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Merida Meridian Honors RISD Winners

Natural fiber floor covering company Merida Meridian has honored six Rhode Island School of Design (RISD) students who competed in this year's Fusion 2008 Competition.

The participants were given paper, wool and linen yarns, provided by Fall River, Mass.-based Merida Meridian, and asked to create new floor covering concepts with their materials. In their work, participating students drew inspiration from well-known architects, design styles or periods, and societal or environmental concerns.

The original hand-woven samples by the three winners and three honorable mentions as well as prototypes woven at Merida, were shown at the recent award event at Aronson's Floor Covering in Manhattan.

Each student winner will be honored for their achievement and receive a monetary prize.

"We have three RISD textiles graduates leading Merida Meridian's product design and development, so we wanted to give back to this incredible program," said Maegan Fee, the company's creative director. "Fusion 2008 provided a real world product development challenge for aspiring designers, and hopefully an experience that they will take with them as they embark on their careers."

The student winners were Yao Cheng, Emily Feather, and Michelle Anne Mizioch; the honorable mentions went to Martin Emlein, Ilene Godofsky and Masako Ogihara.

"Learning how to be creative and innovative, while also staying within the aesthetic, technical and market constraints provided by Merida Meridian was a great challenge to the students," said Susan Sklarek, senior critic in the RISD textile department. "This project has provided them with an invaluable experience in their design education, stretching them both technically and conceptually."

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