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News . Feature Stories . CIA student Montante wins big in housewares competition

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March 06, 2017

CIA student Montante wins big in housewares competition

CIA Industrial Design senior Dominic Montante set a record this year by becoming the first student to win first, second and third place honors in the International Housewares Association's annual Student Design Competition.

CIA student Montante wins big in housewares competition

Dominic Montante '17 shows off three prize-winning designs: a personal coffee maker, modular furniture and reimagined window air conditioner. Photo by Robert Muller/CIA.

The IHA created the Outstanding Achievement Award in response to Montante’s trifecta. He won a $5,000 award and a trip to Chicago in March for the International Home + Housewares Show.

“I should’ve submitted more projects,” Montante said with a laugh. “If they all won, I should have tried to get more in.”

The competition, now in its 24th year, asks students to redesign a common household product. It drew more than 297 entries from 28 colleges in the U.S. and abroad.

“Dominic’s remarkable triple win resulted not only because of his hard work, but due to the anonymous judging process,” said Vicki Matranga, who manages the Student Design Competition. “The entries, known only by number, were assigned randomly to the 14 judges. His projects rose to the top in the group of best concepts chosen by the judges to be reviewed in the final round.”

Montante’s three entries “all came from a personal grievance I’ve had with each product in its current state,” he said.

His first-place-winning Klima Indoor Climate System was inspired by moving too many rock-heavy window air conditioners in and out of apartments. The job “really shouldn’t require two people and be this difficult to use,” he said. His redesigned machine fits over the bottom of the window frame. Its two-part design can be installed by one person, and it can heat or cool the room.

Montante, of Rochester, N.Y., won second place for the Kipp Sofa/Table, a four-piece furniture unit that can be reconfigured as chairs and a table or as a sofa. The pieces separate for easy moving. His third-place winner, the Scelto One Coffeemaker, takes the idea of the single-cup coffee maker and gives it slimmer footprint and a reusable filter that’s hemispherical, so it’s easier to dump out the grounds, he said.

CIA senior Michael Laudi also won a first place award for Rose Plate, which assists people with only one available hand to cut food. Senior Billy Yrad was among 10 honorable mention winners for The Perch Dog Bathing Solution, which makes it easier to wash a dog in the bathtub.

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