NYIGF names Finalists for first Gift for Life Design Competition

The finalists for the first Gift for Life New York International Gift Fair Product Design Competition have been selected, leaving nine prototypes vying for the Peoples' Choice and Designer Distinction awards at the August event.

Themed Make Change, the inaugural design competition called for established and emerging designers to reinvent the iconic piggy bank while retaining their functionality.

The Peoples' Choice Award, based on voting by market participants, and a the Designer Distinction Award, determined by a panel of professional designers that includes Mark Blackwell, Sandy Chilewich and Evette Rios, will be presented during the New York International Gift Fair, which takes place Aug. 14-19 at the Jacob K. Javits Center. The winners will receive a complimentary exhibition space -- valued at $3,700 -for the winter 2011 NYIGF.

The finalists and their entrees include:

• The Coffee Joe Banks series by Japanese product designer Akira Yoshimura, a graduate of the Rhode Island School of Design who is currently working as a freelance designer in New York City;
• The Le Cochon Tote from the Bradley Stephens design firm in New York;
• The Red Ribbon for Aids sock bank, which was handmade by Brenda Elvey, a craftsperson in Missoula, Mont.;
• The cast brass Glyptodon Community Bank by Graham Parker Ansell, based in Albuquerque, NM;
• The Jenny Island Canada Bank, also by Ansell;
• The Multi-functional Money Box by May Luk, who studied ceramics at Kensington & Chelsea College and Glasgow School of Art and is the owner of Take Me Homeware in Brooklyn, NY;
Rags to Riches, by designers Susan Firestone and Karen Bluestein;
• Bunny Bank, by French artsist Eric Bonni, who has been a ceramicist in New York City for 15 years;
• Bank in the Form of a Pig is part of the "Reality" series by award winning interior and industrial designer Harry Allen.

Proceeds will benefit the charitable efforts of Gift for Life and its sole beneficiary, DIFFA: Design Industries Foundation Fighting AIDS.

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