Warp & Weft, a to-the-trade showroom in New York City, has announced its sponsorship of Contemporary Creations: A Rug Design Competition for upper division Textile/Surface Design Program students at the Fashion Institute of Technology.

The competition is designed to be the students’ first assignment for the Fall 2011 semester in their “Custom Rug and Carpet Design” class. Deborah Hernandez, adjunct professor and owner of The Rug Designer’s Studio Inc., teaches the class. Twenty-four students have been commissioned to create a contemporary design in an open medium with complete freedom in expressing their ideas on color and pattern. The winning designs will be announced on Nov. 4.

The first place winner will receive $500. Second place also will be awarded $500, and three runner-ups will receive $250 each. The top design will be produced into a 6’x9’ hand-woven rug made in Warp & Weft signature 100 knots and showcased in the Warp & Weft booth at International Contemporary Furniture Fair 2012.

According to Michael Mandapati, founder and creative director of Warp & Weft, “We are so pleased to be able to offer a chance for these students to exhibit their work to a panel of industry leaders. We are wholly committed to supporting young designers, and soon-to-be designers, and this competition is the perfect medium to do this. FIT is a premier institution for design education, and we are certain their students are up to the task.”

“Companies like Warp & Weft have the unique ability to provide real life experience and exposure to aspiring designers. This is truly a special opportunity, and it has been wonderful working with them on this competition,” added Hernandez.

A jury of industry leaders, architects, design professionals, and FIT staff members will review the work. The jury includes: Annie Block, articles editor at Interior Design; Patti Carpenter, design consultant and president of Continuum Home Inc. and Carpenter + Company; Mary Foley and Michael Cox, founding principals at Foley & Cox Interiors; Carol Litt, FIT professor of Textile/Surface Design; Michael Mandapati, Founder of Warp & Weft; David Mann, founding partner at MR Architecture; Rena Sussman Silverman, FIT adjunct associate professor of Textile/Surface Design and principal of Rena Sussman Designs; and Bob Zaccaria founder of Zaccaria Associates.