Sustainable Nordic chairs

In the beginning of September, the Dansk Design Center announced a competition looking for the most sustainable Nordic chair design. Last week, the winners of each country were announced.

The national winners of the design competition were selected based on “the depth and variety that is distinctive of sustainability in Nordic furniture design”. The jury both considered the use of new natural materials as well as a methodical improvement of the production process, leading to a significant reduction of CO2 emissions. Participants come from all Nordic countries: Denmark, Norway, Sweden, Iceland and Finland.

Material wise, one of the most interesting chairs is the Danish winner. The design by Nikolaj Thrane Carlsen and manufactured by TangForm is made of a seaweed composite material. The material consists of eelgrass, which grows naturally near the coastline and can be collected when it’s washed ashore, and carrageenan, a substance extracted from certain red algae. The seat is supported by an oak wood underframe and attached by four brass brackets. These make it easy to separate the parts to be recycled individually.

Iceland’s winning design, designed by Sölvi Kristjánsson and manufactured by Málmsteypan Hella and Portland, is a stool with the purpose “to encourage better seating positions”. It is made from recycled aluminium, derived from 14.000 discarded tea lights, which were recycled as part of an awareness campaign about recycling aluminium in Iceland. The top of the stool is made from cork, also a durable material. The stool can be folded into a floor seat.

The Finnish national winner, designed by Samuli Naamanka and manufactured by Naamanka, and the Swedish national winner, designed by David Ericsson and manufactured by Gärsnäs, are both made of wood, while the Norwegian winner, designed by Peter Opsvik and manufactured by HÅG/Flokk, is made from 48 per cent recycled materials (of which is 53 per cent household plastic) and without the use of glue.

The five national winners will be on display at COP24 in Katowice, Poland, where they will be part of an exhibition on sustainability, at the ‘Nordic Pavilion’. The winning Nordic chair will be exhibited for a year at the Danish showroom ‘Design Werck’ in Copenhagen. In addition, the chair and the designers/manufacturers will be used in a broad international communication strategy for sustainability, managed by the Nordic Council of Ministers.

For all finalists, click here.

Photos: Dansk Design Center