Five projects at Greenhouse 2019 imagining cities of the future

Outdoor furniture, bacteria design and ‘human’ furniture. A selection of the five most engaging projects by students spotted at Stockholm Furniture Fair 2019.

Jan Klingler, Bacteria Lamp, Greenhouse 2019

Greenhouse is a department at the Stockholm Furniture & Light Fair where emerging designers and design schools showcase their prototypes for the industry’s most important producers, journalists and visitors from around the world. We have selected the most engaging projects that explore the “future of products and cities”, and show new and closer connections with the people and the environment.

RoC by Pierre Labarre – Outdoor Diversity exhibition, Konstfack university Stockholm

Every space has a different need, yet most of our public outdoor spaces are furnished in a similar manner. How can we create a more diverse public environment? Students at Konstfack, in their final year of the Bachelor’s programme of Interior Architecture and Furniture Design, present you with a diverse line-up of new objects, exploring the use of existing elements to enhance the connection between nature and furniture.

The young French designer Pierre Labarre designed Roc, outdoor furniture not to be fixed to the ground: the weight of a rock is what locks it to the ground. “I wanted to integrate the presence of what it’s already available in the location: in this way the rock itself becomes structural, and an active part of the design”.

It is cheap to make, consisting of steel tubes and pinewood. With granite rock typical of Sweden, the project has a real link to nature. The idea is not to force nature to accept the bench but to place it gently on the ground, with the possibility of taking it back. Each bench is unique because every rock is different in shape and colour, and that gives a «soul» to the furniture. When the rock is removed the grass regrows.

Hurry Up Before We Collapse! – Design+Change exhibition, Linnæus University

The students of the second year BA Design+Change at the Linnæus university in Southern Sweden are up for a challenge. They created a performing exhibition, where with creativity and empathy they take on complex issues such as sustainability and environmental impact of the furniture industry. They found a daring, yet vulnerable way of opening a discussion on consumerism and unequal power structures.

One of them invites me to seat on the human bench and explains: “Did you notice that the floor is soft? That is because it has to support our furniture that is different from the standard products that require a hard floor for stability instead. Our living furniture is sensitive, and collapses when the weight becomes too much to bear. Our aim is to emphasise the impact that we, as humans and consumers, make on our planet and the reaction that we often don’t notice, when it starts to collapse.” The project from Linnæus University lays its focus on the change of approach that is urgently needed.

Confused by Johanna Denecke – A Second Ago exhibition, University of Gothenburg

In the exhibition “A second ago”, 12 students in design and crafts have explored the question of what role design can play in today’s society. The students have identified situations or phenomena that they consider to be in need of discussion and possible change. The projects on display tell stories of another world, with other values.

Johanna Denecke’s work Confused consists of three chairs that illuminate the uncomfortable process of adolescence when everything is changing proportions. “The teenage years are characterized by the metamorphosis of being a child and becoming an adult. It’s an awkward phase when everything constantly seems to grow out of proportion and not to make sense anymore. It’s the time of the most profound changes in ones life”. Confused is a series of standstills of such a process of change, taking the focus off the end result and towards the transformation itself, celebrating imperfection and weirdness and highlighting the beauty of change.

Bacteria Lamps by Jan Klingler

The German designer Jan Klingler collaborated with glass factories in Southern Sweden to create lamps whose shapes and function are inspired to chemistry. They are in fact able to case and preserve bacteria and show their natural colours that become the main aesthetics of the product itself. The extent of the customisation ranges from the human body (you can swab your skin and create a lamp made of bacteria that grow on your own body) to nature, or to a place in the city that is emotionally connected to you.

“I wanted to create a product that is more than customised, that actually contains a part of you or of a place that you love. This series of lamps challenges us to see a new deeper connection between object and user by creating a visible link through bacteria, shining a light on the very thing we thought should stay hidden and putting it on display.”

The Coastal Furniture by Nikolaj Thrane – project for The Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts

“For all the furniture we make, we use wood, metal, marble... everything comes from the land. Why don’t we use the ocean instead?”

The Danish designer developed the concept of his furniture using seaweed both as a building material and as a binder. The seaweed roofs on the island of Læsø (Denmark) have been the source of inspiration. Circular economy has been a key focus throughout the process. Hence the bamboo structure made from old flooring material and attached by four brass brackets, which are easy to separate and thus recycle individually.

“We currently have an overuse of materials that we should all pay attention to. In Denmark we have a coastline of 7200 km; so why not take advantage of it for the future of furniture and building materials?”

Stockholm Furniture & Light Fair 2019
Opening dates:
5–9 February 2019

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