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Groovystuff by Design Challenge draws 100 students from six universities

More than 100 students from Southern Illinois University - Carbondale, Columbia College - Chicago, University of Idaho, University of Minnesota, North Carolina State University and Appalachian State University participating in the Groovystuff by Design Challenge will debut their designs at the High Point Market in The University Hall of Innovation & Job Creation.

Groovystuff, a Dallas-based designer of reclaimed teak wood furniture, sponsors the Groovystuff by Design: Connecting Education with Industry Challenge to bridge "the gap between education and the residential home furnishings industry," according to a press release. The initiative allows students and professors to network with retailers, designers, manufacturers, suppliers, journalists and industry professionals at the High Point Market.

In the design challenge, students are required to design an accessory, accent or occasional home furnishings product that utilizes or reconfigures the reclaimed material used in the Groovystuff product line and is competitive enough to be included in the celebrity Dick Idol Legends brand. The four universities will debut the results of the design challenge this week.

"Groovystuff gives the students detailed, direct feedback explaining their materials and market to the students," said Alyssa Coletti, Appalachian State University professor. "This inside view helps the students understand the furniture industry beyond aesthetics. Re-purposing otherwise un-usable items into new products is a particularly challenging exercise for industrial designers, as most new products are created with virgin materials.

"One perk of the project is the story behind the re-purposed materials and knowing that someone's lifelong tools get a second chapter. The thought of where those wagon wheels once traveled and the yokes on the bulls that pulled them conjures beautiful thoughts of the Thai countryside. For the students and myself, I'm very thankful for the opportunity to work with a company that practices real sustainability rather than just a marketing exercise."

Students from each school will submit 20" x 30" product board, 0.25" scale model and 42" tall pedestal for their models for a chance to compete in the "Popular Vote at Market" at the High Point Market. The winning design from each school will receive a $250 cash prize.

Groovystuff shows in the Suites at Market Square, G-1025.

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