Archive Mode. Call 2021 ISFD INNOVATION + DESIGN ended on 2/14/20, 11:59 PM. Call settings are read only. See Current Open Calls



Innovation + Design is a furniture industry-sponsored competition intended for professional Maker/Designers and the next generation of serious woodworking students who are anticipating a career in the wood and related industries. The contest is open to professional Maker/Designers and students in North America.  




  • Full-time, degree, diploma or certificate seeking students, in an accredited post-secondary woodworking or related program (Post-secondary schools include colleges and universities as well as trade, art and union apprenticeship schools.)
  • Part-time, degree or certificate seeking students, in an accredited post-secondary woodworking or related program who are transitioning into a career in woodworking or design.
  • Students must be at least 18 years of age by July 17, 2019.
  • All students, including those who have graduated, must have the support of their instructor and school where the work was completed.


  • Those that make their living (or substantial income) from woodworking and/or design careers.


  • Only one person may submit each entry.
  • Student Entries are restricted to twenty (20) per school and two (2) per student. 
  • A student may submit a maximum of two (2) projects, but must complete a separate submission for each project.
  • A Professional may submit a maximum of two (2) projects per category.
  • Projects must be composed of at least 50% wood or wood composite, except for pieces in the seating category which may have a higher ratio of material.
  • Project must have been built between January 2018 and February 2020; projects must not have been previously entered in any other national competition.
  • Project construction must be complete at the time of entry. The project may be lacking the finish coating. If selected as a finalist, the project must be completely finished in time for shipment to the High Point Furniture Market (approx. February 24, 2020). 
  • Projects may be entered in only one category not multiple categories.
  • If you are submitting a prototype, it must be fully functional and finished.
  • All entrants are expected to have created their own design and plan of procedure.
  • Glass components must be tempered and properly secured when assembled (e.g., may not be “perched” unsecured as a table top).
  • Students and professionals must disclose if they have used manufactured parts or if they have involved any other persons or companies in their process (such as for upholstery, veneering, metalwork, turned pieces, instrument components, etc.)
  • ISFD®reserves the right to limit the amount of entries weighing over 400 pounds due to space and shipping constraints.


The entry categories are as follows:
  1. Seating - Includes chairs and other seating pieces such as ottomans, benches and settees. Piece may be upholstered. Comfort, stability and aesthetics are primary. NOTE: Seating pieces must function as such. Judges WILL test the strength of joints by sitting on chairs (however, general public access to all pieces on display during the High Point Market will be restricted). 
  2. Occasional Tables - Includes functional, decorative occasional tables, stands. Emphasis is on design integrity, craftsmanship, joinery, and aesthetics.
  3. Occasional Storage - Includes occasional furniture whose primary function is storage. Included are wall units, étagères, curio cabinets, or movable storage intended for home use. It does not include entertainment or home theater furniture. 
  4. Bedroom Furniture - Includes bedframes, shelving and storage systems, dressers, desks, cabinets.  Choice of materials, construction methods and joinery will be considered.
  5. Dining Room Furniture - Includes dining, counter or bar table, side chair, arm chair, sideboard, credenza, server, china.
  6. Accessories - Anything Goes! No restrictions on style, materials or percent of wood used. Any home furnishings accessories that are floor standing (sculpture, large planters or vases, screens, pedestals, carts, etc.). 


  • Judging is done by panel of ISFD board members and professionals representing various sectors of the industry.  All entries are reviewed by the judges prior to the April 2020 High Point Furniture Market to determine the finalists to be exhibited at the show. Judges reserve the right to reassign an entry to a different category if they deem it appropriate.
  • The Judging Process:

  1. Judges receive anonymous online submission consisting of images and the general Information requested by the online entry form.
  2. Judges score projects on a scale of 1-5 for each of the 5 criteria listed below. 
  3. Scores are tallied and projects with the highest scores within their category are selected as finalists.
  4. Finalist projects are judged in person at the High Point Furniture Market on a scale of 1-5 for the criteria below.
  5. Scores are tallied and projects with the highest scores within their category may be selected as winners as agreed upon by the judging panel.
  • Judging Criteria:

  1. Design innovation on original pieces; or quality of execution of a known style or variation.
  2. Craftsmanship of the piece including construction quality, material choice and use, detailing, sanding quality, finishing quality.
  3. Functionality, stability, comfort, and if applicable manufacturability and marketability. 
  4. Construction techniques, appropriateness of the technique, joinery, lamination veneering, or upholstery.
  5. Aesthetics, scale, proportion, balance, rhythm, emphasis and unity.


  • Each Entrant may only win one overall prize package.
    • Best of Show $1,500
    • Second Place $750
    • Honorable Mention (Given at the discretion of the judges) $250
  • Each Entrant may only win one Category prize package. 
    • Category 1st:  $500
    • Category 2nd: $250
  • Judges reserve the right to skip an award level or category if they so choose.
  • All Professional finalists will receive a certificate of merit and will be in the Maker/Designer category of the 2020 Pinnacle Awards®.
  • All Student finalists will receive a certificate of merit and will be entered in the Student Pinnacle Award®category of the 2020 Pinnacle Awards®.

Entry Instructions

  1. Professionals and Students must Register Online here at Artcall and Create a User Profile.
  2. After a User Profile is created, log back into the Artcall website. Once you are logged in, click on the Add New Submission button. Next choose either Seating, Occasional Tables, Occasional Storage, Bedroom Furniture, Dining Room Furniture or Accessories. Type in the name of your project in the Title section. Type in the Dimensions of your project in inches and the Project Weight of your piece in pounds. 
  3. Professionals and Students must fill in the online request for a statement about their piece. The response should include but not be limited to the following points:
    1. What was your inspiration for this piece? OR If the piece is a reproduction, explain whether your intent was to make an authentic reproduction or if you have intentionally changed some details?
    2. What were your project goals?  Did you use a unique process, design element, or construction method?
    3. What type of wood(s) did you use? What wood products did you use? What type of finish did you use? (or intend to use if finish coat is not yet applied at time of entry)
    4. Did you use any special equipment, design software, jigs, or hardware? Were any of these new to you?
    5. What is the intended market or client for this product?
  4. Photos: Upload four (4) photos of the completed project using the Add Attachment button on the Add Entry Attachments page of the submission. Three (3) from different views plus one (1) detail shot. Upload these photos as JPEG files. Note: Preliminary review by judges is heavily reliant on the photos. It is to your advantage to submit the best quality possible
  5. Construction Photos/Documentation: Upload at least one (1) additional image showing the project during construction, or project plans, drawings, or working sketches. (Judges will not score based on the quality of construction documentation, but will use them as reference). If submitting photos, crop or remove people from the images.
  6. Only complete submissions will be accepted.  You may edit your answers and/or submission photos and documents at any time until the February 14, 2020 deadline. After the deadline no submissions or changes will be permitted. 
  7. The Entry Fee is $25.00 per entry.
NOTE: You should have five (5) total attachments in your submission.


  • February 14, 2020: Application Deadline
  • February 25, 2020: Finalists notified
  • February 28-March 13, 2020 Period for coordinating shipping arrangements to High Point Furniture Market location in High Point, NC 
  • March 13, 2020: Your piece must have arrived to the High Point, North Carolina Location
  • March 14 - April 3, 2020 Photography will be completed by INNOVATION + DESIGN Photographers
  • April 23, 2020: Final on-site judging
  • April 24, 2020 Exhibition Opening Ceremony and “Meet the Designer” event 5:30 – 7PM; winners announced.
  • April 25-29, 2020: April High Point Market; Finalists’ projects on display  

Entry Process Tutorial

Here is a quick video tutorial you can watch to help you with the submission process.

Questions? Contact John Conrad at (336) 307-0999