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ICFA Announces Richard Frinier Annual Design Scholarship

Richard FrinierThe International Casual Furnishings Association has announced the endowment of the Richard Frinier Design Scholarship to inspire students in the creation of outdoor living spaces for residential, contract and hospitality environments.

The annual scholarship will be awarded to the winner of an online competition in which college-level students will submit their original designs for outdoor living products, including furniture, textiles/materials, lighting, accessories and shade structure.

The renowned Frinier and his wife and business partner, Catherine, encourage the work of young designers “to help them bring the quality of indoor living outside and the spirit of the outdoors inside.”  His award-winning and internationally-acclaimed career of over 35 years includes the design of signature pieces that are among the most recognized and best-selling in the casual furniture industry.

“We have been fortunate to be successful in our work in this industry and believe it is important to give back to our community, specifically, the trade organization that supports us,” said Frinier. 

“The process of the contest and its outcome provides a pathway and conduit for students of design to explore the category of outdoor living products as a viable, enjoyable, profitable and rewarding area of design,” Frinier continued.

“Richard Frinier is legendary as the quintessential ambassador of the casual furniture industry, elevating the image across the globe with his colleagues, retailers and consumers. By establishing this scholarship, he and Catherine are expanding his vision and influence to reach the designers of the generation that will shape its future,” said Jackie Hirschhaut, ICFA executive director.

“We anticipate that the impact of Richard and Catherine’s generosity in funding this scholarship will go far beyond the tangible benefits to the winning students,” said Hirschhaut.

“Richard’s designs have fueled important industry and societal trends, such as ‘the outdoor room,’ ‘slow living,’ and ‘stay-cations and day-cations.’ We believe that through his involvement, the competition will spark the creativity of young designers to influence casual living trends in the decades to come. Their accomplishments will honor Richard’s legacy while supporting the mission of the ICFA to heighten interest in and desire for quality outdoor furnishings in the consumer marketplace,” Hirschhaut continued.

The annual winner of the ICFA/Richard Frinier Design Scholarship will be awarded a $2,000 stipend plus airfare and lodging for a one-night stay in Chicago during Casual Market Chicago, the industry’s premier buying event. They will also spend time with Richard Frinier, top ICFA officials and industry mentors. 

Submissions for the competition will be accepted in April 2018, with the winner announced in July.


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