Nordic Design Competition: Sustainable Chairs

This is a call-out to all furniture designers and manufacturers in Scandinavia from The Nordic Council of Ministers. We want you to look at your current portfolio with fresh eyes and check it out from a sustainability perspective. The global awareness of sustainability is rapidly affecting customer demands. In the future, we will need less consumption, less manufacture, less stuff – more circular thinking, more holistic production and more considerate action. Truly sustainable production is a highly complex endeavour – analysing 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 – Scandinavian 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 would like to address the challenge of sustainability by taking a look at what is already present – our question to you is:

How sustainable is your current crop of well-designed chairs?

We encourage you to submit what you consider to be the most sustainable work of chairs you have created so far – and present your thinking behind the design.

A highly qualified jury will look at your submitted works and select what they consider to be the best. A maximum of ten works from each of the Nordic countries will be shortlisted in the first part of the jury process. Of these ten, one winner will be chosen from each of the Nordic countries. Besides receiving a prize, the winning chairs will also be assessed by a researcher, who will reflect on their relation to the 17 UN Sustainable Development Goals.

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 this. We urge you to join the discussion.

We’re looking forward to seeing your work.

1. The winning chair from each of the five Nordic countries will all be sent to COP24 in Katowice, Poland, where they will be part of an exhibition on sustainability, at the ‘Nordic Pavilion’. Here, the chairs will gain a lot of exposure, as more than 30.000 people are expected to attend the conference. Furthermore, the chairs will be used for panel discussions on stage.

2. Further, the winning chair will be exhibited for one year at the design gallery Design Werck in Copenhagen. In addition, the chair and the designers/manufactures behind, will be used in a broad international communication strategy on sustainability, managed by the Nordic Council of Ministers.

Apply for the Nordic Design Competition
Submit the design (chair) before October 3rd, 14.00