Archive Mode. Call 2023 ISFD INNOVATION + DESIGN ended on 1/13/23, 11:59 PM. Call settings are read only. See Current Open Calls


Innovation + Design is a competition intended for professional Designer/Makers and the next generation of serious woodworking students who are anticipating a career in the wood and related industries. The contest is open to professional Designer/Makers and students in the 48 contiguous US states.  



  • Students
    • Full-time, degree, diploma or certificate seeking students, in an accredited post-secondary woodworking or related program (Post-secondary schools include colleges and universities as well as trade, art and union apprenticeship schools.)
    • Part-time, degree or certificate seeking students, in an accredited post-secondary woodworking or related program who are transitioning into a career in woodworking or design.
    • Students must be at least 18 years of age by July 17, 2022.
    • All students, including those who have graduated, must have the support of their instructor and school where the work was completed.
  • Professionals   
    • Those that make their living (or substantial income) from woodworking and/or design careers.


  • Student Entries are restricted to ten (10) per school and three (3) per student. 
  • A student may submit a maximum of three (3) projects, but must complete a separate submission for each project.
  • A Professional may submit a maximum of three (3) projects per category.
  • Preferred projects must be composed of at least 50% wood or wood composite, except for pieces in the seating, accessory or lighting categories which may have a higher ratio of other material.
  • Project must have been built between October 2021 and December 2022.
  • Project construction/conception must be complete at the time of entry. The project may be lacking the finish coating. If selected as a finalist, the project must be completely finished in time for shipment to High Point (February 20 through March 20, 2023). 
  • Projects may be entered in only one category not multiple categories.
  • If you are submitting a prototype, it must be fully functional and finished.
  • All entrants are expected to have created their own design and plan of procedure.
  • Glass components must be tempered and properly secured when assembled (e.g., may not be “perched” unsecured as a table top).
  • Students and professionals must disclose if they have used manufactured parts or if they have involved any other persons or companies in their process (such as for upholstery, veneering, metalwork, turned pieces, instrument components, etc.)

**ISFD® reserves the right to limit the amount of entries weighing over 400 pounds due to space and shipping constraints.


The entry categories are as follows:

  1. Seating - Includes chairs and other seating pieces such as ottomans, benches and settees. Piece may be upholstered. Comfort, stability and aesthetics are primary. NOTE: Seating pieces must function as such. Judges WILL test the strength of joints by sitting on chairs (however, general public access to all pieces on display during the High Point Market will be restricted). 
  2. Occasional Tables - Includes functional, decorative occasional tables, stands. Emphasis is on design integrity, craftsmanship, joinery, and aesthetics.
  3. Occasional Storage - Includes occasional furniture whose primary function is storage. Included are wall units, étagères, curio cabinets, or movable storage intended for home use. It does not include entertainment or home theater furniture. 
  4. Lighting - Includes incandescent or LED fixed lighting intended for indoor home use, including table lamps, floor lamps, pendants and chandeliers.  Choice of materials, construction methods and joinery will be considered.
  5. Dining Room Furniture - Includes dining, counter or bar table, side chair, armchair, sideboard, credenza, server, china.
  6. Accessories - Anything Goes! No restrictions on style, materials or percent of wood used. Any home furnishings accessories that are floor standing (sculpture, large planters or vases, screens, pedestals, carts, etc.). 


•    Judging is done by panel of ISFD board members and professionals representing various sectors of the industry.  All finalists are reviewed by the judges in-person prior to April 14, 2023 to determine the best of show and category winners. Judges reserve the right to reassign an entry to a different category if they deem it appropriate.

•    The Judging Process:

  1. Judges receive anonymous online submission consisting of images and the general Information requested by the online entry form.
  2. Judges score projects on a scale of 1-5 for each of the 5 criteria listed below.
  3. Scores are tallied and projects with the highest scores within their category are selected as finalists.
  4. Finalist projects are judged in person once they arrive at the exhibition on a scale of 1-5 for the criteria below.
  5. Scores are tallied and projects with the highest scores within their category may be selected as winners as agreed upon by the judging panel.

