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Groovystuff exhibiting results of ASU student design competition in High Point

Market attendees invited to view and vote for favorites

Groovystuff is exhibiting the results of a design competition among students in Appalachian State University's industrial design and furniture design program this week.

Twenty-three students in ASU's Industrial design and furniture design program, led by professor Richard Prisco, were challenged to design a piece of "modern rustic" furniture for Groovystuff's new licensed Dick Idol Legends collection. The students worked with reclaimed teak and other components typical of the Groovystuff line to design an environmentally-friendly product that reflects the Dick Idol brand, and can be produced using sustainable manufacturing practices.

The students' work is on display in the buyers lounge next to Groovystuff's showroom in the Suites at Market Square (G-1043). A ballot box accompanies each display so retail buyers can vote on the designs and offer comments.

A panel of judges will consider the comments and "popular vote" of the retailers when they select the top five designs to be presented to the Dick Idol brand partners at the end of the market. Finalists selected by the Dick Idol brand partners will be produced by Groovystuff for exhibition during the April 2011 High Point Market.

"We will display the original drawings along with the finished product so buyers can see the transformation of the concept into a fully executed consumer product," Groovystuff Co-founder Chris Bruning said. "We'll ask them again for their comments and votes - but also for their order. The final winning design will be the one with the top sales. That student designer will not only win a $1,000 cash prize, but also a permanent 1 percent royalty on all future sales of the product."

"Our program's mission is to provide students with a comprehensive education through the context of real world projects," Professor Prisco said. "Working with Chris has been a great experience for the students. It has helped perfect their design and presentation skills and allowed them to participate in a project with real results as well as introducing them to perspective employers.

"The home furnishings industry is no different than many other industries in America today. We are losing our young talent to overseas competition," Bruning said. "We need to embrace these talented young students and encourage them to seek a career in the home furnishings industry. If we are going to appeal to Gen X and Gen Y consumers, we need designers with a fresh, young perspective."

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