The 2018 ASID NJ Design Awards Program Reveals Winners

11/09/2018 By Rachel Kats

The American Society of Interior Designers (ASID) New Jersey and the Chalfin family has revealed the winners of the 2018 Samuel and Rhoda Chalfin Memorial Student Design Competition.

Created to encourage the development of future designers, the competition challenges participants to design a piece of furniture – this year it was a chair. Students had to clearly state their vision and provide supporting renderings and elevations.

Top Honors

Taking home the first place honor was Joanna Truszkowski from Brookdale Community College with her chair titled Petal Hideaway. Grace Meyer, also from Brookdale, took home second place with her creation, Green Chair; and third place winner, Lindsay Mazzeo from Kean University, impressed judges with the Grand Disc. All the winners were awarded a stipend to assist them with educational costs.


From left to right: Celeste Chirichello, Director of Professional Development; Holly George, President; Joanna Truszkowski, student 1st Place Winner; Jodi Heimowitz, Chair of Student Affairs
Courtesy of Samuelson Furniture 

Inspired by the Frangipani flower that grows in tropical and serene environments, Truszkowski wanted to make the Petal Hideaway chair a piece of furniture that would invite people to relax and forget about their worries.

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“Many people are so frustrated and overwhelmed from their everyday lives and need to take a moment to appreciate the life that they’re living,” she says.

It was the support and encouragement from her teacher that motivated her to enter the competition (her first), and she says it has been a great learning experience. “My teacher Celeste always pushes us to be the best that we can be and always encourages us to compete in design competitions.”

Paying Tribute to History

The competition, which pays tribute to the parents of Samuelson Furniture’s president, Lawrence Chalfin, who were long-time supporters of ASID NJ, is open to all interior design students currently enrolled in a program in New Jersey or those taking classes online to complete a degree in interior design. It garnered several entries from schools that included Berkeley College, Kean University, New Jersey Institute of Technology and Brookdale Community College. 

“It’s important to our family and our company that we continue to host this competition,” says Michael Chalfin, vice president of Samuelson Furniture and grandson of Samuel and Rhoda Chalfin. “We really enjoy working with ASID NJ and it’s an honor to help the younger generation of designers find their career paths.”

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The winners were announced during a career day event in late October at the Center for the Visual Arts at Brookdale Community College. The competition was judged by ASID designers and educators and the Samuelson Furniture corporate team at its headquarters in New Jersey. The judging guidelines were based on points for the vision statement, execution of the project, creativity and functionality

In addition to the winners’ work, each entry received was on display at the career day event to showcase the hard work of all the students who participated in the competition. The career day schedule also included programming such as portfolio reviews, headshots, various panels and a keynote presentation called “My Road to Leadership Through ASID” with speaker Tim Schelfe.

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