•    Judging Criteria:

  1. Design innovation on original pieces; or quality of execution of a known style or variation.
  2. Craftsmanship of the piece including construction quality, material choice and use, detailing, sanding quality, finishing quality.
  3. Functionality, stability, comfort, and if applicable manufacturability and marketability. 
  4. Construction techniques, appropriateness of the technique, joinery, lamination veneering, or upholstery.
  5. Aesthetics, scale, proportion, balance, rhythm, emphasis and unity.



  • Each Entrant may only win one prize package.
    • Best of Show $1,000
    • Category Winners $250
    • Free Time in Congdon Yards Generator to work on any project of your choice!
  • Judges reserve the right to skip an award level if they so choose.
  • All Professional finalists will receive a certificate of merit and can enter the Maker/Designer category of the 2023 Pinnacle Awards® for free.  Log in and enter your information and photos into the Pinnacle Awards entry site then notify so the entry can be admitted for judging before any fee is submitted.
  • All Student finalists will receive a certificate of merit and can enter their piece in the Student Pinnacle Award® category of the 2023 Pinnacle Awards®.

Entry Instructions

1.    Professionals and Students must Register Online here at Artcall and Create a User Profile.

2.    After a User Profile is created, log back into the Artcall website. Once you are logged in, click on the Add New Submission button. Next choose either Seating, Occasional Tables, Occasional Storage, Bedroom Furniture, Dining Room Furniture or Accessories. Type in the name of your project in the Title section. Type in the Dimensions of your project in inches and the Project Weight of your piece in pounds. 

3.    Professionals and Students must upload a statement about their piece in PDF format. The information should include but not be limited to the following points:

  1. What was your inspiration for this piece? OR If the piece is a reproduction, explain whether your intent was to make an authentic reproduction or if you have intentionally changed some details?
  2. What were your project goals?  Did you use a unique process, design element, or construction method?
  3. What type of wood(s) did you use? What wood products did you use? What type of finish did you use? (or intend to use if finish coat is not yet applied at time of entry)
  4. Did you use any special equipment, design software, jigs, or hardware? Were any of these new to you?
  5. What is the intended market or client for this product?

4.   Photos: Upload four (4) photos of the completed project using the Add Attachment button on the Add Entry Attachments page of the submission. Three (3) from different views plus one (1) detail shot. Upload these photos as JPEG files. Note: Preliminary review by judges is heavily reliant on the photos. It is to your advantage to submit the best quality possible. 

5.  Construction Photos/Documentation: Upload at least one (1) additional image showing the project during construction, or project plans, drawings, or working sketches. (Judges will not score based on the quality of construction documentation, but will use them as reference). If submitting photos, crop or remove people from the images.

NOTE: You should have five (5) total attachments in your submission.

6.  Only complete submissions will be accepted.  You may edit your answers and/or submission photos and documents at any time until the January 13, 2023 deadline. After the deadline no submissions or changes will be permitted. 


  • January 13, 2023: Application Deadline
  • February 20, 2023: Finalists notified
  • February 20 – March 20, 2023:  Period for coordinating shipping arrangements to High Point Furniture Market location in High Point, NC; Sponsor supported freight to exhibition site.
  • March 31, 2023: Your piece must have arrived to the High Point, North Carolina warehouse Location
  • March 21st to April 13th: Photography will be completed by INNOVATION + DESIGN Photographers
  • April 14, 2023: Final on-site judging
  • April 5 - April 26:  Finalist Exhibition at The Art Gallery on the Congdon Yards campus in High Point, NC 27262
  • April 20, 2023 Exhibition “Meet the Designer” event 5 – 7PM; winners announced.


Inbound and Outbound freight from anywhere in the 48 contiguous US states will be paid for by ISFD.  Finalist Designer/Makers are solely responsible for their exhibition pieces and the piece's packaging and crating for initial transport.  The International Society of Furniture Designers is not responsible for any damage to finalist's pieces due to the finalists packaging of their item.  Our team in the receiving ware house and during set-up, staging, display, and take-down will do their very best to handle finalist items with the greatest care.  If a finalist has any questions about packaging, transportation or personally transporting their item to our receiving warehouse, please contact:  John Conrad, ISFD Executive Director at:

Entry Process Tutorial

Here is a quick video tutorial you can watch to help you with the submission process.

Questions? Contact David Blair at (336) 307-0999