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How does sustainability sit with you?

07. Oct 2020
Quick insight

The global awareness of the need for a sustainable shift is rapidly af­fecting customer demands. In the future, we will need less consumption, less manufacturing, less stuff – more circular thinking, more holistic production and more considerate action. Truly sustainable produc­tion is a highly complex endeavor – analyzing the sourcing, production, distribution, end use and dis­posal of a given product is a challenge for any com­pany and next to impossible for the – typically small – Nordic furniture manufacturer and designer. Re­gardless, designers in the Nordic countries are de­voted to a long tradition of social engagement and seem to constantly move the borders of what is to be considered sustainable design.

As Nordic designers and manufacturers integrate elements of sustainability into the development of everyday objects, they gradually lead the way for others. In correspondence, the Nordic Council of Min­isters wanted to address the challenge of sustaina­bility by looking at what is already present – by asking the Nordic design community the question: How sustainable is your current crop of well-designed chairs?

By doing this, we hope to spark a thorough discus­sion on the concept of sustainability in the produc­tion of chairs and to introduce a dialogue on how to practically address the many challenges related to product design.

The Nordic Council of Ministers in collaboration with Danish Design Center, DOGA: Design and Architecture Norway, Iceland Design Centre, Ornamo in Finland and Swedish Form encouraged the Nordic design community to submit what they considered to be the most sustainable work of chairs they had created so far – and present their thinking behind the design.

50 finalists have been selected by national juries of highly qualified design

About the jury

Each chair has been selected based on the following criteria on the picture to the right.

Combined, the selected chairs demonstrate both the depth and the variety that distinguishes the Nordic holistic view on sustainable furniture design – from the proposal of new natural materials to a methodical improvement of the production processes, leading to a significant reduction in the emission of CO2 into the environment.

23 of the finalist chairs are exhibited at the Swedish pavilion at EXPO 2020 Dubai (Oct 2021 – Mar 2022)

Read about the chairs here:

Today sustainability is part of the design process. The world does not need more objects, it needs the right objects. The lifespan and quality are important since we can’t stop consumption.

Mats Widbom

CEO, Swedish Form

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