ICFA Announces Richard Frinier Design Scholarship

July 11, 2017
HIGH POINT, N.C. – The International Casual Furnishings Association announces the endowment of the Richard Frinier Design Scholarship by the renowned designer and his wife and business partner, Catherine, established to inspire students in the creation of innovative outdoor living spaces for residential, contract and hospitality environments.

“We have been fortunate to be successful in our work in this industry and believe it is important to give back to our community, specifically, the trade organization that supports us,” said Frinier.  “We wish to encourage the work of young designers and help them to discover the vast opportunities to bring the quality of indoor living outside and the casual spirit of the outdoors inside.” His award-winning and internationally-acclaimed career of over 35 years includes the design of signature pieces that are among the most recognized and best-selling in the casual furniture industry.

The annual scholarship will be awarded to the winner of an online competition in which college-level students will submit their original designs for outdoor living products, including furniture, textiles/materials, lighting, accessories and shade structure. “The process of the contest and its outcome provides a pathway and conduit for students of design to explore the category of outdoor living products as a viable, enjoyable, profitable and rewarding area of design,” said Frinier.

“We are reaching out to universities and asking design professors to spread the word about the new scholarship and the competition to those students who have shown interest and talent in this area,” said Jackie Hirschhaut, ICFA Executive Director. “Richard Frinier is legendary as the quintessential ambassador of the casual furniture industry, elevating the image across the globe with his colleagues, retailers and consumers. By establishing this scholarship, he and Catherine are expanding his vision and influence to reach the designers of the generation that will shape its future.”

The annual winner of the ICFA/Richard Frinier Design Scholarship will be awarded a $2,000 stipend plus airfare and lodging for a one-night stay in Chicago during Casual Market Chicago, the industry’s premier buying event. They will also spend time with Richard Frinier, top ICFA officials and industry mentors. Submittals for the competition will be accepted in April 2018, with the winner announced in July.

“We anticipate that the impact of Richard and Catherine’s generosity in funding this scholarship will go far beyond the tangible benefits to the winning students,” Hirschhaut continued.  “Richard’s designs have fueled important industry and societal trends, such as ‘the outdoor room,’ ‘slow living,’ and ‘stay-cations and day-cations.’ We believe that through his involvement, the competition will spark the creativity of young designers to influence casual living trends in the decades to come. Their accomplishments will honor Richard’s legacy while supporting the mission of the ICFA to heighten interest in and desire for quality outdoor furnishings in the consumer marketplace.”

For more information, visit:

ICFA/Richard Frinier Design Scholarship