The Design Challenge International is open to all florists and is awarded in order to recognize excellence in the Floral Art.
May 28-30, 2021 at Bonaventure Resort and Spa, 250 Racquet Club Rd, Weston, FL 33326
First Runner Up: $750.00 Cash (US)
Second runner Up: $500.00 Cash (US)
Meet Our Internationally Renowned Panel of Judges
Hitomi Gilliam AIFD
Hitomi’s biggest pleasure in life is ‘Sharing everything she knows’! She is a renowned, sought after Japanese Canadian Flower Artist and Educator who have taught extensively throughout North America and Internationally. Within the Flower Industry, she is an Education Specialist for Teleflora. She has won competitions, judged many and have hosted several over the years. This year, she was honored as one of the 3 judges at the 2020 Tournament of Roses Parade Floats in Pasadena, CA. Hitomi was honored as the 5th recipient of the coveted ‘AIFD Design Influence Award’ in 1998, and in 2006 also received the American Horticultural Society’s ‘Frances Jones Poeltker Award’ bestowed on a floral designer who have made significant contribution in publications, on the platform and to the public. She has been featured in many publications and have authored 7 books.
Donald Yim AIFD PFCI
With a passion for flowers, a sense of exploration and an eye for beauty, Donald has been in floral design for over 30 years, and is now the Smithers-Oasis Floral Design Directors Kent Ohio, as well as the Education Specialist at Floriology Institute of Jacksonville, Florida. Throughout all these years, Donald has featured in all sorts of floral shows and in many internationally renowned magazines. Donald placed 5th in the 2019 World Flower Art Contest, held in 2019 in Bejing, China, where 33 stars of the world floral industry competed on stage and were united together under the concept "Live Green Live Better". He followed up with 1st place in the 51st annual Sylvia Cup Design Competition, the longest-running, live, U.S. floral industry design competition, held in 2019 in Amelia Island, Florida.
Leopoldo Gomez CAF
Leopoldo Gomez is a renowned international teacher of Floral Design, based in Mexico City. His style is widely acclaimed and sought after for its striking color palettes, vivid combinations of textures, and masterfully-crafted armatures and structures. Leopoldo’s captivating body of work has been published in numerous periodicals including Fleur Créatif (Belgium), Flowers& (USA), Florists’ Review (USA), Nacre (France), Revista Clip(Spain) and Today Magazine (Korea), with the most notable being Isabel Gilbert Palmer’s trendsetting book, Formidable Florists in 2015. After several years of working and teaching for Smithers Oasis Mexico, Gomez co-founded the Centro de Arte Floral. It offers a full curriculum for floral professionals and novices. In 2016, Leopoldo placed fifth in Barcelona’s World Flower Cup and was a presenter and International Guest Designer at AIFD’s National Symposium. In 2017-2018, Leopoldo went on a teaching journey to various cities throughout Mexico, Brazil, Italy, China, England and the United States. In 2018, he was named the Grand Prize Winner of the Gateway to the America’s Cup Competition.
Damien Koh AIFD PFCI
Damien is an internationally acclaimed floral artist who is highly sought after for demonstration and lecture. Damien was inducted into the American Institute of Floral Designers (AIFD) in 1996. He was also inducted into Professional Floral Communicators International (PFCI) in September 2005, making him the first Chinese to make it to the prestigious organization with only slightly more then 100 members worldwide. He holds diplomas in European Floral Art and Modern Floral Design and is a Professor of Ikenobo Ikebana Floral Art. A founding member of Floral Designers Society Singapore; Damien has served as Program Chairman, Publicity and Marketing Chairman and President. Damien has toured more 40 cities in Canada, China, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Japan, Korea, Macau, Malaysia, Taiwan,Mexico, Thailand, Germany, France, UK, The Netherlands and and the USA as demonstrator, lecturer, exhibitor, commentator, judge, translator, display artist, consultant and/or designer. Highlights include his 2004 wildly successful program presented in New York during AIFD National Symposium. In 2001, Damien was conferred the title of Guest Professor by Beijing Vocational Middle School. He has been interviewed and featured in trade Magazines, Life style Magazines such as Flowers& of USA, Florists of Japan,Flower Shop of Japan, Flower Today of Korea, Her World Brides of Singapore, Home and Deco of Singapore etc.
2019 World Cup Champion~!!!
Bart Hassam Floral Design – to create beauty through plant material, with elegance and appropriateness – but above all, with a respect for the flower. Bart Hassam was born in 1977 in the town of Bundaberg on the east coast of Australia and was brought up there by his maternal grandparents. His paternal grandmother encouraged his passion of flowers and plants and introduced him to the world of floral design. He created his first wedding bouquet for a family wedding at age 13 and competed frequently in Floral Art competitions. After graduating secondary school, he went on to further study and completed a Certificate of Commercial Floristry in 1996. From 1996 to 2004, Bart had the opportunity to spend most of this period working in Japan as a floral design assistant to Japanese Floral Designer Yoko Takahashi. Since 2004, Bart returned to Australia to pursue a professional floral design career as well as competitive floristry – winning Interflora Australian Florist of the Year 5 times and winning the 2011 Intercontinental/Asia Cup held in Taiwan. In 2012, Bart became Head Designer for French Flowers in Brisbane. In 2018 he co-created Maison Fleur Floral Design – two studio flower boutiques in Brisbane . He exhibits, demonstrates and teaches floral design regularly in countries all around the world. In 2018, Bart was selected to represent Australia at the 2019 World Cup of Floral Design and became the eventual FTD World Cup Champion of Floral Design in Philadelphia 2019. Professional and Competitive Experience Queensland Interflora Florist of the Year – 2002, 2005, 2009, 2013, 2015 Australian Interflora Florist of the Year – 2002, 2005, 2009, 2013, 2015 Melbourne International Flower and Garden Show – 6 Gold Medals, 3 Silver Medals, 2 Bronze Medals Huis Ten Bosch International Garden Show, Nagasaki Japan – 1 Gold Medal, 1 Silver Medal Intercontinental/Asia Cup Taiwan – Winner 2011 Interflora World Cup Australian Selection Competition – Runner-up 2009 Interflora World Cup Australian Selection Competition – Winner 2018 FTD World Cup Champion Philadelphia - Winner 2019