ISFD Announces Expert Panel of Judges for 5th Annual INNOVATION + DESIGN ™ Competition 

Domestic and international maker/designer and student submissions due by December 20, 2023

High Point, NC, Dec. 5, 2023 — In celebration of the 5th annual INNOVATION + DESIGN event the International Society of Furniture Designers® (ISFD) is proud to announce a panel of distinguished industry professionals to serve as judges. The judges will review and evaluate the competitive maker/designer and student entries to name the INNOVATION + DESIGN 2024 (I+D) finalists and winners. The exhibit showcasing the finalists’ entries will be open at the American Home Furnishings Hall of Fame, 311 S. Hamilton, High Point from April 4-17, in conjunction with Spring 2024 High Point Market. The winners will be announced at the Meet the Designers reception on April 14. Entry deadline is December 20, 2023.

“Each year the INNOVATION + DESIGN competition and exhibition, now in its fifth year, has grown and gained more awareness with designers, makers and industry experts” said ISFD’s executive director David Blair. “Our panel of talented judges is testimony to that. Their diverse backgrounds include a mix of professional woodworkers, museum directors, furniture designers, teachers, lecturers, and writers. We would like to recognize and extend our sincere appreciation to them for taking their time to review the INNOVATION + DESIGN 2024 entries to select the category finalists and winners.” The five professional and student categories the judges will evaluate are occasional tables, occasional storage, lighting, dining room furniture, and accessories.

The INNOVATION + DESIGN competition and exhibition is a furniture industry sponsored juried competition designed to acknowledge professional designer/makers who create their own products, and the next generation of serious woodworking students who are anticipating a career in the custom wood and related home furnishings industries. “We enjoy seeing the outstanding quality of the student entries and highly encourage them to enter,” Blair added. “In many cases being a student finalist or winner has helped launch their careers.” 

The 2024 INNOVATION + DESIGN judges are:

Scott Grove is a teacher, author and seasoned woodworker known for his layers of artistic expression and unconventional techniques. He is excited to share his 45 years of design and business experience along with raising the level of craftsmanship awareness as he pushes aesthetic and fabrication boundaries. Grove worked as studio director for the world-renowned furniture maker Wendell Castle, has received an unprecedented four Veneer Tech Craftsman Challenge Awards and pioneered several alternative veneering techniques among other notable accolades.

Dr. Paul Baker is the executive director of the Contemporary Art Museum in Raleigh, NC as well as being a professor of history in the Department of History and Political Science at North Carolina A&T State University. Baker presented his research on classical design during the Federal Period and 18th/19th century African American cabinetmakers at the North Carolina Museum Consortium and the International Association of Appraisers.

Taylor West is a partner at West Design Group studio in High Point, where he works with his creative team to develop a wide range of furnishings found in U.S. retail outlets. He built the foundation of his company’s work as a student of historical architecture and traditional decorative elements at Kendall College of Art and Design. In addition to designing furniture, he works with industry partners to develop new manufacturing processes. Plus, with his industry partners, he works to develop the next generation of manufacturers and designers by bringing new industrial-level manufacturing to start-ups and small companies that would not otherwise have access to scaled manufacturing.  

See Also

Megan Fitzpatrick is a teacher, woodworker and editor at Lost Art Press as well as former editor of Popular Woodworking. When she is not at the computer or teaching, Fitzpatrick is building furniture alongside Christopher Schwarz, publisher at Lost Art Press. In addition to making custom furniture, teaching, and writing about woodworking, she is restoring a circa 1905 four square in Cincinnati’s Northside neighborhood.

Wendy Maruyama is known as a furniture maker, artist, and educator who has been designing and crafting innovative works since 1975. She has exhibited her work nationally and internationally for more than four decades. As an educator, she taught in the Woodworking and Furniture Design programs at California College of Arts and Crafts and San Diego State University. She has been featured in multiple publications and has delivered lectures and workshops around the world.

About ISFD

The International Society of Furniture Designers (ISFD) is an association of professional and student furniture designers in residential and contract furnishings and accessories. Its mission is to promote and advance outstanding design and to elevate and support the furniture designer through networking, mentorship, and professional development opportunities. Its Pinnacle Awards® recognize the very best in furniture design each year, and its INNOVATION + DESIGN awards promote the outstanding work of designer–makers. Visit for more information about the organization and its programs, or follow it activities on Instagram, Facebook, YouTube,LinkedIn and Twitter.

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