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Students collaborate with Eastman on new product launch

Eastman_t.jpgKINGSPORT, Tenn.— Furniture design students at Appalachian State University are getting first-hand experience working with a new innovative product, Perennial Wood™, real wood made to endure. Sponsored by Eastman, the Perennial Wood Appalachian State Design Studio 2012 provides students with chances to display their furniture in several high profile venues.

furniture design class.jpgStudents in a furniture design class at Appalachian State University have collaborated with Eastman to develop creative uses of the company’s innovate product, Perennial Wood™. The best of the students’ work will be displayed during High Point Market Week in April. (Photo courtesy of Eastman)

More than 20 students are participating in the design studio, which kicked off in January when students received an overview of Perennial Wood and Eastman’s Innovation Lab, and were given opportunities to interact with the wood and ask questions of product experts. Following the kickoff, students received a supply of Perennial Wood and related supplies for their use.

“We are excited to be working with Appalachian State University on this important design studio,” said Brant Mitchell, market development manager for Perennial Wood. “Guided by insightful professors, the students are on the forefront of furniture design, and using the latest materials like Perennial Wood helps better prepare them for their future careers. Recently we had the opportunity to review some of their preliminary concept drawings, which were practical, clever and visionary. These gifted students represent the future of furniture design.”

In March, the students will complete their projects. In addition to designing and constructing the furniture, they are creating two-minute videos capturing their personal discoveries along the way, and featuring their final furniture products.

Several students will have the opportunity to display their furniture at High Point Market Week, the world’s largest furnishing industry trade show, April 21-26, in High Point, N.C. In an effort to recognize the students’ hard work and creativity, the 80,000 attendees at the show will be able to cast votes for their favorite furniture designs. Also during that week, the general public will cast votes via a public website where the students’ videos will be posted.

Following the show, a panel of judges will determine the top furniture designs, taking into consideration the crowd-sourced voting results. Entries will be judged on the design approach, use of medium (Perennial Wood and other materials), and the final product’s purpose, usefulness and aesthetics. The student with the top-scoring design will receive a professionally produced video of his or her project and furniture design for inclusion on the Eastman Innovation Lab website, a resource for industrial designers and marketers featuring many success stories and videos about using materials to differentiate products for better results.

In addition to receiving Perennial Wood and other materials, students have access to technical support and product experts to answer questions and provide guidance throughout the process.

“Partnering with Eastman for this design studio not only gives our students the opportunity to work with this exciting new material, but also the experience of contributing to an important product launch,” said Kern Maass, assistant professor in Appalachian State University’s Department of Technology and Environmental Design. “They are gaining invaluable experience doing real world design that involves interacting with professionals in design, marketing and communication, with the ultimate goal of developing a product suitable for the marketplace.”

Perennial Wood is an attractive, long-lasting, U.S.-sourced wood well suited for a wide variety of uses including furniture. It is real wood, with real character that has been modified with TruLast™ Technology to stand up to the elements, resisting changes from moisture and remaining dimensionally stable for decades. Because it has 25 percent greater surface hardness, and is three times more resistant to shrinking and swelling than unmodified wood, furniture made with Perennial Wood will hold its shape and stand the test of time.

About Eastman

Perennial Wood is made and manufactured by Eastman Chemical Company (NYSE:
EMN), a Fortune 500 company with more than 80 years of history in acetylating wood pulp and 2011 sales exceeding $7.2 billion. In 2010, 13 percent of Eastman’s total revenues were derived from sales of raw materials to the building and construction industry. Eastman is actively engaged with Responsible Care® and is committed to continuously improving its sustainability performance through innovative, environmentally and socially responsible solutions. For more information on Perennial Wood, visit PerennialWood.com.

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