designext® Competition

2016 designext® Winners and Judges

2017 designext Competition

This year’s theme is titled “GEO”.

The GEO theme is a combination of natural geode stones and modern geometric shapes. Merriam-Webster defines geometric as using simple geometric forms such as circles and squares in repeated bold and sometimes intricate patterns for design and decoration. This popular design style became a significant trend this year and will continue to be seen throughout the fall of 2018.  Also, making a fashionable breakthrough on clothes, bags, sheets, wallcoverings and more have been geo inspired designs which consist of showcasing the intricate details of natural stone and geodes.

Create 6 original surface designs inspired by “GEO”. These designs are to be applied to the surface of products and presented as a collection from one of the following 4 categories:

  • WEAR
    • Apparel/Personal Accessories (fashion, scarves, hats, shoes, belts, cell-phone and electronic accessories, handbags & wallets)
  • WORK
    • Retail/Office (furniture, upholstery, floor and wall coverings, and decorative accessories)
    • Hotel (furniture, upholstery, floor and wall coverings, tabletop and linens)
    • Home Office (desk accessories, organizational products, upholstery, floor and wall coverings, curtains)
  • LIVE
    • Elements for any interior room:
      • Bedroom (sheets, comforters, curtains, floor and wall coverings)
      • Dining (table cloths, dinnerware and wall coverings)
    • Elements for any exterior room
      • Patio furniture, seat cushions, awnings, table, umbrellas, and floor coverings
  • PLAY
    • Celebration (invitations, gift bags, wrapping paper, paper plates and napkins)
    • Personal (journals, note cards, writing paper, storage boxes)
    • DIY (scrapbooking paper, stickers, rubberstamps, and quilting fabrics)



Four winners will be selected, and will be given the unique opportunity to display their project at SURTEX 2017 (May 21-23, 2017) in a designext “booth” setting. Winners will be given specific direction for their on-site presentation and will be required to create the materials for display.

In return, winners will:

  • Receive mention in a special designext press release (going to several hundred trade and consumer press)
  • Be featured in the On The Surface e-newsletter
  • Be included in various SURTEX promotional materials and the show’s website
  • Be provided hotel room in New York City during SURTEX (5 nights)*
  • Be given a daily monetary allowance (for meals) during the NYC visit
  • Be included in numerous activities at SURTEX to network and gain exposure in the marketplace. Activities include: Networking Event, introduction to members of the press and key art & design professionals, admission to SURTEX Conference Program sessions, and more.
  • Have their portfolio professionally critiqued
  • Have the opportunity to present their portfolio to SURTEX participants

Students’ on-site display, portfolio, overall presentation and the ability to maximize their participation at SURTEX will be reviewed by Show Management and judges during Show days. One student (of the four winners) will be selected to be honored the Grand Prize, prior to the close of the Show. This prize includes:

  • $1000 USD
  • Special mention on SURTEX website for one year
  • Recommendation letters to prospective employers

* Students must provide their own transportation to/from New York City. Two students will share a room, as designated by Show Management.

Jury / Criteria

The jury will review entries based on the following criteria:

  • Surface design development (i.e. hand-drawn and/or computer-generated)
  • Creativity, style and use of color and pattern
  • Potential for viability in the marketplace
  • Presentation of overall concept and surface designs

At SURTEX, the judges will review each of the four winners’ booth presentation and portfolio in order to determine the Grand Prize winner.


Professors or students, must register by November 13, 2016 using the Online Registration Form.  DEADLINE PASSED

Entries must be shipped and received by January 23, 2017.
Click here for more details about designext’s requirements, eligibility and shipping.

Entries will be judged by respected industry professionals in February 2017.  Four winners will be selected – and invited to present their designext entry, as well as portfolio, at SURTEX from May 21-23, 2017 at the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center in New York City.  At SURTEX, the same judges will review each of the four winners’ booth presentation, portfolio and design aspirations in order to determine a Grand Prize winner.

We ask that you encourage all your surface design students – in their 3rd (junior) or 4th (senior) year – to enter the competition as – it’s an ideal project to work on between now and January 2017!  You may also make the competition one of your class projects for the upcoming term. Do let us know in advance if you expect your students to submit entries into the competition by completing the Online Registration Form.

For more information about SURTEX, visit our website at Any questions, contact Rachel Adams at