Vellum/CAED Furniture Competition & Exhibition
Annual Furniture Competition
Lecture: Friday, November 3, 2023 | 4:30PM to 5:30PM
Reception: Friday, November 3, 2023 | 6:30PM to 8:30PM
Location: Ross Dress for Less in Downtown SLO
The San Luis Obispo firm Vellum Design Build and Cal Poly’s College of Architecture and Environmental Design partnered to host the 20th annual Vellum Furniture Design Exhibition, a juried competition among students of the college. This annual event, now in its 19th year, will be exhibiting hundreds of pieces. The reception will begin at 4:30PM on the 3rd of November.
“This competition provides a forum for students to expeditiously exhibit their design passions with alacrity and with a facility for craft,” said co-organizer Tom di Santo, a professor in Cal Poly’s Architecture Department. “It is amazing to see so many brilliant examples of ‘Learn by Doing’ that the students achieve in such a short period of time.”
“Vellum provides a true life-test case employing real budgets, real materials, real engagement with suppliers, fabricators and manufacturers plus real design timelines and construction schedules not typically incorporated into academic enterprise.”
Vellum Design Build, a San Luis Obispo design-and-build firm, and the College of Architecture and Environmental Design at Cal Poly team up to sponsor the annual competition that asks students to conceive and construct projects that range from tables and chairs to light fixtures, toys and other furniture design solutions.
About 195 Cal Poly students will participate. Designs must be original and fabricated by each student or team of students. Their projects will be judged on function, individuality and beauty by a panel of experts in their field.
The student or team of students who design the top project, and receive The Space Architects’ Milano Grand Prize, will get tickets to Milan, Italy, in April for the Salone International del Mobile. It’s the world’s largest trade fair that annually showcases the latest in furniture and design from countries around the globe.
The annual Vellum Furniture Competition has always been housed in temporary downtown quarters, but this year promises something different.
These include restaurants — Mama’s Meatball, Goshi Sushi and La Esquina Taqueria — bars and coffee houses — Withco Coffee, Cider Bar SLO and Joliene’s Bakery — as well as other fun establishments such as gelato from the Nite Creamery, Trio Boutique clothing, Picking Daisies quilt shop, American Shaman West hemp oil and SeaBreeze Cupcakes featuring gourmet cupcakes and other delicious desserts.
“Come for the furniture and stay for the food and libations,” di Santo said.
The Vellum competition began in 2004 as a way to inspire creative thought and challenge participants to press the boundaries of design, while offering a tangible experience and exposure to industry professionals.
"The competition seeks to not only celebrate the students’ work but also serve as a bridge between the Cal Poly student community and the larger community of San Luis Obispo," di Santo added.
We have an auspicious jury including Emiliana Gonzales from Estudio Persona from Los Angeles and Uruguay who is also the Hearst Lecturer this week. In addtition, we have Siliva Manca, who is an architect from Sardinia in Italy. She is a senior designer and project manager for SPaCe Architecture, with offices in Los Angeles, New York, Milan, Miami and Toronto. Bryan Shields, is an architect and lecturer in Cal Poly’s Architecture Department who works with FLUX Design and Andrew Goodwin Designs in the SoHi district of San Luis Obispo, and Mitch McCormick is a designer and fabricator from Paso Robles-based Deadwood Revival Design. Last but not least, we will have Kevin Vanderzel from Studio Aquarius out of Cayucos. He is a fabricator and furniture designer and past winner from the 16th annual Vellum Furniture Competition.
Past Competition Judges
A panel of judges is comprised of artists, furniture designers, architects, CAED faculty members, and laureates which have included: Monica Oller, Tom Pejic, Nitsan Tomtov, Silvia Manca, Beate Von Bischopinck, Pepe Sanchez, Joshua Aidlin, Robert Arens, Jory Brigham, Bruce Bolander, Chris Deam, TJ Esser, Eric Pfeiffer, George Garcia, Joanna Gawunder, Matthew Granelli, Tricia Hamachai, Mark Horton, Tim Kobe, Laura Joines-Novotny, Hugo Martinez, Whitney Moon, Hilary Nagler, Mark Rawson, Jonathan Reich, Larissa Sand, Jill Salisbury, Dawn Sherry, Joey Shimoda, Colin Sprenkle, Craig Steely, and Len Wujcik.
Past Competition Sponsors
The Vellum Competition and Exhibitions relies on the generosity of a number of sponsors(platinum, gold and silver) who have over the years enabled the public success of this event. Past sponsors have included: Alpha Rho Chi, Design Within Reach, Coverings, Roesling Nakamura Terada Architects, CAED, Architecture Department, Henri + Tracee de Hahn, G.J. Garner Homes, Access Compliance Consultants, Mission Community Bank, R2L, Timothy B. Becher, AIA, Chris and Arlene Connors, Studio Design Group, Architects, Inc., Curt Illingworth Architecture, garcia architecture + design, M:OME Modern Sustainable Living, Todd + Korie Newman, Jenee Arends, Eric MacSwain, CWA Studios, Gideon Hillman, NOVO Restaurant, Corner View Restaurant, Pacific Coast Lumber/Don Seawater, Daniel Lewis, 8 Inc., The Copelands, Vulpine Design Works, Sotheby's, Kreuzberg.CA Book Lounge + Coffee House, Space Architects: Enrico Como + Scott Michael Stapleton, RRM Design Group - creating environments people enjoy, and Ian Anderson: Anderson Design + Visualization
Links to Past Shows
Vellum 2020 - nineteenth iteration
Vellum 2021 - eighteenth iteration
Vellum 2020 - seventeenth iteration
Vellum 2019 - sixteenth iteration
Vellum 2018 - fifteenth iteration
Vellum 2017 - fourteenth iteration
Vellum 2016 - thirteenth iteration
Vellum 2015 - twelfth iteration
Vellum 2014 - eleventh iteration
Vellum 2013 - tenth iteration
Vellum 2012 -ninth iteration
Vellum 2011 -eighth iteration
Vellum 2010 -seventh iteration
Vellum 2009 -sixth iteration
Vellum 2008 -fifth iteration
Vellum 2007 -fourth iteration
Vellum 2006 -third iteration
Vellum 2005 -second iteration
Vellum 2004 -first iteration. Not available
Two publications by AEDPress have been released showcasing student work celebrating five and seven years of Vellum excellence.
Vellum_7: Seven Years of the Vellum Furniture Competition, a publication to document and display a small cross-section of the furniture and constructions conceived and fabricated in the context of this annual design competition held in San Luis Obispo for five years running. The Vellum Furniture Competition, now entering it’s ninth year, has been a collaborative effort between the community and the College of Architecture + Environmental Design - - most notably, the Architecture Department, architect Tom di Santo and local design-build and retail outfit Vellum Inc.
The publication is part of the Architectural Environmental Design Press (AEDPress)
Vellum_5: Five Years of the Vellum Furniture Competition, a publication to document and display a small cross-section of the furniture and constructions conceived and fabricated in the context of this annual design competition held in San Luis Obispo for five years running. The Vellum Furniture Competition, now entering it’s sixth year, has been a collaborative effort between the community and the College of Architecture + Environmental Design - - most notably, the Architecture Department, architect Tom di Santo and local design-build and retail outfit Vellum Inc.
The publication is part of the Architectural Environmental Design Press (AEDPress) and can be purchased from Lulu Marketplace (112 pages, color, paperback).