largest home furnishings industry trade show in the world.

To see more of Chris Eitel's work, visit eitelstyle.com.