Innovant & NYIT Design Innovation Challenge


In the fall of 2018, Innovant and The New York Institute of Technology (NYIT) School of Architecture and Design, Department of Interior Design embarked on a product design challenge. Initially, Innovant reached out to multiple nearby programs including The New School, FIT, and PRATT to name a few. NYIT’s School of Architecture and Design’s Interior Design BFA program was selected after enthusiastic support for the competition from Dean Maria Perbellini and the faculty.


Students of the program were challenged with developing concepts for office furniture products that could enhance the user experience in today’s agile workplace. The challenge took place over the course of the 2018 fall semester, in collaboration with guidance from BFA I.D Charles Matz, (Professor Robert Allen), Assistant Dean Professor Anthony Caradonna and from Innovant’s Design Director, Bruce Wells. A visit by the students to Innovant’s flagship showroom in Manhattan officially kicked off the contest in September. In November, a mid-semester visit by the Innovant team to the NYIT campus provided guidance on their progress and a chance to infuse the students with fresh ideas and inspiration.

As sponsor of the competition, Innovant provided a jury to evaluate the students’ work in December, with prizes for the winners announced in March of 2019. 

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“All of the students’ concepts were fresh and unique to what we typically see in the professional contract furniture industry. Even if some of the ideas were too bold or fanciful to be commercially viable, the creativity presented was a breath of fresh air we all could learn from”, said Wells.

As of the writing of this post, Innovant is working with NYIT’s ID BFA students to protect one or two of the students’ designs in the hopes of developing them further and presenting them to the marketplace at NeoCon in June of 2019. A follow-up blog entry will present these design concepts if/when we are permitted to do so. Stay tuned!


Elin JohnssonComment