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Interior Design & Groovystuff 1-Day Design Challenge

Published September 30, 2014

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Groovystuff 1-Day Design Challenge
Interior Design Educator Council South Region Conference 2014
Florida State University
Friday, October 24, 2014
9:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m.

studio door

IDEC South Regional is pleased to host a student furniture design charette during the first day of the South Region Conference at Florida State University. This 6-hour charette will focus on designing lighting, furniture and home furnishings for Groovystuff, Inc. Students will work with founder and president, Chris Bruning, to design and develop lighting and/or furniture that models the Groovystuff furnishings line.  He will bring schools from the surrounding Tallahassee area to participate in a one-day design camp during the conference.

In one day, Groovystuff will give students a box of reclaimed materials and will ask them to create a piece of furniture or accessory out of it. The winner gets their product produced and launched on the home furnishings market in 2015.

Chris Bruning, the founder and president of Groovystuff, will travel to Tallahassee on October 24 to give the keynote address for the Interior Design Educators Council South Region Conference sponsored by the Department of Interior Architecture + Design at FSU. As part of the conference, he will lead students from the Department of Interior Architecture + Design and Department of Art at Florida State University and Architecture at Florida Agricultural & Mechanical University in a group furniture design challenge from 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. October 24.

Product boards being finalized for presentation at the High Point Furniture Market in October

More Information

Founded in 1998 by Chris Bruning, Groovystuff utilizes reclaimed materials in the design, production and wholesale 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.

The High Point Market is the largest furnishings industry trade show in the world, bringing more than 75,000 people to High Point every six months. Serious retail home furnishings buyers can be found in High Point twice a year.

The Department of Interior Architecture + Design at Florida State University focuses on design theory, history, furniture design and technical skills as well as studio classes addressing residential and commercial spaces. A central mission at FSU is to prepare students to work in design firms as well as in allied industries. The department is also home to Studio D: Design and Fabrication Lab that supports the furniture design curriculum.


In 2010 Chris Bruning of Groovystuff founded an industry/university collaboration called “The Groovystuff by Design: Connecting Education with Industry Challenge.” Since inception, more than 500 students have participated in the program to date from design programs across the US to include: Appalachian State University, The Art Institute of Las Vegas, Auburn University, University of Georgia, The University of North Carolina, North Carolina State University, The University of Idaho, Purdue University, Columbia College – Chicago, Southern Illinois University – Carbondale, The University of Minnesota, Florida State University and the international expansion to the Industrial Design Program at KMITL in Bangkok, Thailand. In the education to industry collaboration with Groovystuff, the company ships a box of reclaimed materials to the university and the professor guides the students in partnership with design direction from the Groovystuff staff via Facebook. Students participating in the Challenge are tasked with developing a residential home furnishings product utilizing the reclaimed materials found in the Groovystuff product line.


As a foundation, “The University Hall of Innovation & Job Creation” partners with the university programs that service our market and the “Groovystuff by Design: Connecting Education with Industry Challenge” is the vehicle we utilize to provide these programs with access to our industry events, transportation, accommodation, a sponsored space at the trade event, days of mentoring at market by trade professionals, advertising and funding to attend the High Point Market in April and October.

The class is then given a sponsored space at the High Point Market in “The University Hall of Innovation & Job Creation” to showcase their creations to the estimated one hundred fifty thousand retailers, interior designers, suppliers, manufacturers, service providers, media and trade professionals attending the annual market. The student displays include a 20” x 30” product board, ¼” scale model and 42” tall pedestal for each of the student models. Students interact and network with trade professionals, gather feedback on their designs and are exposed to the real world of design, manufacturing, sales and distribution in the home furnishings industry. Trade Professionals vote on the marketability of the student designs with the winner awarded a cash prize and the opportunity for that student’s design to be put into production by Groovystuff with the possibility of lifetime royalties.
“The University Hall of Innovation & Job Creation” supports the home furnishings market, the educational programs and the future graduates who will directly contribute to our industry by providing product innovation, access to cutting edge technology for manufacturing, research, trends and market statistics that ensure the global competitiveness of US suppliers of residential home furnishings.


The Groovystuff: Connecting Education with Industry Paid Internship. Ideal candidates for The Groovystuff Internship are those who can walk into either a professional or social setting of people and leave with both future networking possibilities and new friends. Your contributions to the Las Vegas Market located at World Market Center in July will provide you with a hands-on experience in the Residential Home Furnishings Industry and transferable skills that will help prepare you for the professional fields of Industrial Design, Product Design, Interior Architecture, Interior Design, Merchandising, Sales, Marketing and Management. Your design skills will directly impact the decision making process for the production of undergraduate designs from Industrial Design students. Your contributions to the Groovystuff by Design: Connecting Education with industry Challenge will directly contribute to the design portfolios of graduates as well as your own prior to graduation. Having this versatile design experience will make you more flexible in the future when it comes to finding alternative methods and approaches to practical design and space planning considerations.

The Crew at Groovystuff endorses the introduction of graduating talent into the Residential Home Furnishings Industry by giving recognition and royalties to the individual. You will return from your internship with a profoundly new and intimate understanding of the various aspects of the Residential Home Furnishings Industry that will give you the experience you need to make the proper career choice after graduation. The networking opportunities with Retailers, Designers, Contractors, Suppliers, Shippers, Journalists and trade professionals will ultimately help you land a job after graduation. The Groovystuff Summer Internship is one way to get there.

Event Schedule

  • October 17 – 23, 2014 – Graduate student designs presented @ High Point Furniture Market in North Carolina
  • October 23, 2014 @ 5:00 p.m. – 9:00 p.m.– Studio D @ FSU Sneak Peek Turnbull Center
  • October 24, 2014 @ 9:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m. – Groovystuff 1-Day Design Challenge @ William Johnston Building
  • December 2013 – January 2014 – Gallery show of graduate furniture design students @ William Johnston Building Gallery

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Groovystuff Fall 2014 Press Release

IDEC Fall 2014 Schedule

Groovystuff Featured Students