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SURTEX names winner of global student competition

SURTEX, a B2B marketplace in North America, named its Grand Prize winner in the 2014 designext International Student Competition, now in its 28th year.

Taking top honors is Tori McLean, a third-year student at the United Kingdom’s Winchester School of Art, University of Southampton. She will receive the Grand Prize package of $1,000, a feature on the SURTEX website for a full year and recommendation letters to prospective employers.

“Tori McLean did an outstanding job demonstrating her passion for surface design with an exceptional entry,” said Penny Sikalis, vice president, SURTEX. “Tori and her fellow winners will benefit greatly from this experience, and it’s our expectation that it will help launch the careers of these talented, young professionals.”

The 2014 competition was themed Street Inspiration, with students submitting original surface designs inspired by their vision of street influences in the year 2020. Submissions required a collection of six surface designs within one of the following categories: WEAR, WORK, LIVE and PLAY.

McLean’s LIVE submission represented her vision of how shared living could look in 2020.  Using a range of patterned screens as space, she designed Japanese motifs inspired by the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. To create her designs, McLean used airbrushing and graffiti with laser-cut stencils to incorporate the Street Inspiration theme.

Designext judges found McLean’s talent and vision to be beyond her years and commented that her work was “prolific.” The four judges, each a highly regarded design professional, represented diverse sectors within the design and licensing industry; they were Dorothy Cosonas, creative director of Knoll Textiles and Knoll Luxe; David Laubach, director of design, Avanti Press, Inc; Bonnie Mackay, principal of BMackay Consulting; and Susanne Martinez, vice president, Design and Product Development, SFERRA Fine Linens.

The judges critiqued the portfolios of all four designext winners, who each traveled to New York City where their work was displayed before 6,000 attendees and 300 exhibitors. In addition to McLean, they included Jenny Boucher, a third-year student studying Material Arts & Design at Ontario College of Art & Design in Canada; Samantha Mast of Grand Rapids, Mich., a third-year student in the Crafts Department with an emphasis on Textile Design at the College for Creative Studies in Detroit, Mich.; and Karina Rasmussen of Pleasanton, Calif., a senior in the Fashion/Textile Design Department at the Academy of Art University in San Francisco, Calif.

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