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Live From Helsinki: EcoDesign

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At the entrance of Habitare, Finland's largest furniture and interiors expo, designer Yrjö Kukkapuro has curated an exhibition of ecologically-minded chairs. One of Finland's elder statesmen of design, Kukkapuro recently worked with UNESCO to launch a line of bamboo furnishings aimed at the Chinese domestic market. In was in the spirit of this venture that he recruited colleagues and friends from around the globe—and especially Finland—to submit their designs for seating that would not only demonstrate sound aesthetic and ergonomic principals, but also have a strong consideration for environmental impact. Click on the above slideshow button to have a look at 10 of our favorites.

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  SAUNA BENCH by EERO AARNIO

The master of space-age pop plastics takes a turn for the natural with this sauna bench made from Finnish fur. It's intended to be used outdoors and is treated with black Pinotex timber oil. Aarnio doesn't intend for the chair to be mass-produced, but rather treated as an artifact that can be passed down from generation to generation.
    SAUNA BENCH by EERO AARNIO The master of space-age pop plastics takes a turn for the natural with this sauna bench made from Finnish fur. It's intended to be used outdoors and is treated with black Pinotex timber oil. Aarnio doesn't intend for the chair to be mass-produced, but rather treated as an artifact that can be passed down from generation to generation.
  • 
  ORANGE BOX by HANNU KÄHÖNEN

Kähönen argues that in the big picture chairs are "inessential from an ecological point of view." With this in mind he aimed to create a seat that minimized the use of materials and energy to produce. The Orange box is made with simple tools from just two standard Finnish orange crates and a piece of string.
    ORANGE BOX by HANNU KÄHÖNEN Kähönen argues that in the big picture chairs are "inessential from an ecological point of view." With this in mind he aimed to create a seat that minimized the use of materials and energy to produce. The Orange box is made with simple tools from just two standard Finnish orange crates and a piece of string.
  • 
  ECHO by HEIKKI RUOHO

Echo is made from a new recycled and recyclable corrugated cardboard. Ruoho used the exhibition as a launching point to show the results of his experiments with the material. Two pieces of the board slide and fold together, resulting in a chair that requires no glue (or any other material for that matter) to provide a comfortable seat. Too minimal? Simply customize with a sharpie.
    ECHO by HEIKKI RUOHO Echo is made from a new recycled and recyclable corrugated cardboard. Ruoho used the exhibition as a launching point to show the results of his experiments with the material. Two pieces of the board slide and fold together, resulting in a chair that requires no glue (or any other material for that matter) to provide a comfortable seat. Too minimal? Simply customize with a sharpie.
  • 
  2.5 KG CHAIR by BJÖRN DAHLSTRÖM

Weighing in at, you guessed it, 2.5 kilograms Dahlström's chair weights about half of the industry average. He suggests that by stripping away at the mass of our objects we could achieve massive change—for 50,000 of these chairs 150 tons of processed wood could be saved.
    2.5 KG CHAIR by BJÖRN DAHLSTRÖM Weighing in at, you guessed it, 2.5 kilograms Dahlström's chair weights about half of the industry average. He suggests that by stripping away at the mass of our objects we could achieve massive change—for 50,000 of these chairs 150 tons of processed wood could be saved.
  • 
  BEDOUIN by ILKKA SUPPANEN

Helsinki Design Week's Designer of the Year presents a collapsible lightweight chair that takes up very little room—minimizing both storage and transport costs. It was also constructed from entirely renewable materials.
    BEDOUIN by ILKKA SUPPANEN Helsinki Design Week's Designer of the Year presents a collapsible lightweight chair that takes up very little room—minimizing both storage and transport costs. It was also constructed from entirely renewable materials.
  • 
  TUPA CHAIR by SIMO HEIKKILÄ

The Tupa chair is manufactured in Fiskars, Finland from local materials—aspen wood—using local methods. The inspiration comes from using a common form of joinery from traditional home construction, albeit on a smaller scale. Just hope your cat doesn't mistake the seat for his litterbox.
    TUPA CHAIR by SIMO HEIKKILÄ The Tupa chair is manufactured in Fiskars, Finland from local materials—aspen wood—using local methods. The inspiration comes from using a common form of joinery from traditional home construction, albeit on a smaller scale. Just hope your cat doesn't mistake the seat for his litterbox.
  • 
  RE-JACKET by PASI PÄNKÄLÄINEN

Pänkäläinen's chair makes a statement about the globe's rising temperatures and the diminishing need for his heavy winter outerwear. Re-Jacket features a standard parka fitted to a power-coated bent aluminum frame.
    RE-JACKET by PASI PÄNKÄLÄINEN Pänkäläinen's chair makes a statement about the globe's rising temperatures and the diminishing need for his heavy winter outerwear. Re-Jacket features a standard parka fitted to a power-coated bent aluminum frame.
  • 
  V.31 by LUDI ARCHITECTS

A playful chair shaped like a traditionally carved tree trunk is made from 100% wool felt. The architects feel that tremendous amounts of wood are wasted in production where was with felt nothing is lost.
    V.31 by LUDI ARCHITECTS A playful chair shaped like a traditionally carved tree trunk is made from 100% wool felt. The architects feel that tremendous amounts of wood are wasted in production where was with felt nothing is lost.
  • 
  FOLD. FOLD by TERHI TUOMINEN

This elegantly facetted stacking chair is made from locally sourced alder wood joined by wood glue. Its finished using an organic oil that helps to prolong it life and promote a lifetime of use.
    FOLD. FOLD by TERHI TUOMINEN This elegantly facetted stacking chair is made from locally sourced alder wood joined by wood glue. Its finished using an organic oil that helps to prolong it life and promote a lifetime of use.
  • 
  LASTUJA LOUNGE CHAIR by TAPIO ANTTILA

Carpentry around the world produced huge amounts of chip waste that is usually destroyed by burning. Anttila suggests that were his recycled plastic chair to make it to production the chips could be sourced by the user, minimizing shipping costs and energy.
    LASTUJA LOUNGE CHAIR by TAPIO ANTTILA Carpentry around the world produced huge amounts of chip waste that is usually destroyed by burning. Anttila suggests that were his recycled plastic chair to make it to production the chips could be sourced by the user, minimizing shipping costs and energy.

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