wilsonart® challenges is a student design scholarship program to foster the careers of emerging furniture designers in north america. in 2008, wilsonart selected the industrial design department at the university of philadelphia to participate in the program. the students were taught about laminate; its history, technical capabilities, current market trends, and sustainability issues as well as the history of chairs as a decorative arts form. throughout the course of a semester, concepts were generated, discussed and refined through a series of exercises and critiques. wilsonart exhibited the shortlisted designs during new york design week 09 inside the ICFF show floor.