Two students awarded M2L's Genuine Design Scholarship

New York, NY - April 22, 2009 - M2L, a New York-based furniture importer and distributor specializing in modern design, announced the winners of their inaugural Genuine Design Scholarship at a ceremony on April 13, 2009. NYSID students Lawrence Chabra and Laine Blumenkopf were acknowledged for their insightful and well-written essays.

Developed in conjunction with Ruth Lynford, founder of NY Eleven, the award was intended to educate students about knockoffs and their harmful impact on the design industry. It was open to twelve prestigious New York colleges that offer four-year programs in interior design. The essays were reviewed by a jury of top design journalists including: Paul Makovsky, editorial director, Metropolis; Annie Block, senior editor, Interior Design; Jana Schiowitz, senior editor, Hospitality Design; and Katie Weeks, senior editor, Contract.

Lawrence Chabra, a 4th year BFA student at NYSID, under the guidance of associate dean Ellen Fisher, won third prize and a $1,500 scholarship for a letter he wrote to Senator Charles Schumer, asking him to consider amending the Design Piracy Prohibition Act to include furniture designers. The jury felt Chabra’s letter was persuasive and his intellect and creativity were displayed in his detailed discussion of the legislation and suggestions for extending protection to furniture designers.

Laine Blumenkopf, a 2nd year AAS student at NYSID, and also a pupil of Ellen Fisher, won fourth prize and a $1,000 scholarship. She also wrote a letter to Senator Schumer. The jury gave the award to Blumenkopf for her strong research and writing skills and her convincing argument with heartbreaking examples of furniture designers whose creations have been knocked off while those who cheated them were free to copy to their hearts’ content.

“At NYSID, ethical behavior is emphasized as the foundation of meaningful creative and professional endeavors, and is addressed across the range of studio, technical, and practice courses,” said Fisher. “NYSID students learn to value their own creative products through respect for the intellectual property of others, and carry this value forward into their professional design careers.”

Melanie Gowen, a design student at Cornell University was awarded first prize and Kayne Rourke, a graduate interior design student at Pratt Institute was awarded second prize.


Founded in 1916, the New York School of Interior Design (NYSID) is New York’s only private, not-for-profit college devoted exclusively to interior design education and related disciplines. NYSID’s guiding principle is that the interior environment is a fundamental element of human welfare and the college is committed to actively improving the quality of life for all segments of humanity. This ideal is put into practice by a dedicated faculty of well-known designers, architects, art historians and authorities in the field who guide a diverse student body of over 700 full-and part-time students.

NYSID offers certificate, undergraduate and graduate programs in the field of interior design. The college is an accredited institutional member of the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD) and NYSID’s BFA is accredited by the Council for Interior Design Accreditation (CIDA).