SAN ANTONIO — The International Interior Design Association (IIDA) announced the first Annual 2013 EdSpaces Innovation Award winner earlier this month at the 2013 EdSpaces trade show in San Antonio. The competition recognized manufacturers and designers for excellence in product design for the learning environment, and this year’s Best of Competition honored Sedia Systems for its JumpSeat product.
“The IIDA does 12 product competitions in other industries,” said Jim McGarry, president and CEO of the National School Supply & Equipment Association, which hosts the EdSpaces trade show, “So we thought [this award] would be a good addition for the interior design community to be awarded.”
The judges for the award consisted of IIDA members: Stasia Czech, senior associate and interior designer for Columbus, Ohio-based NBBJ; Hillary DeGroff, IIDA, LEED AP, ID+C, associate for Chicago-based Perkins Eastman; and Stacy Reed, IIDA, LEED AP, ID+C, senior interior designer and project manager for Austin, Texas-based Gensler. The products were judged based on several different categories that helped exemplify innovation.
“The products were judged on innovation as well as the actual design elements that were used,” McGarry said. “We wanted to make sure that the products they are recognizing are well designed and very functional. The fact that the manufacturer could demonstrate sustainability, for instance, was taken into consideration.”
“Overall, the EdSpaces Innovation Award submissions showed obvious excitement and passion,” Reed said in a statement. “In making our selections, we considered innovative design and out-of-the-box thinking. Sedia, the Best of Competition winner, took a simple concept and married it with beautiful design and function.”
More than 50 products were submitted, which McGarry said exceeded his expectations. At the conference, several manufacturers spoke with him about products in the pipeline for next year’s award, which created a sense of excitement and encouraged the organization to continue to include the innovation award in the trade show going forward, he said.
McGarry said there are perceptions in the marketplace that there are a lot of cheap and poorly designed products being used. This competition, however, gives the industry the chance to celebrate the innovations that are taking place and gives architects options to facilitate the different learning environments they’re trying to create.
“The award highlights the fact that there is innovation happening within the products going into the education environment,” McGarry said. “The education environment is changing rather dramatically. By having an awards competition, it helps spur on the different manufacturers to get a little more creative in terms of products and in turn gives architects more options as they look to create future projects.”
In addition to Sedia Systems’ JumpSeat winning Best of Competition, the 2013 EdSpaces Innovation Awards awarded several other interior products in their specific categories. Those products include:
Manufacturer: Tandus Centiva
Product: HalfTone Hybrid Resilient Flooring
Manufacturer: MooreCo Inc.
Manufacturer: Whitney Brothers
Product: Whitney Plus Chair
SEATING – CLASSROOM
Product: Quanta HD
SEATING – FIXED
Manufacturer: Sedia Systems
SEATING – LOUNGE