Recognizing Excellence: Highlights from the Sino-Canadian Solid Wood Furniture Design Competition’s Award Ceremony
On March 3, the 1st Sino-Canadian Solid Wood Furniture Design Competition was held in Nanjing, Jiangsu province. The event was jointly organized by the Nanjing Forestry University (NFU) College of Furnishings and Industrial Design and Canada Wood China (CW China), with the support of the Consulate General of Canada in Shanghai, the Shanghai Wood Industry Association, and the Fujian Custom Home Furnishing Industry Association. The ceremony hosted 50 participants, including furniture manufacturers, award-winning students and teachers from NFU, along with representatives from academia, industry and media.
With the design concept focusing on the consumer trends of young families in China, CW China invited the next generation of furniture designers from NFU to submit designs for the competition based on wood furniture using Canadian hemlock. As Mr. Frank Li, Trade Commissioner of the Canadian Consulate in Shanghai, said in his opening speech, the Sino-Canadian Solid Wood Furniture Design Competition provides an excellent platform for the home products industry to stimulate innovation and combine industry activity with academic research. Mr. Xu Wei, Dean of the NFU College of Furnishings and Industrial Design, delivered opening remarks for the competition, which follows the brand positioning of Canadian hemlock, to allow young people to play with modern furniture designs and explore new ways to apply hemlock. Mr. Eric Wong, Managing Director of CW China, highlighted that young talent can put forward innovative ideas to promote hemlock in the furniture industry.
The competition was launched in June 2022, with applicants given six months to prepare their entries. A total of 131 design submissions were received, and after the preliminary evaluation, 27 students reached the final round. The judging panel included Professor Zhang Xi, Secretary General of Jiangsu Industrial Design Society; Professor Wu Qiong, Vice President of Jiangsu Industrial Design Society; Professor Xu Wei, Dean of the NFU College of Furnishings and Industrial Design and Professor Zhou Chengmin from NFU. They selected 6 awards of excellence, three 3rd prize winners, two 2nd prize winners and the finalist for the 1st prize. Fujian Zhangping D-road Forestry Co., Ltd, a well-known furniture company in China, processed the winning work into a finished product.
During the event, CW China invited 3 guest speakers to share their views on the current state of the wood furniture market in China, Canada’s sustainable forest management system and a technical introduction of Canadian hemlock. At the event, Professor Wu Qiong, Vice President of Jiangsu Industrial Design Society, spoke on behalf of the judging panel to congratulate candidates on the good quality of the entries. The submissions focused on real life products that were relevant to user needs, employed strong technical skills, and were feasible for manufacturing.
A second prize winner said that the wood texture of Canadian hemlock can help people feel relaxed and comfortable, and that he hoped to pass this natural beauty to every user. Another winner said that he used dried hemlock in the main part of the furniture based on the quality of its strength and performance. He felt that treated hemlock has good wear resistance and maintains a beautiful grain. Hemlock has the best specifications for softwood to be used in home furniture and is an ideal alternative to hardwood lumber, meeting both the demand for young families to have solid wood furniture and consumer philosophies on sustainability at competitive prices.
The competition provided a good platform for design students to gain experience innovating new products with hemlock, and to promote their skills to industry representatives. We expect these young designers to create more exquisite works in the future, and the participants as well as the audience of the event felt more inspired to design and create home products using Canadian hemlock in the wood furniture industry in China.