Dallas-based Groovystuff has announced the international expansion of its By Design: Connecting Education to Industry cooperative with the inclusion of Thailand’s King Mongkut’s Institute of Technology Ladkrabang (KMITL) undergraduates in the Groovystuff Design Challenge.
The expansion offers overseas market exposure and permanent royalties to participating students and introduces Groovystuff retailers to the design trends happening in Asia. KMITL, founded in 1960 and a top-ranking engineering institute in Thailand, is the ninth university to collaborate with Groovystuff since the inception of the cooperative in 2010. Other design program participants include: Appalachian State University, The Art Institute of Las Vegas, Auburn University, University of Georgia, University of North Carolina, University of Idaho, and Purdue University.
Under the leadership of Professor Torvong Puipanthavong, 22 industrial design students from the Faculty of Architecture will get first-hand exposure to the U.S. residential home furnishings market this summer by designing a product competitive enough to be included in the licensed Dick Idol Gallery of home furnishings. The class of undergraduates received a pallet of reclaimed materials from Groovystuff and are tasked with researching the ergo-dynamic considerations of the U.S. consumer. They will create a final presentation that will be voted on by trade show participants at the High Point Market this fall.
The winner of the “Popular Vote at Market” will receive a cash prize. The products will then move into the production stage for release in the U.S. market, and the entry with the “Most in Written Orders” will be the final product design inducted into the Dick Idol Gallery.
“This new cooperative with the industrial design students in Thailand offers our dealers a whole new round of products designed from an entirely new perspective - untarnished by the pressures of U.S. trends and product saturation,” says Chris Bruning, a co-founder and president of GroovyStuff and the visionary behind the initiative. “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.”