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Appalachian State Students Chosen as Finalists for Design Emphasis Showcase at IWF

Furniture World News


Appalachian State University reported that two inspiring design students from Appalachian State University were chosen as finalists and will compete in the Design Emphasis Showcase at the International Woodworking Fair (IWF) in Atlanta, Aug. 22–25, 2012.

Eugene Duclos and Derek Elliott, both from Cary, N.C., will display furniture they designed and built as part of the Perennial Wood Appalachian State Design Studio. The furniture is made of an innovative new material, Perennial Wood™, which is real wood, sourced in the U.S. and modified on the molecular level to provide a physical barrier against rot, decay and movement. The manufacturer, Eastman, introduced the wood to the outdoor furniture market this year and sponsored the design studio, which gave students the opportunity to share their furniture on the national stage at High Point Market in April, the International Contemporary Furniture Fair in May, and now IWF.

The Design Emphasis Showcase is acclaimed as the foremost student furniture design competition in the country, offering students chances to have their work judged by a panel of furniture industry designers, manufacturing and retail executives, and members of the trade media. Students will compete for $12,000 in prize money, awarded for advanced designs in seating, case goods, commercial/office/hospitality furniture, accent furniture/tables, design creativity, and Best of Show. Winners will be announced at a ceremony on Aug. 21 before the show opens. The students’ furniture will be on display in Building A, booth 3237.

“These students were among the first to design and build furniture made of Perennial Wood,” said Brant Mitchell, market development manager for Eastman and Perennial Wood. “They surpassed our expectations with their designs and skilled craftsmanship, proving themselves as exceptional designers with bright futures. We wish Eugene and Derek the very best in Atlanta.”

For the chance to compete in the Design Emphasis Showcase, students submitted photographs and written descriptions of their furniture designs for prejudging. Fifty projects from 41 students were named finalists and invited to attend the IWF at the Georgia World Congress Center and participate in the showcase.

Duclos will display a piece he titled the “Wright Bench,” which is an outdoor park-type bench with a built-in bike rack. Elliott’s piece, titled “Patio Chaise,” won the People’s Choice award in the competition phase of the Perennial Wood Appalachian State Design Studio, garnering the most crowd-sourced, public online votes via Facebook likes, Twitter tweets and Pinterest pins.

Photos: On the left is the Wright Bench by Eugene Duclos, and on the right is the Patio Chase by Derek Elliott.

“Participating in the Design Emphasis Showcase offers students the opportunity to make meaningful connections that will positively impact their future careers,” said Kern Maass, professor of technology and environmental design at Appalachian State University. “They gain perspective and insight by exchanging ideas and experiences with other like-minded students and industry experts.”

Eastman is accepting inquiries from furniture manufacturers interested in incorporating Perennial Wood into their offerings. Inquiries may be directed to info@PerennialWood.com. Perennial Wood offers furniture manufacturers a long-lasting, attractive U.S.-sourced wood for their furniture lines.

About Eastman: Perennial Wood is manufactured by Eastman Chemical Company, a global company with more than 80 years of history in acetylating wood pulp and 2011 pro forma revenues, giving effect to the Solutia acquisition, of approximately $9.3 billion. Headquartered in Kingsport, Tenn., Eastman is committed to finding sustainable business opportunities within the diverse markets and geographies it serves. For more information on Perennial Wood, visit PerennialWood.com or call 800.530.7495.

About Appalachian State University: Nestled in the Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina, Appalachian State University offers a challenging academic environment, energetic campus life and breathtaking location. Appalachian combines the best attributes of a small liberal arts college with those of a large research university. Known for its value and affordability, Appalachian enrolls about 17,000 students and offers more than 140 undergraduate and graduate majors. Small classes and close interactions between faculty and students create a strong sense of community, which has become an Appalachian hallmark. Located in Boone, N.C., it is one of 16 universities in the University of North Carolina system.

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