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News Bites: Interior Design Student Wins REHAU Design Challenge

Posted April 23, 2015 in StudentNews BitesInterior Design

Interior Design student Mallarie Hiaeshutter has been named the winner of the second annual REHAU Leading Edge Design Challenge, a competition in which undergraduate design students create furniture concepts featuring REHAU furniture components for a chance at a $1,000 top prize.

Mallarie Hiaeshutter (right) poses with KCAD Interior Design professor Lee Davis (center) and REHAU's Robert Zeichman

This year’s participants were asked to submit designs for a retail or hospitality setting. Hiaeshutter’s curvilinear reception desk concept caught the attention of the judges with its organic, fluid design and creative use of materials. To create the illusion of movement, Hiaeshutter chose RAUVISIO crystalTM glass-design surfaces paired with the seamless LaserEdge VisionsTM in Duo-Design and Mirror Gloss edgebanding. In addition, the design’s manufacturability earned high marks from the judges.

“My inspiration came from the beauty of a winter landscape,” said Hiaeshutter. “I set out to create a piece that emulates the forms created by the cover of fresh snow. I was able to create that illusion, along with the organic shape of the desk, by combining the clear and seamless elements of RAUVISIO crystal and LaserEdge edgebanding,” she said.

Hiaeshutter's winning desk design (©REHAU)

“This desk feels both clean and complex at the same time, with a creative take on the elements of light and shadow,” said Lee Davis, associate professor of Interior Design at KCAD. “Each of the panels has a monolithic look which will be enhanced by the modernistic attributes of the materials from REHAU.”

Alison Embrey Medina, executive editor of design:retail, was impressed by Hiaeshutter’s forward-thinking design as well as the statement it makes regarding the manufacture of innovative furniture concepts. "The production of this piece may be challenging, but it is doable,” she said. “It pushes the manufacturing capabilities of today toward the future.”

A rendering of the design  (©REHAU)

In addition to Davis and Medina, the judging panel also included TC Millwork President Art Kubach.

“While the judges’ decision was certainly not an easy one, given the many talented students who competed, we are delighted to congratulate Ms. Hiaeshutter on her winning design,” said Dr. Thomas Troeger, director of the furniture solutions business division at REHAU. “Not only does it capture the modern, sophisticated look synonymous with current trends in upscale retail and hospitality venues, the creative use of REHAU surface and edging products is an outstanding example of what can be achieved with polymers.”

Hiaeshutter commented on the opportunity provided through the competition to gain exposure to real-world design challenges while thinking in new ways about materials. “I’m coming away from this experience with a strong appreciation for edgebanding, the various ways it can be applied and the creative freedom provided by an incredible range of materials, sizes and colors,” she said. “Edgebanding actually provides a foundation from which to create unique and innovative pieces with almost limitless possibilities.”

The Leading Edge Design Challenge is open to all students currently enrolled in an undergraduate architecture or design program in the US or Canada. For more information, visit http://na.rehau.com/leadingedge.