In its second year, Benched 2.0 competes eight teams in a design build challenge to create a unique bench. Displayed at the Bermuda Aquarium Museum and Zoo, the benches were judged both by the general public as well as a panel of professionals.
This competition was a great opportunity for us to take part in. It not only allowed us to get out there more in the public eye but also gave us the chance to work again with the Institute of Bermuda Architects who created and ran the competition.
This year we were particularly interested as we wanted to give this project to our intern Yanna Smith to coordinate. Being with us for over three months now she was the perfect person to get involved in Benched 2.0.
Yanna has always had a passion for design and recently concluded three years of studying furniture and interior design in Florence, Italy. She is keen to focus on furniture design, specifically how to take a concept and transform an idea or drawing into a functional piece of furniture. We think that she is in the right place to learn that.
The competition was aimed at students at the high school and university level. The competition pairs students with designers and builders with the task of designing and creating a bench by July 16.
Yanna has been very keen on getting her hands dirty in our workshop, so the bench competition allowed us to give her a bit more freedom to create. She was able to collaborate with student Joanna Martin and our own General Manager Anthony Medeiros helped with the construction.
Our bench took the inspiration from the traditional Bermudian moongate with our own twist. We used all Accoya wood products for the main part of the bench with a large cedar trunk as the centerpiece. It took a number of weeks to design, build and finish the piece and in the end we were proud of the finished product.
Yanna was excited to be a part of the benched 2.0 competition. It gave her the opportunity to be creative and design a bench that was versatile; one that can be utilized in home or commercial spaces. A lot of the work Yanna does at BS&R isn’t glamorous. There are fundamental skills one needs to operate tools and build according to detailed specifications. Since Yanna has joined us she has maintained a wonderful work ethic and open mind, and when opportunities arise for us to give her ‘fun’ projects, we trust her to take them on.
The IBA created the competition to do just that, provide opportunities for students to learn fundamentals of good design. Over 300 votes were cast by the public and the professional category was judged by seven industry professionals and was based on design concept, creativity and use of materials.
In the end we were awarded second place for our ‘Moongate’ design.
As an intern Yanna doesn’t get the chance to take on projects fully from conception to fabrication. We are happy that we could take part in a competition that allowed her and our student to see and take part in the process to competition.