DALLAS – Home furnishings manufacturer Groovystuff announces the winner of its "Groovystuff by Design: Connecting Education with Industry Challenge." Sarah Goldner from the University of Oregon placed first in the “Popular Vote at Market” at the recent High Point Market held April 18-24, for her environmentally friendly product design and innovative contribution to the home furnishings industry.
Ms. Goldner competed against undergraduates in the Product Design Program at the University of Oregon to design an environmentally friendly product that reflects the Groovystuff brand and can be produced using sustainable manufacturing practices. Students produced miniature models and product display boards for market attendees to vote on during the High Point Market. “The Country Side Rocker” by Ms. Goldner was voted “Most marketable and most likely to show a profit” by Retailers, Interior Designers, and trade professionals attending market and will receive a $250 cash prize as well as royalties on her design.
For the Groovystuff by Design Challenge, Sarah was inspired to make a rocking chair unlike most others on the market. “The Country Side Rocker” is designed with an angular base allowing the user to lean back into a reclined position “where they can dream about years past and the ones to come.” Ms. Goldner designed the concept to fit into Groovystuff’s Iron Horse Collection of reclaimed products. “The Country Side Rocker” is constructed from black-coated steel and reclaimed teak wood, finished with rounded bolts and a flat honey-toned finish. According to Ms. Goldner, her design, “aesthetically highlights the integration of rustic and industrial fabrication with its cohesive and simplistic beauty.”
Ms. Goldner was one of three other students that made the visit to market to network with trade professionals and to represent her school and design work. When asked about the Groovystuff design challenge and market experience Ms. Goldner had this to say, “Being able to attend the High Point Furniture Market has been an amazing opportunity. While there I was exposed to countless design companies from all facets of the furniture industry. I am extremely grateful to Groovystuff and the University of Oregon to have had the chance to be able to attend such an inspiring show. Winning the design challenge encourages me to continue creating new furniture ideas and to pursue my career as a product designer.”
When asked about the benefits of the cross industry collaboration with Groovystuff, University of Oregon Instructor Ruth Fore was quoted saying, “The Groovystuff by Design Challenge was an amazing opportunity for Product Design students to experience working with a company and designing for production. I was very impressed with the quality of work our students were able to achieve and so proud to see all of their designs on display at the High Point Market. Our students worked very hard and put forth a great effort to create each design and having the opportunity to exhibit that work to the leading professionals and buyers in the furniture industry was an irreplaceable experience. The debut at the High Point Market gave our students the opportunity to not only exhibit their designs, but also the ability to converse and create lasting connections with the furniture industry.”
Founded in 1998 by Chris Bruning, Groovystuff utilizes reclaimed materials in the design, production, and distribution of rustic, contemporary, and eco-friendly commercial and residential furniture, lighting, and home decor at upper-medium to high-end price points. Designed for today’s lifestyles and inspired by yesterday’s antiquities, Groovystuff now offers eight unique residential and commercial collections: Prairie, Iron Horse, Adirondack, Back to the Roots, Kodiak, Rocky Mountain, Antares Lighting and the recently launched Moonshine reclaimed steel drum collection. Each group features pieces designed with the foundation of style, value, longevity, and preservation of natural resources. Based in Dallas, Groovystuff has permanent showrooms in High Point, NC (The Suites at Market Square, G-1025), Las Vegas (World Market Center, B-146), and once a year at the International Casual Furniture Market in Chicago, IL (The Merchandise Mart, No. 8-9036A).
Groovystuff's not-for-profit 2013 ICON Achievement Award Winning “University Hall of Innovation & Job Creation” and “Groovystuff by Design Challenge” represent a breakthrough approach to the nurturing of home furnishings design talent in partnership with leading U.S. colleges and universities. Recognized by ICON for “Industry Contribution & Influence,” the Groovystuff foundation was established in 2010 by Chris Bruning to improve the competitiveness of consumer products here in the US by providing students with job opportunities and presenting professors and students with an invaluable opportunity to network with retailers, designers, manufacturers, suppliers, journalists, and industry professionals at the High Point Market. Since inception, the Groovystuff initiative continues to supply the residential home furnishings industry with the most current education, research, market statistics, technology, product design, and innovation as well as a revolving human resource of graduates from the educational programs and universities that service our industry. For more information, please visit http://www.groovystuff.com or www.facebook.com/groovystuff.