Cargill’s BiOH® Polyols Opens Consumer Voting For Eco-Friendly Furniture Design Competition

Sep 3, 2010 | Corporate Member News

Vote online today through Oct. 19 to help select the next wing chair to go on the market featuring sustainable materials for its cushioning

Leslie Newby, Brand Communications, Inc., 336-370-4623, [email protected]
Pete Stoddart, Cargill, 952-742-6608, [email protected]

One student at Savannah College of Art and Design (SCAD) is closer to winning Project UDesign, the first competition in the furniture industry to crowdsource the next generation eco-friendly wing chair consumers can buy.

The competition is sponsored by Cargill’s BiOH® polyols business-makers of the soy-based ingredient which replaces a percentage of petroleum in foam used for upholstered furniture cushioning.

Based on evaluations of a panel of industry experts, six semifinalist designs were selected following the students’ completion of SCAD’s soft furnishings design course this summer. The six designs and related video footage are now displayed on Cargill’s Experience BiOH® blog , You Tube channel and its Facebook fan page.

Voting for Project UDesign opens online today and runs through Oct. 19 11:59pm EST.

The winning student’s chair will be announced on Oct. 20. North Carolina-based Century Furniture, a 2009 AHFA SAGE award finalist and Sustainable Furnishings Council member, has pledged to put the new wing chair into production. The company will pay the popular winner of Project UDesign a royalty for each unit of the winning chair design it sells. The winner will also receive a $1,000 award from Cargill’s BiOH® polyols business.

“We want to demonstrate to the home furnishings industry and consumer that environmentally friendly products and great design can go hand in hand,” said Cargill BiOH business unit leader, Yusuf Wazirzada.

Additional sponsors of Project UDesign include Toray International’s brand of Ultrasuede® upholstery covers, which are made using Toray’s EcoDesign™ manufacturing process; Century Furniture, and the furniture design department at Savannah College of Art and Design.

The competition culminates at North Carolina’s famous High Point Market in October. Designs from the three finalists will be displayed in the Century Furniture showroom in the historic Market Square building during High Point Market, beginning on Saturday, Oct. 16, where Market attendees will also be invited to vote online during their visit to Century’s showroom. On Wednesday, Oct. 20, all votes will be tallied, with the SCAD student winner recognized at Market during the WithIt (Women in the Home Industries Today) Student Mentoring day.

About Cargill’s BiOH® Polyols:

Cargill’s BiOH® polyols business markets renewable-based products to manufacturers of polyurethane foam for use in home furnishings and other consumer products. Cargill is an international producer and marketer of food, agricultural, financial and industrial products and services. Founded in 1865, the privately held company employs 131,000 people in 66 countries. Cargill helps customers succeed through collaboration and innovation, and is committed to applying its global knowledge and experience to help meet economic, environmental and social challenges wherever it does business. For more information, visit

About Toray International brand Ultrasuede®

Ultrasuede® is used across a broad range of platforms and in multiple industries, meeting consumers’ demand for the use of more ecologically friendly products. Ultrasuede®, together with Toray technology, continues to innovate and develop environmentally sensitive products, with the ongoing goal of improving ecological and social conditions around the world. Launched in 2009, EcoDesign™ products deliver on the promise of the TUA commitment to excellence through environmental responsibility. For more information, visit

About Century Furniture

Century Furniture manufacturers fine furniture for bedroom, dining room furniture and living room. Since 1947, Century Furniture has strived to be the best furniture company in the world, providing finely crafted luxury furniture with impeccable design, highest quality and legendary service to its customers. Now a third generation, family owned company, Century is located in Hickory, North Carolina and employs more than 900 associates. Each employee is a company stakeholder and their commitment and dedication can be seen in every piece of furniture made. For more information, visit

About SCAD: The University for Creative Careers

The Savannah College of Art and Design is the most comprehensive art and design university in the world, offering more degree programs and specializations than any other art and design university. SCAD is a private, nonprofit, accredited institution conferring bachelor’s and master’s degrees in distinctive locations and online to prepare talented students for professional careers. SCAD offers students a choice of degree programs in 46 majors and more than 50 minors at locations in Savannah and Atlanta, Georgia; in Lacoste, France; online through SCAD eLearning; and in Hong Kong beginning this fall. For more information, visit

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