Tia Bianchini and Caleigh Stednitz, Grand Prize Winning Design, Fauna Category
Fibers and Material Studies area students Tia Bianchini and Caleigh Stednitz were announced as the grand winners in the Fauna category and will have their design woven by the Langhorne Carpet Company. Kate Corcoran and Ashley Rodriguez Reed were announced as second place winners in the Flora category and received a cash prize.
The winning patterns, which will kick off Langhorne’s Conservation Collection, was revealed to the public last night and will ultimately be woven by the legendary Bucks County mill and sold to customers around the world. Winning teams receive cash prizes and non-profit organizations, including the Philadelphia Zoo and Pennsylvania Horticultural Society, will share in all sales proceeds for the benefit of conservation education.
Twenty teams of students representing six area colleges and art institutes submitted original designs as part of the rigorous competition that began eight months ago. Their research included site visits to the legendary carpet mill in Penndel, as well as special tours of the Zoo and Philadelphia Flower Show. Among the competition’s numerous creative and technical criteria, the teams were required to submit at least one pattern evocative of the fragile plant kingdom and another representing the world of threatened wildlife. In addition, they needed to demonstrate that their proposed carpet designs could be woven on the mill’s Jacquard Wilton looms – the gold standard of global carpet making dating back to 18th century England using hand-cut punch cards to “program” the looms. The panel of judges will also take into consideration the market appeal of the designs and input from representatives of the Zoo and Horticultural Society.
Bill Morrow, Langhorne’s President and a member of its founding family, has personally provided the nearly 50 student designers an in depth behind-the-scenes mill tour. “Every student has been intensely interested in our dedication to the time honored methods of Jacquard Wilton weaving and use of the finest wool. As one of the remaining mills of its kind in the U.S., we are as excited as the students and honored to sponsor this competition, “ said Morrow. “Every team will have a great addition to their portfolio upon graduation as a result of the competition and the winners will forever be able to boast they have their own line.”
Judges included Philadelphia decorator Bennett Weinstock, an Architectural Digest Top 100 member; New York-based designer Alex Papachristidis, Elle Décor “A List“ member, and Hilary Jay, Executive Director, DesignPhiladelphia.
Design teams represent: Philadelphia University, Tyler School of Art, Temple University, Drexel University, Arcadia University, University of the Arts, and Art Institute of Philadelphia.