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Merida Meridian co-creates student contest for rug designs

Boston – Sustainable area rug designer and manufacturer Merida Meridian has paired up with Boston not-for-profit organization Artists For Humanity (AFH) to kick off an eight-week rug design contest to inspire young student artists to design sustainable textiles “that explore the nature of sustainability itself.”

AFH’s high school student artists will interact with professional interior, graphic, and product designers who will critique their designs and select three winners.

Winners will each receive a Merida tufted rug of their own design, which will be manufactured from 100% New Zealand wool in Merida’s Fall River, Mass., weaving facility.

Merida and AFH, which works with teens to provide paid employment in the arts, together developed the rug design contest to combine the creativity of the young AFH students with Merida’s expertise in sustainable textile design.

“We have found amazing synergy with Artists For Humanity in our shared passions of art, design, sustainability, and social responsibility,” said Catherine Connolly, ceo of Merida. “I am so excited to have the privilege of working with these phenomenally talented young people and cannot wait to see where this project takes them.”

Artists For Humanity’s graphic design students will be asked to consider the question, “What does sustainability mean to you?” as they design their prototypes. Merida’s creative director, Maegan Fee, will critique the work throughout the process, helping students to understand the basics of textiles design and are working within the technical specifications of Merida’s tufting equipment.

Students must submit three final designs and inspiration boards to Merida in early November, when a panel of interior, graphic, and product designers will select the top three designs. Winners will be showcased at AFH’s annual December open house, and will be sold through Merida starting in early 2010.

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