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Design students compete at International Woodworking Fair

Design Emphasis Showcase features two ASU finalists using Perennial Wood

Wright Bench by Eugene DuclosWright Bench by Eugene Duclos
KINGSPORT, Tenn. - 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.
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 United States 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.
Patio Chaise by Derek ElliottPatio Chaise by Derek Elliott
"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.
"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 ASU. "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
For more information on Perennial Wood, visit or call 800-530-7495.

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