Vellum/CAED Furniture Competition & Exhibition
Annual Furniture Competition
Opening Reception: Friday, November 1, 2019 | 6:30PM
Open Viewing: Saturday, November 2, 2019 | 10:00AM to 5:00PM
Location: In and Around the Creamery Marketplace at 570 Higuera Street just west of Nipomo Street
Nearly 200 Cal Poly architecture students will compete for a trip to Milan, Italy, at the 16th annual Vellum/CAED Furniture Design Exhibition in downtown San Luis Obispo on Nov. 1-2.
A reception will be held starting at 6:30 p.m. Friday, Nov. 1, at The Creamery Marketplace, 570 Higuera Street. Entries also will be on display to the public from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 2.
“This competition reconfirms the notion that students can seek validation in their work through the design and fabrication of small-size, full-scale realizations to refine their design language and to test out body-scaled use programs such as seating, lighting and tables,” 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 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.
The furniture will be primarily set up in the former Bikram Yoga Studio in The Creamery, but pieces also will be interspersed outside between the courtyard and more than a dozen businesses.
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.
Judging this year’s event will be: Monica Oller and Tom Pejic, architects and product designers from Los Angeles; Nitsan Yomtov, a designer from the Pacific Northwest, who as a Cal Poly undergraduate in 2005 was the grand prize winner at the second annual Vellum competition; Siliva Manca, senior designer and project manager for SPaCe Architecture, with offices in Los Angeles, New York, Milan, Miami and Toronto; Beate Von Bischopinck, an architect and lecturer in Cal Poly’s City and Regional Planning Department; and Pepe Sanchez, designer and steel fabricator for San Luis Obispo-based Deadwood Revival Design (local firm).
Past Competition Judges
A panel of judges is comprised of artists, furniture designers, architects, CAED faculty members, and laureates which have included: 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 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).