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CONTACT: Bruce Smith
Public Information Officer
(310) 434-4209
DATE: December 8, 2005


Santa Monica College interior design student Sarah Barnard has won “Best in Show” in the national “Trash to Treasure” contest for her petite chair made from discarded auto parts and scrap metal.

The award was part of EnvironDesign, a national conference held recently in New York whose primary sponsor is Interiors & Sources Magazine. Aside from “Best in Show,” the contest gave awards in three categories – Classy Trash, Treasured Trash and Viewers Choice. Barnard’s chair and the other winning entries were auctioned off, with the money going to nonprofit “green” organizations.

Barnard’s chair, called “The Driver’s Seat,” is a piece of furniture that is both functional and visually remarkable. With a 1930 Ford truck steering wheel as the seat, 1970’s Volkswagen beetle side-mirrors serving as the “feet,” and a late model Toyota operating as the back rest, the useful art piece salvages a bit of automotive history.

Open to architects and interior designers, the contest asked entrants to find something discarded as waste and turn it into something of value.

Whether old cars, houses or furniture, Barnard has always had an interest in preserving Americana.
“I have an appreciation for things that show their age a little,” she said. “I think it is important to preserve what we can, while we can. That being said, I also have an affinity for things that are fresh and unexpected. Maybe that is the link between this

chair and my work in general. It combines the new with the old to create something sophisticated and unique.”
As owner of Sarah Barnard Design, a Los Angeles-based interior design firm, Barnard takes an eco-friendly approach to her work whenever possible. Currently, she is transforming a Montecito estate by combining “green” design methods and a modern-prairie aesthetic.

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