The ICFA/Richard Frinier Design Scholarship

logoThe ICFA / Richard Frinier Design Scholarship was established in 2016 and is endowed by the renowned designer and his wife and partner, Catherine, to inspire design students in the creation of innovative outdoor living spaces for residential, contract and hospitality environments. The annual scholarship is awarded to the winner of an online competition in which college-level students submit their original designs for outdoor living products.

The Competition

Students submit designs in the categories of furniture, textiles / materials, lighting, accessories or shade structure to be judged on criteria including:

  • innovation and original design related to use of materials
  • aesthetics of form and style
  • materials / textiles
  • material performance in withstanding the elements of nature for full-time outdoor use
  • texture
  • finishing
  • colors / color options
  • engineering and manufacturing
  • concept sketch / illustration as compared to finished prototype or scale model
  • adaptability across residential, contract and hospitality use and markets
  • emotional values and connection with target audience and end-user
  • social context
  • timelessness of design regardless of the styling of the design
  • marketability / salability / story.


The Award

The winner of the ICFA / Richard Frinier Design Scholarship Competition will receive:

  • $5,000 for continued design education
  • One round-trip economy class airfare ticket and two nights’ hotel stay in Atlanta to attend Summer Casual Market Atlanta with a tour by industry mentors
  • Personal introductions to Richard Frinier, Jackie Hirschhaut, Executive Director of ICFA, and the Chairman of the Board of Directors of ICFA during Summer Casual Market Atlanta
  • An in-person or phone meeting with Richard Frinier to discuss student’s design career interests and how best to apply their interests, talents and energy within the casual furniture industry in the future
  • An award presentation of the ICFA / Richard Frinier Design Scholarship at the ICFA Annual Meeting on July 17, 2024

Meet the Recipients


Sebastian Solloa and Drew Hart
Quinten Sanchez
Chhavi Kashyap










About Richard Frinier

For over 40 years, American designer Richard Frinier has prolifically created thousands of designs across hundreds of collections. Since 2002 he has licensed and cobranded his creations with leading and high-profile global brands, including luxury and best-in-class manufacturers Brown Jordan, Century Furniture, Dedon, Sunbrella®, and other brands domestically and abroad. Importantly, these collections, designed for residential, contract, hospitality and resort interiors and exteriors, are marketed and sold across 80 countries generating over $1 billion in sales worldwide for collaborating brands and cobranded partners with his most lauded and collectible designs enjoying continuous production for 10, 20, 30 and 40 years.

A master of proportion, reductive detailing and experiential design, Frinier has an acute ability to see what is missing and what can be, inspiring him to explore and pioneer new materials and construction methods, while using existing materials in interesting, efficient and compelling ways. His exclusive textile designs with Sunbrella are of particular interest to him as they collaborate exclusively in the realm of recycled-content fibers and fabric design for today and tomorrow. Highly skilled at working with craftspeople and actively collaborating on creative teams around the world, he is able to personally participate in imagining where his clients may go next while working to evolve their brands.

Renown for bringing the quality of living indoors outside and the relaxed spirit of the outdoors inside, his vision and extreme dedication have made an indelible impact and lasting impression for his authentic, relevant and memorable designs to be enjoyed — “Inside or outside — you decide.”

Specified seamlessly by the trade and consumers alike for interior and exterior spaces, his sought after designs may be seen in royal palaces, luxury hotels, resorts, spas and private residences around the world. His innovative, iconic and inspiring creations evoke strong emotion in others taking them to a place they have never been before or to a place they long to be. And, his work at large has enjoyed immense success for his ability to identify and fuel such popular social trends as, the outdoor room — resort-at-home — stay-cations — and, live-work-play environments.

Having received over 100 design excellence and career achievement awards with his work at-large published extensively in global press and across social media platforms, career recognition includes: the International Casual Furnishings Association’s – ICFA Lifetime Achievement Award, induction into the American Home Furnishings Hall of Fame, Stars of Design Award in the category of product design from the Pacific Design Center in Los Angeles, named among the Top 40 Influencers in Home Furnishings over the past 40 years by trade journal FurnitureToday, ICFA Industry Partner Award, and the Industrial Design Society of America’s (IDSA) Top 20 Recognition Award for dedication to the betterment of the Society for long supporting transformational trade scholarship programs.

Frinier has gratefully received many design excellence and innovation awards for furniture, textile, lighting and accessory designs, including ICFA’s Design Excellence Best of Category and Best of Show awards, multiple IDSA IDEA Awards, Hospitality Design Expo innovation awards, International Society of Furniture Designers (ISFD) Pinnacle awards, American Society of Interior Designers (ASID) Product Excellence awards, the Chicago Athenaeum Museum of Architecture + Design Innovation awards with winning collections included in the museum’s permanent archives, the International reddot Design Museum award with permanent collection inclusion, multiple and coveted Best-of-Year and Best-of-Decade design excellence awards and honors from Interior Design magazine, and he is humbled to have been a nominee for the Cooper-Hewitt Museum’s National Design Award in the category of Product Design.

Richard Frinier has an acute ability to see what is missing and what can be.

Richard and his wife and business partner Catherine Frinier are committed to supporting students of design through design contest scholarship programs to create opportunities for emerging talent at the earliest stages of their design careers helping to identify and inspire the future of design. To learn more: