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Fifth annual chair design competition held May 1 at Appalachian

BOONE—Students in Appalachian State University’s Department of Technology will compete in the Fifth Annual Berkline BenchCraft LLC Chair Design Competition Thursday, May 1, at the Broyhill Inn and Conference Center in Boone.

The competition, coordinated by the Department of Technology, is a semester-long project that teaches students design concepts, human factors and construction techniques in context to the

chair form. The designs of the chairs must be original and unique.

The first place winner will receive $2,000, second place will receive $1,500 and third place will receive $1,000.

Previous participants have gone on to win at the bi-annual Association of Woodworking and Furniture Suppliers (AWFS) Fresh Wood student competition in Las Vegas.

Judging will take place from 9 a.m. to noon. The winners will be announced at 1 p.m. Chairs will remain on display for viewing until 5 p.m. The public is invited to view the entries between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m.

Members of the judging committee are Charlie Sutton of Sutton House, Todd Campbell of Bernhardt Furniture, Bill Faber of Century Furniture and Jay Reardon of Hickory Chair.

“I think our students are exceptional,” Sutton said. “They can work with a variety of materials, design and craft a chair which could be manufactured and sold to the public. This is a great way for them to understand how the furniture industry operates.”

The Department of Technology shifted its emphasis from furniture studies to furniture design in response to the needs expressed by area furniture companies. The program change and the chair design competition prepare students to work in the ever-changing industry and remain competitive with the trend towards off shoring of furniture production.

For more information about the competition, contact Kern Maass at or (828)262-6356.