“Design for Sustainable Living” is a collaborative project involving Swedish Wood and seven leading Chinese designers. The aim of the project is to increase their knowledge of how to use Swedish pine in the design and manufacture of ecofriendly furniture, and to further spread the idea of a sustainable lifestyle.
In May 2015, Swedish Wood invited the designers to visit Sweden. During their trip, they got to see the Swedish forest, learn about sustainable forestry and experience modern sawmills, not to mention visiting an IKEA factory, Umeå Institute of Design and Carl Malmsten Furniture Studies, and meeting up with Swedish furniture designers. As well as providing inspiration, the trip gave the visitors a solid grounding in pine and Swedish furniture design.
When the designers travelled back to China, they created and produced various items of furniture in Swedish pine that were then launched at an exhibition in Shanghai on 20 January 2016.
“The Chinese designer furniture in Swedish pine was warmly received at the exhibition. The Chinese designers and furniture manufacturers who took part in the associated seminar were impressed that the material could feel so exclusive,” comments Charlotte Dedye Apelgren, Director of Interior and Design at Swedish Wood.
The launch was supported by the Swedish Consulate in Shanghai, Chinese industry organisations and selected media.
The furniture will be exhibited in several contexts in China over the year, creating a platform for other Chinese designers, furniture manufacturers, lecturers in furniture design and importers to experience Swedish pine and exchange ideas with each other. This unique meeting between Swedish pine and top-quality Chinese design is just the beginning. Several of the Chinese designers involved in the project commented that now they’ve discovered pine, they’ll be using the material in other projects.
- For me, being modern means going back to nature. Using pine is going back to nature. I will definitely use it a lot in future furniture design. Because it is close to life and environmentally friendly. It’s going to be a new trend, states Zhu Xiaojie of Opal Furniture.
The seven Chinese designers:
Exports of conifer wood from Sweden to China have grown steadily in recent years. 2011 was the first year that exports exceeded 100,000 m3 and since then the figure has steadily risen year on year. In 2015, we estimate that exports amounted to around 530,000 m3.
China is judged to be one of the markets with the greatest potential for Swedish sawn wood products. Most Swedish sawmills export to China and many of the biggest companies have local sales offices in China.