Davis Furniture Sponsors Appalachian State University Studio Competition

Group Photo during Project Kick-off Meeting at Davis Furniture’s Corporate Headquarters
Rob Easton, VP of Design and Development at Davis Furniture gives students tours of the Davis Factory
Rob Easton, VP of Design and Development at Davis Furniture shows student a detail of one of Davis’ products

Davis Furniture recently sponsored a ten-week studio competition with Appalachian State University’s Department of Applied Design. This Furniture 1 Studio project focused students on creating designs for Davis’ Elements line of interior accessories which current spans from coat hooks, coat racks, umbrella stands, planters and side tables. Twelve students were separated into groups and asked to create possibilities within four categories – Planters, Occasional Tables + Laptop Tables, Wall Hooks + Coat Racks, and Screens + Acoustical Panels. The project started with a kick-off meeting at Davis’ Headquarters and factories in High Point, NC. While visiting, students were given presentations by Rob Easton, VP of Design and Development, and Joseph Namyst, Creative Director, focusing on Davis’ current Elements offering and changes being made to the Elements brand for 2023. Students were also given tours of Davis’ factories highlighting the company’s capabilities and attention to high-quality manufacturing and design.

Davis Furniture’s team and Appalachian State’s Director of Furniture Design, Professor Richard Prisco used this competition to help guide students through design development, including research, sketching and drawing to give them insight into furniture + accessory types, design elements and construction. This awareness was then utilized to help students focus on further market research and design, culminating in construction documents, renderings, rapid prototypes and a final client presentation.

Rob Easton, VP of Design and Development at Davis Furniture at a studio critique with App State student, Evan Clarke
Rob Easton, VP of Design and Development at Davis Furniture at a studio critique with App State student, Addison Meink

“At App State Furniture Design, I give students real-world experience, including exposure to design, manufacturing, and craft. Graduating students leave with a practical foundation and skill set preparing them to enter the industry. Working with Davis Furniture and Rob Easton was an exceptional experience for this Junior I Furniture Studio. The level of attention and generosity given to the students was phenomenal. I am looking forward to future collaborations with Davis Furniture.” – Professor Richard Prisco, Director of Furniture Design, Appalachian State University

As the project came to a close, Davis Furniture generously awarded scholarships for the top three students of $3K, $2K and $1K. The top three designs included an occasional table + laptop table by Jon Kanapell, wall hooks by Lucas Thompson and a planter series by Aiden Gough.

“This project pushed me in so many ways as a young designer: building my ability to communicate and develop my designs with a client, reading and understanding the Davis design language, and learning how to present my concepts in ways that appeal to the appropriate audiences.” – 1st place winner, Jon Kanapell, Industrial Design Major: Furniture Design Concentration

Design by Jon Kannapell – First Place Recipient
Design by Lucas Thompson – Second Place Recipient
Design by Aidan Gough – Third Place Recipient

For 2023, Davis Furniture plans to celebrate the 10th Anniversary of the accessories collection by releasing an updated color story as well adding several new designs.

“This collaborative project was the perfect way to kick off our 10th Anniversary with the Elements collection. Working with App’s students on this project was just as inspirational to our company as it was to their studio. We’re really looking forward to keeping this momentum going in 2023 with our Elements line.” – Rob Easton, VP of Design and Development, Davis Furniture

Founded in 1944, Davis Furniture is a leading voice in the contract furniture industry focused on placing Design at the center of every initiative while looking to the future of the workplace. Davis offers cutting-edge, innovative and aesthetically pleasing products designed and manufactured to benefit the functionality of the user and the interior. This fourth-generation, family-operated company continues to maintain the highest corporate integrity, a devoted loyalty to its customers and a never-ending dedication to design. www.davisfurniture.com

Mission of the Department of Applied Design: The Department of Applied Design is dedicated to fostering excellence in design education, design research, and professional placement. The department balances theoretical and pragmatic approaches while exploring an awareness of the impact of design decisions on the global community. Sustainability and ethical responsibility are integrated as part of a holistic approach to creative problem-solving.