Singaporean students at KTH Royal Institute of Technology identify new applications for Swedish pine

PRESS RELEASE In collaboration with industry organisation Swedish Wood, 27 students on the Entrepreneurship and Innovation Management programme at KTH, most of them from Singapore, were asked to develop applications for Swedish pine. Creative solutions to social problems and strong ties to both nature and health can be seen in what the students produced.

The students were tasked with identifying and developing new products in Swedish pine in the interior and lifestyle segment. Working in teams of three or four, the students were given around three months to complete the project.

“The students demonstrated great interest in and curiosity about pine, which was a new material to most of them. They were particularly interested in the fact that Swedish pine is a renewable and natural material that contributes to a more sustainable lifestyle. It’s clear that environmental issues are important to this generation,” says Charlotte Dedye Apelgren, Director of Interior & Design at Swedish Wood.

“Building the course around a concrete challenge from Swedish industry really engaged both the students and Swedish Wood, and that translated into very exciting end results,” explains Professor Björn Berggren of KTH.

Swedish Wood has seen the students’ presentations of everything from smart office solutions and musical instruments to window glass made from wood fibre.

The following three teams came up with smart interior solutions for the office or home:

Wood3 by Pine Nordic
Wood3 by Pine Nordic takes on the challenge faced by commercial buildings in China, with great demand for offices and often very little space per person. More and more companies are therefore looking for flexible solutions. Wood3 by Pine Nordic presents an office cube measuring 1.6 x 1.6 x 1.6 m. This is a compact office with four walls in Swedish pine. There are different walls to choose from, all with their own functions: shelving, whiteboard, seating, raised desk, etc.

This team comprised the following students: Joie Tan, Vesali Ellango, Yeo Kai Yan and Yong Zi Fong.

Tessellation presents a wall covering in wood – because wood creates a natural and pleasant indoor environment. Tessellation’s wooden tiles are easy to fit, move and replace, and are designed to be cheaper and more eco-friendly alternative to classic tiles.

This team comprised the following students: Alena Genevieve Soo Ai Lin, Goe Meng Hui and Kee Wan Qi.

Many people are living in increasingly compact homes and need smart storage solutions. Dörrlar’s concept is a pine door with movable add-on modules, which include shelves and hooks. This type of modular door offers a modern feature that provides smart and adaptable storage. In addition, it is made from a renewable, natural material.

This team comprised the following students: Ryan Na Yi Rong, Daniel Chew, Hower Lee Hao Zhe and Law Keng Ying.

Two of the groups designed wood products aimed at children and their parents:

It can be hard, as a parent, to choose between all the strollers available on the market. Life is full of stress, expense and anxiety about making the wrong choices. Karlavagnen presents a chain of strollers that are delivered to the parent as the child grows. All the strollers are made partially from wood.

This team comprised the following students: Alexander Bergman, Pontus Engström and Antonio Grondowski.

Kits for Kids
Schools are increasingly introducing programming and technology as mandatory components of the curriculum. Nordic countries such as Denmark, Finland and now Sweden (2018) have programming as part of their compulsory education. Kits for Kids has therefore designed a toy kit with a focus on technology in wood. Children aged 7 and up can play and learn with wood in order to encourage and promote an interest in technology.

This team comprised the following students: Chia Singyi, Ng Wei Ker and Reuben Loh.

The next group was inspired by the latest research into transparent wood:

Window Wood
Window Wood clearly links its product to environmental issues, extreme weather and architecture. There is a need for more eco-friendly options for windows that retain their function and create interesting architecture.
Window Wood puts forward transparent wood as an eco-friendly complement to glazed windows. Window Wood allows the light to filter in, while at same time insulating the interior from heat in the summer and cold in the winter.

This team comprised the following students: Lim Shu Xin, Jolyn Moh. Sherina Toh and Richard Goh.

The two remaining groups tackled lifestyle products such as musical instruments and the increasingly popular yoga mat:

Eargasmic Wood
Tonewood is a term for woods that can be used to make musical instruments, and many popular tonewoods are currently under threat. One example is Brazilian Rosewood (Dalbergia nigra), a popular tonewood whose trade is banned in the EU. Eargasmic Wood wants to use Swedish pine as a replacement for the classic tonewoods. The pine is treated in various ways to achieve the desired sound quality.

This team comprised the following students: Leddin Tan, Soon Fu Meng, Tan Yu Xuan and Wei Yi Chen.

Yoga represents health and mindfulness, so a yoga mat in a sustainable material is the obvious choice to close the circle. Zenboard presents a yoga mat made from cork, with a thin surface layer of pine. A pine yoga mat would be attractive to an enlightened yogi, as the physical contact with wood and nature could provide a therapeutic effect.

This team comprised the following students: Lim Cheng Kai, Glenn Yeo Gen Yew, Shubhankar Prakash and Jonathan Quah Jie Ren

The course was part of the programme KTH-NOC Singapore, a one-year exchange programme between the National University of Singapore and KTH Royal Institute of Technology.

Swedish Wood
Swedish Wood’s aim is to increase the size and value of the market for Swedish wood and wood products in construction, interior design and packaging. Through inspiration, information and education, we promote wood as a competitive, renewable, versatile and natural material. Swedish Wood also lobbies on behalf of its members on key industry and trade issues.

Swedish Wood represents the Swedish sawmill industry and is part of the Swedish Forest Industries Federation. In addition, Swedish Wood represents the Swedish glulam and packaging industries, and collaborates closely with Swedish builders’ merchants and wholesalers of wood products.

KTH Royal Institute of Technology
Since its founding in 1827, KTH Royal Institute of Technology in Stockholm has grown to become one of Europe’s leading technical and engineering universities, as well as a key centre of intellectual talent and innovation. We are Sweden’s largest technical research and learning institution and home to students, researchers and faculty from around the world dedicated to advancing knowledge.

KTH is working with industry and society in the pursuit of sustainable solutions to some of humanity’s greatest challenges: climate change, future energy supply, urbanisation and quality of life for the rapidly-growing elderly population.

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