• Thomas Russell

Groovystuff expands furniture education program to Thailand

DALLAS — Groovystuff, a resource specializing in sustainable wood furniture, has expanded its Connecting Education to Industry initiative to Thailand.

 Groovystuff, King Mongkut Institute of Technology Ladkrabang, ThailandStudents from Thailand’s King Mongkut Institute of Technology Ladkrabang listen to a presentation about the Groovystuff Design Challenge.

Thailand's King Mongkut's Institute of Technology Ladkrabang is the latest university to take part in the Groovystuff Design Challenge. This program now offers students a change to design furniture for the U.S. market and earn royalties for their designs.

The Thai program, under the leadership of Professor Torvong Puipanthavong, will initially include 22 students from the KMITL's School of Architecture. This summer, they'll design product to be considered for Groovystuff's Dick Idol licensed line of furniture.

The students received a pallet of materials from Groovystuff in late May to use in constructing a miniature version of the product they design. These designs will be seen and voted on by attendees of the October High Point Market and the student with the most popular votes will receive a cash prize.

Later, samples of the product will be produced and the design with the most written orders will be included in the Dick Idol collection. The winner will receive royalties based on sales.

Since its inception in 2010, several other universities have taken part in the Groovystuff Design Challenge. They include Auburn University, Appalachian State University, The Art Institute of Las Vegas, University of Georgia, University of North Carolina, University of Idaho and Purdue University.

Founded in 1960, KMITL is a top engineering institute in Thailand.

In a statement, Groovystuff founder Chris Bruning said, "This new cooperative with the industrial design students in Thailand offers dealers carrying the Groovystuff line a whole new round of products designed from an entirely new perspective, untarnished by the pressures of U.S. trends and product saturation. Professor Tor is helping us get our message of sustainability out to a more global audience, and his instructional platform is based on energy conservation, quality of life, and the responsible use of resources when teaching design and we couldn't be more pleased by our partnership with him and the students."

Thomas RussellThomas Russell | Associate Editor, FurnitureToday

I'm Tom Russell and have worked at Furniture/Today since August 2003. Since then, I have covered the international side of the business from a logistics and sourcing standpoint. Since then, I also have visited several furniture trade shows and manufacturing plants in Asia, which has helped me gain perspective about the industry in that part of the world. As I continue covering the import side of the business, I look forward to building on that knowledge base through conversations with industry officials and future overseas plant tours. From time to time, I will file news and other industry perspectives online and, as always, welcome your response to these Web postings.

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