Winners 5th Annual INNOVATION+DESIGN 2024


Best of Show – Penina Bernstein, Occasional Storage, Wenge and Brass Altar

Penina Bernstein
Wenge and Brass Altar

Penina Bernstein, Penina Bernstein Design

“The structure of this altar gives it a sense of reverence tied to its intended use as a religious object. The top floats above its base to bestow a sense of import that is furthered by the fact that its legs stand slightly proud of the cabinetry.”

Accessories – John Brogan, Reverie

John Brogan

Trinity Builders, Helena Montana

“This mirror draws inspiration from the prospector’s reverie—that last look into his gold pan when he sees both the gold flake and the reflection of his joy-filled face. It was built by bending solid quartered walnut into a complete, seamless circle, and accenting it with a bent solid curly maple ring, curly maple shelves, and hand textured brass.”

Lighting – Hasan Zaidi/ Stabb Designs, CONSTANT Pendant

Hasan Zaidi

Designed by Hasan Zaidi and fabricated by Stabb Designs for Beacon Custom Lighting

“Grounded in the essence of nature as muse, CONSTANT celebrates the elegance and unpredictability of the natural world. Its classic globe form symbolizes the perfection found in celestial orbits and echoes the innate geometry of nature. Conversely, the handcrafted, elegant shade becomes a captivating canvas, embodying the untamed beauty of nature’s asymmetry.”

Occasional Tables – Stephen Thrasher, Cooper Twist Table

Stephen Thrasher, Somerville, MA
Cooper Twist Table
“A modern twist on the ancient craft of coopering–the making of barrels and other wooden containers–this work is part of a larger effort to explore how the technology available to small woodshops can enable new ways of woodworking.”

Seating – Penina Bernstein, Walnut & Leather Chair

Penina Bernstein
Walnut & Leather Chair

Penina Bernstein, Penina Bernstein Design

“Sculpture is key to the design of this chair, pushing the boundaries of how a few curves can affect a design. Two tapered steam-bent lamination profiles are joined to create the legs. A remaining lamination was cut into quarters and used to make the top of the backrest and its bracing support. Ergodynamics also play an important role, as it is comfortable for a wide range of body types.”


Best of Show – Aidan Gough, Lighting, Maude I

Aidan Gough
Maude I

Aidan Gough, Appalachian State University

“Inspired by deep sea isopods, Maude I blends the organic with rigid, natural materials. Its gentle light creates an idyllic ambiance in the most comfortable settings.”

Seating – Sirvats Srinivasan, Chrono Timeless Chair

Srivats Srinivasan
Chrono Timeless Chair

Srivats Srinivasan, University of Houston

“Inspired by the concept of the perpetual flow of time, the chair’s form captures the essence of this enduring nature. The design process involved a meticulous combination of wood and metal, creating a cohesive and elegant structure. The chair features a C-channel skeleton beneath the seat, with grooves on the wood seats allowing the C-channel to slot in, ensuring high weight capacity and structural integrity.”

Occasional Storage – Jinquan Zhu, Moonlight Coffee Table

Jinquan Zhu
Moonlight Coffee Table

Jinquan Zhu, Auburn University

“Constructed of walnut, with no nails, the barrel structure is made by bundling and gluing. The tabletop is made of glass, and under the glass is a hand-carved moon that is highlighted with gold foil and rotates driven by a motor.

Occasional Tables – Ruihan (North) Sun, Pu Side Table


Ruihan (North) Sun
Pu Side Table

Ruihan (North) Sun, Savannah College of Art and Design

“Designed with both humans and pets in mind, this piece is inspired by the playful spirit of my beloved fur family member, Pudding. Innovative wood-bending techniques create an engaging and dynamic form. Its three looping structures ingeniously double as tunnels for pets, while the spaces between the loops provide practical storage for magazines and books.”