At the Stockholm Furniture & Light Fair, third-year students from Carl Malmsten Furniture Studies (Malmstens) at Linköping University revealed their results of the unique collaborative project #DesigninPine, which set out to promote pine in Sweden and China
In China, there is growing interest in climate- and eco-aware design with a Scandinavian touch. The country also has a growing middle class with disposable income and a positive attitude towards furnishing their homes with wood. Responding to this is the unique #DesigninPine collaborative project between the industry body Swedish Wood; Carl Malmsten Furniture Studies (Malmstens), which is part of Linköping University; and two Chinese furniture manufacturers.
Third-year students on the furniture design programme at Malmstens unveiled the results of their efforts at the Stockholm Furniture & Light Fair in mid-February, where nine items of furniture each represented a successful meeting of Swedish design, Swedish pine and modern Chinese furniture manufacturing.
"As well as raising the profile of Swedish coniferous wood in China and other export markets, #DesigninPine showcases pine's potential in contemporary design," says Charlotte Dedye Apelgren, director of interior and design at Swedish Wood. "What's more, Swedish wood is a renewable material sourced from sustainable forestry, which chimes perfectly with the growing eco-awareness that we're seeing in society today."
#DesigninPine also gave students an intimate knowledge of pine as a material and new insights into how it can be used in large-scale industrial furniture manufacture. "The students at Malmstens work on both fictitious and real assignments all the time, but this collaboration has been particularly exciting. We've discovered that distance is no obstacle where defined concepts have been shattered and that pine as a material is changing," notes Chandra Ahlsell, lecturer at Malmstens.
With her bedside table The Crane, Maja Björnsdotter has taken the long-legged bird and tried to depict a little of the symbolism associated with it. The feathers are echoed on the outside of the table, which is clad in pine shavings to give a light and airy impression.
With his Delilah chair, Nicholas James Soubiea has taken the Swedish Windsor chair tradition and interpreted it in his own way. Much of his work has focused on simplifying the design language of the classic Windsor chair and distilling it into a clear and simple design.
Mari Koppanen's Golden Shelving System is a storage cupboard based on the golden ratio — the harmonious proportions that occur so often in life. The internal modules can be stacked on and in each other, and used both in and outside the actual cupboard carcass.
Mikael Blomgren's Cone furniture is an interpretation of the gravitas, beauty, tranquility and mystique of a forest, reflected in the form and detail. The pine cone sitting in the moss is reflected in the shape of the handles, imbuing the room with the warmth of the forest.
The idea behind Solith af Malmborg's open wardrobe solution Display is that the owner can customise its appearance and function. The hanging cupboard that can be threaded onto the wardrobe rail is one example, as are the mirror and hinges.
This is an excerpt from the “Divine simplicity" article from the May 2017 issue of Perspective magazine.
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