SCAD Graduate Receives 2019 Frinier Scholarship

Quinten Juan Sanchez, a May graduate of the Savannah College of Art and Design (SCAD), was awarded ICFA’s Richard Frinier Design Scholarship last month.

His winning design concept was “Eva,” an outdoor seating collection rendered in a new, thermally modified timber selected as a more sustainable alternative to teak.  “Minimal, clean, with the essence of elegance” is how Sanchez described his design.

“Quinten has a great understanding of materials and form and proportion and a good understanding of the differences between indoor and outdoor furnishings,” said SCAD professor Frederick Spector, who verified Quinten’s application.

The ICFA scholarship was endowed by Richard Frinier and his wife and business partner, Catherine, and launched in 2018 to support the next generation of outdoor product designers. Its purpose is to help raise awareness of the casual furnishings industry as a viable opportunity for young designers as they begin their careers, and to welcome new creative perspective to the industry.

Led by the Friniers, a team of industry professionals judged the applicants on a range of criteria including innovation, originality, aesthetics, material performance, finishes, colors, social context and marketability.

Quinten Juan Sanchez (left) receiving the
award from Richard Frinier (right).

“The winning entry from Quinten was a stand-out design among the submissions. He garnered high scores for his design conceptualization, development, form, function, viability, creativity and presentation,” said Richard Frinier. “The overall styling, ecological material selection, emotional value, social context and marketability were very well presented and articulated.”

In addition to the Friniers, judges for the scholarship competition included American Institute of Architects member Rachel Oleinick, Northworks, Chicago; American Society of Architects member Brad McCauley, Site Design Group Ltd., Chicago; Interior Design Association member Valerie Jardon, Box Studios, Chicago; Christian Narkiewicz, Chicago Athenaeum, Galena, Ill.; Steve Elton, Brown Jordan; and Zac Bryant, president of Lane Venture, who serves as chair of the ICFA Scholarship Committee.

“The talent exhibited by this year’s applicants was impressive,” said Jackie Hirschhaut, ICFA Executive Director. “We hope this opportunity for Quinten allows his originality, ideas and talents to be appreciated and encouraged to grow. He has a lot to offer our industry.”

Sanchez was awarded a $2,000 stipend plus airfare and lodging for a two-night stay in Chicago during Casual Market Chicago this month. He also will spend time with the Friniers, top ICFA officials and industry mentors.

After receiving his award, Sanchez went to work for TUUCI as part of the product development team based in Miami. Commenting about the experience, he said, “It was a great year in terms of learning about the process of design on a larger scale. Working closely with Heather Deitch, I was able to explore various stages of designing a new product, from sketch to prototype.”

However, because of visa issues, Sanchez was mostly working remotely in the Netherlands. “After working remote for almost a whole year due to the distance, waiting time and Corona, I really started missing the human interaction and being part of a physical team,” he said. “I brainstormed with Heather on the situation and ended up leaving TUUCI in order to pursue a career as a maker at de Houtfabrique in the Netherlands.”

De Houtfabrique was a small-scale studio focused on custom design of interiors and furniture. The company worked closely with interior designers and architects to produce custom cabinets and other projects. Sanchez worked as a maker/builder for a little less than two years. During this time, he said, he was able to expand his overall structure and woodworking skills, building everything from closets and cabinets to tables, benches, bars, stairs and even kitchens, both commercial and residential.

When the studio decided to make a shift toward the reconstruction of homes rather than furniture and design, Sanchez left the studio to pursue another of his dreams: backpacking through Mexico and exploring his roots. He spent about six months traveling from place to place and diving into the beauty of Mexico.

He is now back in The Hague, the Netherlands, in search of a new job while staying creative with some personal projects.