Formica Canada runs an annual design competition called the FORM Student Innovation Competition, and it has been won by University of Montreal students Bénédicte Laurent and Martin Gonzalez Godoy with their “Toboom” design, a multiuse piece of furniture for children. This marks the second year in a row that the award was won by Canadian students.

Now in its fourth year, the competition invites architecture, interior design and furniture design students from across Canada and the U.S. to create furniture using Formica® Brand products. A record total of 244 entries from over 35 universities across Canada and the U.S. were submitted under the theme of “Design for the Next Generation,” which called for students to interpret their vision for a variety of post-pandemic commercial settings using products from Formica’s 2021 Specialty Collection. The winning students will receive cash prizes and the “Toboom” design will be created and showcased at NeoCon, Oct. 4-6, 2021, at the Mart in Chicago. 
“This year again, the quality of the designs and the number of entries speak for themselves! We are very proud to report that the FORM Student Innovation Competition attracted 102 entries from across Canada. In their projects, the students demonstrated a great deal of care, creativity and talent,” said Christelle Locat-Rainville, Marketing Director at Formica Canada. We are particularly delighted that students from our country distinguished themselves and won, for the second time in a row, the first place of the competition.”
“This North American competition was created to stimulate creativity and promote the talent of the next generation of architects and designers. The participation of each student is a great learning experience, and I am convinced that the winners and all the participants of this 2021 edition will be strongly stimulated by their performance.”
A jury of influential industry professionals chose the winners, the judges panel included Alda Ly, founder and principal, Alda Ly Architecture & Design, Cheryl Durst, executive vice president and CEO of IIDA, Renee Hytry Derrington, managing principal of design at Formica Corporation, Cindy Allen, editor-in-chief of Interior Design Media, Sarah Kuchar, owner and creative director of Kuchar Studio and Vern Yip, TV host, author and award-winning designer.

The top-of-class “Toboom” design

Bénédicte Laurent and Martin Gonzalez Godoy, students in The University of Montreal’s Bachelor of Industrial Design program, were awarded the top prize for jointly designing “Toboom”, a multiuse piece of furniture for children.

Toboom Designers Bénédicte Laurent & Martin Gonzalez Godoy, students in The University of Montreal’s Bachelor of Industrial Design program, winners of the Formica industrial design competition
Congratulations to Toboom Designers: Bénédicte Laurent & Martin Gonzalez Godoy

As it seems quite likely many people will continue to telecommute in the future after setting up home offices and realizing the benefits of working from home compared to commuting to an office every day, parents will want to create spaces for children that are versatile and encourage independence.

This design creates an area for children to work, play and relax, in a creative space with an absence of corners, making it safe for children and enhancing cleanliness with built-in storage. The piece’s duality can be seen in its integrated seat and writable surface for flowing creativity. It also doubles as a play space featuring a slide so kids can burn off energy. This design uses Formica® Laminate in Enamel, Solar Orange and Buff Elm as well as Formica® Writable Surfaces.

Second and third prizes:

Maria Rodriguez of Fort Worth, Texas, was awarded second prize for her “Portal Desk” design, which rethinks the design of modern workspaces. Ryan Todys, from Milford, Ohio, was awarded third prize for his “You, Me and a Tree” bench design. This design connects people to nature and is meant to welcome all with an interchanging space for a live tree, allowing for more social distancing between patrons.

Two other Canadian students receive an honorable mention:

Simon Boudreau and Marc-Olivier Desjardins from the Université du Québec à Montréal received an honorable mention for their “ILO” desk design, as did Eva Lloyd from North Carolina State University for her “LiveCycle” table design. 

ILO desk honorable mention in the Formica Industrial Design competition
ILO desk - an honorable mention in the Formica Industrial Design competition for high performance green laminates


Now you've learned more about Formica’s 2021 FORM Student Innovation Competition, for more help in choosing other types of sustainable & green countertops for kitchens & bathrooms or sustainable green building techniques in general see the pages below or visit the EcoHome Sustainable Green Building Guide Pages here.

Learn about the benefits of a free Ecohome Network Membership here.

For more information about the winning students’ designs, please visit