A competition organised by renowned outdoor furniture firm Alexander Rose to design either a single piece of outdoor furniture or a furniture set incorporating the Alexander Rose weave material.

The Alexander Rose furniture competition for university undergraduates gives young designers an opportunity to see their ideas put into production and win outstanding prizes. Students on full time undergraduate and postgraduate furniture and product design courses across the UK were invited to put on their creative thinking caps and enter the new Alexander Rose competition to see their designs put into production. The entries were judged by Alexander Rose managing director, Borge Leth, and head of design, Alan Morley, together with distinguished industry professionals Diarmuid Gavin, one of the UK’s leading garden designers and Jonathan Hindle FCSD, from the Worshipful Company of Furniture Makers.

The Judges convened at the offices of the Furniture Makers’ Company, the furnishing industry’s charity, in London where they entered into lively and extensive discussion about the merits of each design and how closely the Students met the brief criteria. Each entry was examined in detail, with particular focus on the rationale and creative aspect of the design and the technical explanation of the construction process in both written and visual format. The Judges additionally examined originality, commercial understanding and ease of manufacturing.  Ergonomic constraints and suitability for the outdoor environment were also extensively debated.

After hours of deliberation, the three winning designs were chosen. The gold prize has been awarded to Matt Thompson from the University of Derby, who has been offered a five year royalty fee with Alexander Rose on sales of his Design and an all-expenses paid trip to the Alexander Rose factory in The Philippines to see his winning design put into production.

Silver was awarded to Andrew Hodgson from London South Bank University who has won an all-expenses paid trip to the International Spoga Furniture Exhibition in Cologne, Germany and bronze was awarded to Krasimir Boshov, also from London South Bank University, who will be invited to the Solex Exhibition at the NEC.

The Judges commented: "The process of selection was certainly a challenging one. Matt’s winning design was chosen for its elegance, practicality and Mad Men evocation of 1950’s modern mid-century theme reinterpreted in contemporary weave materials. Andrew’s entry was very well presented and he brought an extra layer of style and prestige to a contemporary classic design.  Krasimir’s sculptural piece embodies the power of furniture to create a strong visual statement in any setting. We congratulate the three winners and also thank all the other students and Universities who entered the Alexander Rose competition’.

This new competition, run by one of the leading outdoor furniture manufacturers in Europe, has been developed to encourage young designers to take up careers in industry. Working closely with Universities across the UK, the aim for the future will be to encourage young designers to engage in further live and industry-based projects that will provide them with substantial real work experience.