Green Furniture Concept transforms public space with nature-inspired design
Head of Design Jonas Ekholst and Head of Sustainability Joakim Lundgren from Green Furniture Concept discuss biophilic design, durability and the future of public space.
“When we design, we aim to create timeless, elegant and human-centered designs,” says Jonas Ekholst, Head of Design at Green Furniture Concept. Turning spaces into places since 2007, Green Furniture Concept designs to enhance the public landscape through straightforward pieces that appeal to a myriad of different users. It’s an approach perfected in part because of the brand’s Scandinavian design heritage, which finds expression in a minimalist and honest aesthetic that prioritises sustainability, comfort and sound acoustics.
More than this, however, is the Swedish brand’s expertise when it comes to navigating the complexities of community spaces and designing good public furniture for everyone. “Whether it’s a place to sit, a place to breathe for a couple of minutes or simply relax into a better mood—different sectors and markets have their own standards and regulations that we have to meet, and working on a global scale means that we have to be experts in the field.”
Modular design means furniture can evolve over time
One of the ways the company strives to meet the needs of today’s consumers is through flexibility. For Green Furniture Concept, this is a necessary element it incorporates through modular designs and new furniture concepts that promote a good quality of life for everyone, whether that’s the very young and elderly or people with different abilities.
“Public spaces are often made for a purpose that will evolve over time. How the community travels or uses a public building will change, and by creating flexible solutions our products can be part of the new scenario. A space nowadays also often used for different purposes – the very same area can one day be a place for a popup exhibition, while the day after be used for seating travellers on their way towards a new adventure.”
Durability in design
Another key consideration is durability and maintenance: “At home, you won’t have to worry about having the whole local football team’s supporter group over for a couple of beers right before the game,” says Ekholst.
Public seating in busy airports and railway stations can be used up to hundreds and even thousands of times a day, causing considerable wear and tear. To combat this, Green Furniture Concept uses a hard wax oil finish that maintains the luxurious sheen of its products. It keeps the wooden feeling, ages with dignity, and allows easy on the spot maintenance where scratches can be filled in like with shoe polish.
And where preventative measures aren’t enough, Green Furniture Concept has made it possible to exchange singular components such as individual ribs or tabletops. There’s even a subscription model that allows customers to rent its furniture-as-a-service, which includes unlimited maintenance for an annual fee.
“A product should not only be long lasting in its durability and quality but also in its design,” says Joakim Lundgren, Head of Sustainability at Green Furniture Concept. Its way of doing so is to look to biophilic design principles. “To make a product multifunctional, modular or enable it to evolve over time are great examples.”
The Ascent Series reimagines traditional seating arrangements in airports and train stations, don’t miss The soft and sustainable curves of Ascent Series – Green Furniture Concept’s seamless seating system.
Biophilic Design is no longer a passing trend
“Also natural shapes, from the very small and tactile, to the very big architectural scale—both have great biophilic power, meandering through public spaces. Then comes a variety of colours in the natural scheme; of shape changing as you move along its path. Also being in constant change over time, reconfigured as the flow and use of the building changes, and, of course, ageing in a good way.”
No longer a passing trend, biophilic design is now being incorporated into the design of office buildings, retail developments and community spaces as a recognised way to encourage engagement. What visitors want from public places is shifting and revenue depends on a more holistic definition of dwell-time. Visitor experience is king and along with it a sense of meaning, environmental responsibility, happiness, and good health that encourages people to stay longer, stay connected and come back for more.
At Green Furniture Concept, this includes bringing in living plants wherever possible, borrowing from nature key elements like colours, shapes, lines, patterns and textures, and looking to nature to inspire the organisation and orientation of spaces.
“We create zones and transitions, balance open space with hiding places (‘prospect and refuge’), and aim for variety in space and sensory experience. This is another important aspect that we work with at Green Furniture Concept in the way we configure our modular designs and help create new spaces.”
“For example, Our Leaf Lamp Series fractal construction is inspired by how trees and plants grow in nature, our Nova C Series modularity is inspired by the biological structure of organisms and Ascent Series three dimensional flow is inspired by sand dunes of the Scandinavian beaches.”
Designing the future of public space
The development of towns and cities is a never-ending process and the renovation of public space is at the heart of it. Alongside urban planners and architects, designers and furniture makers are leading this evolution by coming up with concepts that facilitate the ever-changing needs of its users.
Championing sustainability and the vital aspect of placemaking to elevate a space into a place, Green Furniture Concept creates architectural impact with a cultural and community focus. And with so many different variations of furniture, lighting and accessories, it promises to do so for decades to come.
“The spaces we refurbish should last for decades, which means that as a base, everything must be timeless,” says Ekholst. “We try to hit the perfect balance between designing placemaking furniture with an impressive impression, while at the same time being able to create a calm sense of wellbeing for the visitors for years to come,” he adds.
The company’s ultimate pursuit within their designs is sustainability, check out Sustainable design for public interior landscapes – Green Furniture Concept.