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Perennial Wood design gives ASU students first-hand experience

Designs of new wood product to be judged at High Point Market

Furniture design students at Appalachian State University are getting first-hand experience working with an innovative wood product, Perennial Wood.
Sponsored by Eastman, the Perennial Wood Appalachian State Design Studio 2012 provides students with chances to display their furniture in several high profile venues.
More than 20 students are participating in the design studio, which kicked off in January when students received an overview of Perennial Wood, the design studio and were given opportunities to interact with the wood and ask questions of product experts. Following the kickoff, students received a supply of Perennial Wood and related supplies for their use.
"We are excited to be working with Appalachian State University on this important design studio," said Brant Mitchell, market development manager for Perennial Wood. "Guided by insightful professors, the students are on the forefront of furniture design, and using the latest materials like Perennial Wood helps better prepare them for their future careers. Recently we had the opportunity to review some of their preliminary concept drawings, which were practical, clever and visionary. These gifted students represent the future of furniture design."
In March, the students will complete their projects. In addition to designing and constructing the furniture, they are creating two-minute videos capturing their personal discoveries along the way, and featuring their final furniture products.
Several students will have the opportunity to display their furniture at High Point Market, the world's largest  furnishing industry trade show, set for April 21-26, in High Point, N.C. In an effort to recognize the students' hard work and creativity, the 80,000 attendees at the show will be able to cast votes for their favorite furniture designs. Also during that week, the general public will cast votes via a public website where the students' videos will be posted.
Following the show, a panel of judges will determine the top furniture designs, taking into consideration the crowd-sourced voting results. Entries will be judged on the design approach, use of medium (Perennial Wood and other materials), and the final product's purpose, usefulness and aesthetics. The student with the top-scoring design will receive a professionally produced video of his or her project and furniture design for inclusion on the Eastman Innovation Lab website, a resource for industrial designers and marketers featuring many success stories and videos about using materials to differentiate products for better results.
In addition to receiving Perennial Wood and other materials, students have access to technical support and product experts to answer questions and provide guidance throughout the process.
"Partnering with Eastman for this design studio not only gives our students the opportunity to work with this exciting new material, but also the experience of contributing to an important product launch," said Kern Maass, assistant professor in Appalachian State University's department of technology and environmental design. "They are gaining invaluable experience doing real world design that involves interacting with professionals in design, marketing and communication, with the ultimate goal of developing a product suitable for the marketplace."
Perennial Wood is an attractive, long-lasting, U.S.-sourced wood well suited for a wide variety of uses including furniture. It is real wood, with real character that has been modified with TruLast Technology to stand up to the elements, resisting changes from moisture and remaining dimensionally stable for decades. Because it has 25% greater surface hardness, and is three times more resistant to shrinking and swelling than unmodified wood, furniture made with Perennial Wood will hold its shape and stand the test of time.
In conjunction with the launch of Perennial Wood earlier this month at the International Builders' Show, Eastman announced that it is now accepting inquiries from furniture manufacturers interested in incorporating Perennial Wood into their offerings. Inquiries may be directed to Perennial Wood offers furniture manufacturers a long-lasting attractive, U.S.-sourced wood for their furniture lines.
For more information on Perennial Wood, visit

Appalachian, located in Boone, N.C., is one of 16 universities in the University of North Carolina system.

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