We are delighted to announce that the winning design is The Oxford Shelves – designed by Ellisha Willis, a favourite with all the judges – well designed, well presented and with good supportive information and great potential as a retail piece. Ellisha based her piece on streamlining, with the main focus on material exploration. The judges were particularly impressed by its simple but timeless design, and really liked the combination of the leather and timber. Whilst the design is simple it has great visual impact, with the expressed joints being a real feature.

One of the competition’s criteria was innovative use of the CNC, which Ellisha has utilised both within the construction to enhance the strength of the shelving and decoratively to create detail where the dowels meet the horizontal oak and leather shelves. A simple but understated mix of materials enhances the aesthetics of this piece.

The students were given a relatively open brief to design a domestic shelving/storage system but with a clear indication of the criteria that should be considered and the information that should be provided to support the submission. We wanted to put the students in the position they would be in in industry, designing to a brief and with consideration of processes and manufacturing costs, with a view to retail.

David, one of the Directors at Touch Design Group and one of the judges, said “it’s been a great experience and we have really enjoyed running this competition and judging the entries. As our first ever competition it’s been very successful, and we hope to do this annually in a bid to highlight the talent of many young designers and to give them some insight into working within the furniture design industry. The students were given a relatively open brief to design a shelving/storage system but with a clear indication of the criteria that should be considered and the information that was to be provided to support the submission.

Many students met the brief, and the submissions were very interesting – designs were presented with a high standard of technical and presentation drawings.  The supporting information was where we found some of the submissions lacking and some students, although they had come up with good designs aesthetically, the technical information just wasn’t there. On the panel we used a multitude of criteria and Ellisha Willis’s Oxford Shelves was unanimously voted the overall winner. The design has great potential and scored highly on the innovative use of the CNC in construction and decoration, the detailed supportive information as to costings, technical details and drawings were also very good.”

Ellisha wins £500, the option to spend 4 weeks at Touch Design Group as an Intern over the summer and Touch Design Group will be making The Oxford Shelves.

In second place is Toren Storer with Plugg. Toren explained that the motivation for his design was the exploration and use of different materials within furniture to produce a unique industrial yet homely design aesthetic. He wanted to create a contemporary and functional shelving system for within the home that could be arranged and customised by the user at any time to meet the demands of the living space and the items on display/stored. Toren wins £300.

In third place –Lambo by Cara Findlay a domestic storage unit with an accentuated geometric style, featuring CNC textured drawer fronts and a laminate Formica finish. Cara wins £150.