M2L Furniture - M2L Announces Winners of the 2010 Genuine Design Scholarship Competition

Students Across the Country Vie for $8,500 in Scholarship Awards

(New York – April 2010) For the past twenty years, M2L (www.m2lcollection.com) – a furniture importer and distributor specializing in European design – has been dedicated to finding and sourcing truly iconic pieces that define the classic modern aesthetic. Committed to promoting the value of genuine design, M2L is pleased to announce the winners of the second annual Genuine Design Competition, developed in conjunction with Ruth Lynford, founder of NY Eleven. After reviewing student video submissions from across the country, M2L awarded four students with $8500 in scholarships and two students with honorable mentions for the most compelling Public Service Announcements on the topic of genuine design.

Michael Manes, founder of M2L, launched the Genuine Design website (www.genuinedesign.com) 10 years ago as a vehicle to promote authenticity in the modern furniture profession. Cultural acceptance of knockoffs erodes the legal concept of intellectual property and destroys entire industries, yet reproductions of 20th century furniture are still commonplace and continue to elude many intelligent consumers and even the occasional design buff. Passionate about this issue, M2L partnered with NY Eleven to create the Genuine Design Scholarship to educate students about knockoffs and their harmful impact on the design industry.

The 2010 Genuine Design Competition was open to design students across the country and based around the concept of a Public Service Announcement. Students were asked to create original, short videos (1-3 minutes long) on the topic of genuine design and why furniture designers deserve the right to copyright and protect their work against knockoffs. Entries were reviewed by a jury of distinguished design journalists and professionals including: David McFadden, curator, Museum of Arts and Design; Laurel Petriello, web editor, Interior Design; Nicole Haddad, design editor, New York Spaces; and Karen Shalett, editor in chief, DC Modern Luxury. The judges based their decisions on the level of creativity, originality, and impact of the message presented in the video. 

The first-prize winner and recipient of the $3,500 scholarship award, Katherine Dabkowski, is an Interior Design student at Arizona State University. Her impactful PSA discusses intellectual property and the various moral and legal issues associated with unauthorized reproductions from trademark infringement to deceptive advertising. The judges were impressed with her message that stresses the importance of buying from authorized dealers and the call to action for both designers and clients to be responsible and conduct research before making important design buying decisions. www.youtube.com/watch?v=ngFqIJSuDmc

Second-prize winner Sarah Muchow is an Interior Design major at the New York School of Interior Design and was selected to receive the $2,500 scholarship. Her video draws thoughtful parallels between the rights of recording artists and the rights of furniture designers and licensed manufacturers. The judges were drawn to her personal narrative that utilizes freehand sketches, internet shopping, and the pages of a design history book. www.youtube.com/watch?v=RCF5KrfK3cg

Marita Montes, studying Interior Design at the Fashion Institute of Technology in New York, won third prize and the $1,500 scholarship award. She produced a clever movie trailer about furniture coming to New York to stand up for their intellectual property rights. According to the judges, it was clear that Montes spent many hours shooting the “Genuine Design” trailer, which incorporated film footage from various locations around the city as well as clips of “witness testimony” for their anticipated arrival. www.youtube.com/watch?v=MD2Zw9dg7WY

Fourth prize recipient, Stuart Fingerhut, was honored with the fourth prize and a $1,000 scholarship check. An Environmental Design student at the Art Center College of Design in Los Angeles, CA, Fingerhut took a more philosophical approach, comparing modern furniture design to a dog’s pedigree. He explained that furniture sold as a reproduction deliberately infringe on registered trademarks and no matter how similar they look to the real thing, they fall short when looking at the details. www.youtube.com/watch?v=iZjzyBUcBhY

M2l also awarded Honorable Mentions to Kyla Pellicani, an Interior Design student at the New York School of Interior Design, and Typhanie Peterson, who is studying Interior Design at Rhodec International in Tustin Ranch, CA. To view their videos, visit:



The results of the 2010 Genuine Design Competition were officially announced at an event at M2l’s new Madison Avenue showroom in NYC on Wednesday, April 21, 2010 where the winners were presented with their scholarship awards. For more information or to view the finalists’ videos, visit: blog.genuinedesign.com/