KINGSPORT, Tenn. – Eugene Duclos, a furniture design student at Appalachian State University, received the Best of Show award for the Design Emphasis Showcase at the International Woodworking Fair (IWF) in Atlanta on August 21, 2012. The Design Emphasis Showcase is acclaimed as the foremost student furniture design competition in the country.
Duclos of Cary, N.C., received the award for outdoor furniture he designed and built as part of the Perennial Wood Appalachian State Design Studio. The furniture is made of an innovative material, Perennial Wood™, manufactured by Eastman and introduced to the outdoor furniture market this year. It is real wood, sourced in the U.S. and modified on the molecular level to provide a physical barrier against rot, decay and movement. Eastman sponsored the design studio, giving students the opportunity to share their furniture on the national stage at High Point Market, the International Contemporary Furniture Fair, and IWF where Duclos won the Best of Show award.
Duclos won the Best of Show award for a piece he titled the “Wright Bench,” which is an outdoor park-type bench with a built-in bike rack. For his winning design, he was awarded $2,000 in prize money and will receive the continued benefits of networking, perspective, insight, and experience interacting with industry professionals.
“Eugene’s innovative bench design turns heads and starts conversations at every show where it has been displayed,” said Brant Mitchell, market development manager for Eastman and Perennial Wood. “His work illustrates the unique qualities of Perennial Wood in a creative design that is not only beautiful, but functional as well.”
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 finalists. The students attended the IWF at the Georgia World Congress Center to participate in the showcase, where their projects were judged by a panel of furniture industry designers, manufacturing and retail executives, and members of the trade media. The Best of Show award is the highest award conferred as part of the showcase.
“Winning the Design Emphasis Showcase Best of Show award is an incredible accomplishment for Eugene,” said Kern Maass, professor and director of the industrial design program at Appalachian State University. “On behalf of everyone at the university, we’d like to congratulate him on winning this much-deserved award and proving himself as a credible young designer and skilled craftsman.”
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.
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