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Bringing Circularity to the Furniture Industry

Danish furniture company Stykka started in 2019 to prove that the furniture industry can become more sustainable. Through our project OPENNEXT, they explored open-source and eventually made the principles a key part of their business model. Today, all of Stykka’s designs have a digital twin that allows customers to order replacements and easily repair products 

The Results: Changing your startup’s path

As part of OPENNEXT, the EU’s Horizon 2020 project that brings together SMEs and makerspaces across Europe to develop new products based on open-source principles, Stykka has achieved several results that now drive the company’s business model:

  • Stykka developed an open-source platform for their designs
  • All designs have a digital twin that allows for repairs and upgrades
  • New designs are developed in collaboration with the end user

"When you're working on something new and groundbreaking, you tend to keep your cards close, but once you start working more openly and collaboratively, you suddenly see all the benefits of inviting others inside, be it a community or other companies."

Rasmus Daniel Taun

Head of Business Development and Brand, Stykka


Open-source explained

Open-source refers to something people can modify and share because the design is publicly available. It allows access to resources, tools, knowledge, and skills on a global scale. 

Using open-source licenses and sharing design documents allows everyone to develop new methods and break new ground. It’s an open, collaborative approach that empowers people to participate in developing and sharing new solutions that can be easily redesigned and adapted to suit individual needs. 

If you’re interested, tune in to our podcast Show me the money about the economic and future-proof benefits of using open-source design principles in your business.

The Challenge: Young, circular… and scalable

How can startups become more circular and scale at the same time? This question is one of the main driving forces for Stykka. 

As a young startup with only three years on its birth certificate, Stykka was interested in understanding how open-source design principles could enable them to evolve and scale as a circular company. They decided to experiment with the add-on module for their product ‘LastDesk’, a modular desk that can be expanded almost endlessly to meet individual work needs. A ‘do not disturb’ lamp, a charging station, a paper shredder, etc., just to name a few options.


OPENNEXT is a completed three-year project funded by Horizon 2020 under the EU’s flagship initiative to bring together research and innovation. The program brought together 19 project partners from Europe, divided into research partners, facilitators, and SMEs.

DDC was part of OPENNEXT as a facilitating partner, guiding collaboration processes among project partners, supporting SMEs, and managing the flow of information about the project to external stakeholders and citizens. We applied our knowledge of design thinking and design methodologies from a digital and social perspective and developed open-source toolkits for future use by businesses and communities.

The Approach: A digital twin

An open-source creation means that all design, documentation, and repair files are shared freely and openly with the world to enable open collaboration and direct input to your design. This way, companies can accelerate sustainable innovation by incorporating new perspectives while connecting more closely with their customers.

"We are more likely to achieve better and sustainable solutions if we work together. Solutions like these need to spread faster, and here open-source is key to ensuring the best ideas are shared across communities, countries, and continents."

Rasmus Daniel Taun

Head of Business Development and Brand, Stykka

Together with Maker Copenhagen, Stykka launched a design challenge, shared the blueprints for the module, and invited community members to submit their designs. This has led to many new designs, and even another startup, NordicGrow, is now experimenting with incorporating their product into Stykka’s. 

Since participating in OPENNEXT, Stykka has incorporated open-source even more into their business development. Now all of the company’s products, ranging from kitchens to its new hospital interior designs, have a digital twin online.

Do you want to get started with open-source? Check out our toolkit right here.

About Stykka

Stykka was founded in 2019 to transform the construction industry with sustainable solutions designed to outlast and outperform. The company’s products are connected to an online platform where customers and designers can design and modify furniture for custom production. Throughout Stykka’s product line, all individual parts are replaceable to extend the interior’s lifespan, and old parts are remanufactured and recycled.

Julie Hjort

Director of Sustainable Transition

Phone +45 2575 8933
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