Furniture Design Content Intro


Jay Edward Group is a hospitality furniture manufacturer with headquarters is in San Diego, CA. Their furniture is produced at the Jay Edward owned and operated factory located in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam and their partner factory in Shanghai, China. Jay Edward Group focuses on delivering the highest quality, custom designed furniture to hotels around the world. An enormous amount of effort is focused on delivering the quality products, on time and on budget.

The Jay Edward Furniture Design Award is not just an award, it is the indicator of quality and excellence in design, innovation and creative problem solving. This award will provide the finalists with amazing design credit, a legitimate award to place on resumes and applications, and the chance to network with some of the top executives in the furniture design industry. Furthermore, the winning designs will appear on the Jay Edward Group website, social media pages, and all distributed press materials. The winning designs will also be put into prototype production, so the top finalists can see their creation come to life.

Jay Edward Group has created this award to attract the attention of design media, magazines, and industry leads to emerging talent by creating publicity and excitement around the furniture design and production industry.


San Diego-based furniture manufacturer hosts contest for local California design students to highlight emerging talent in the industry. Participants are invited to design a hotel room desk that integrates all the specifications outlined below, in the submission guidelines and which resolves the accompanying technical and formal challenges in the terms indicated. The competition begins February 26, 2018 and the deadline for submissions is March 30, 2018.


  • Hotels are competing with new home-away-from-home companies, so what opportunities or challenges does this present for hotels? How can you create a hotel room that offers the same excitement and flexibility as some of these other options?
  • How else could it be utilized for guests and still function as a desk if needed?
  • What innovative technology could be added to the desk to make it multifunctional? Keeping in mind technologies change and brands may need to update before a renovation can happen.
  • Can it be reconfigured or moved around the room by the guest?
  • How can you blend traditional materials of furniture with modern function, while still keeping the design feasible for production? Remember, if you get selected in the top three your design will be prototyped at the Jay Edward manufacturing facility.

Furniture Design Content FAQ



Jay Edward Group’s design award considers your submission on evaluation criteria such as: Innovation, function, uniqueness of the project, social impacts, eco-friendly consideration, energy utilization, and project specific criteria. Most important criteria are highlighted as: Design, form and function.


To show our appreciation and dedication to the furniture design industry, Jay Edward will be awarding the winner a $1,000 prize, along with the opportunity to receive royalties on each sale of their innovative creation to the hospitality industry. Additionally, the top three winners will be featured on Jay Edward’s website, in any publicity announcements, and have their design built and photographed to showcase their design skills.


San Diego-based furniture manufacturer hosts contest for local California design students to highlight emerging talent in the industry. When submitting your unique design to Jay Edward’s competition keep in mind that your submission will be evaluated on multiple facets: your product is judged on both the design aspects, the innovation and forward thinking presented (overall presentation will be considered). Applicants should follow the submission guidelines and present all required materials by March 30, 2018. Note: all designs must be unique to the submitter.


Title Page
Includes students name, school and a name for their design if desired.

Main Image
11 x 17 PDF
High resolution shot or rendering

Secondary Image
11 x 17 PDF
A shot or rendering showing detailed view of a specific function or feature

PDF, max 10 pages
Explaining technical aspects, utilized technology, important product details, general notes to further the judges understanding of the design.

Optional Image #1
11 x 17 PDF
A shot or rendering showing materials used, colors, or configurations

Optional Image #2
11 x 17 PDF
A shot or rendering showing the piece being utilized

Optional Image #3
11 x 17 PDF
An action shot or rendering of the furniture in its new habitat


Julia Thomson Fontana is a hospitality professional with over 20 years’ experience working with leading hotel brands where she specializes in the design, sourcing, and execution of interior standards. Before working with Jay Edward Group, Julia worked with major hospitality chains such as Starwood Hotels and Resorts and Marriot, where her role was building the FF&E brand standards and specs for all hotel brands. The team worked closely with vendors to evaluate and assess their capabilities to provide good quality furniture, at a competitive cost with the design intent provided. Additionally, she has an Interiors Degree from Parsons and has worked with design firms in Manila and in NYC with the Rockwell Group and Studio Gaia.

Michael Shaprio, President of Jay Edward Furniture Group, has been a trendsetter and brand builder in the hospitality industry for more than two decades – leading the Sourcing and Design Development team of Starwood Hotels as Senior Director and serving as VP of Sourcing and Procurement for J Christopher Capital, where he focused on launching prominent retail and hospitality brands. With his vast network and his experience in setting the standard for procurement and design development, Michael went on to establish his very own furniture global supply and consultation firm, Jay Edward Group. Here, Michael works with select owner/developers, contractors and designers to enable them to source the world’s best products direct from the factories that build them.

Robert Shapiro is the Managing Director of Jay Edward Group, a global hospitality supply and consultation firm. Shapiro has a degree in Industrial Design and vast experience designing furniture, retail store fixtures, and trade show exhibits for well-known brands. Prior to joining Jay Edward Group, Robert was a Global Sourcing consultant for SEPHORA in San Francisco where he helped the brand expand globally into Asia and South America markets, traveling extensively and touring dozens of manufacturing facilities to locate the ideal suppliers. He later transitioned to furniture and retail fixture sourcing with a focus on finding quality offshore manufacturing that could build best quality furniture at the correct price point without losing designer intent. Currently, Robert manages the team of dedicated professionals at Jay Edward Group as they provide custom case goods and upholstered furniture for top tier hospitality brands around the globe.

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