By Amy Frearson
Called Odger, the chair is the result of a three-year-long project exploring how a sustainable composite material could be used to create an affordable seat.
It is made through a process of injection moulding, using a mixture that is 70 per cent polypropylene and 30 per cent wood chips. The wood chips all come from reclaimed wood, while recycled plastic is favoured over so-called “virgin” plastic.
“A few years ago, Ikea wanted to work with logistics in a more sustainable way and set up a production line for euro pallets in wood plastic,” explained Åsa Hedeberg, senior product developer at IKEA.
“The choice of material turned out to less successful for the pallets, but instead, the material became the starting point for Odger chair. A mistake turned into something very good.”
Available in blue, white or brown, it features a curved back and seat, which sits on a base with four legs.
Customers assemble the chair from just four parts – there are no screws necessary. Instead, a “locking key” system allows the seat to be attached to the base, with a simple twist and click motion.
“When you open the box of the Odger chair, there are only four pieces in it – the seat of the chair, the frame and the two handles,” continued Hedeberg. “There is a manual how to do it, but the way to assemble the chair is so intuitive you don’t really need it.”
Form Us With Love saw sustainability as just one of five qualities that the chair should achieve – along with simplicity, comfort, affordability and beauty. As a result, they worked with IKEA to produce hundreds of prototypes, before finalising the design.
“The brief for the chair was very much concentrated on the reclaimed wood-plastic and its properties, but the economy of the transport – having to tackle the separation and assembly of shell and legs – became an equally important departure for us,” added John Löfgren, creative director at Form Us With Love.
“We knew that this chair was going to be used by different people across the globe, therefore, we wanted Odger to be a chair that embraces you, whoever you are, for long periods of time, which for us meant creating hundreds of prototypes, testing the millimetres of every bend.”
Form Us With Love was founded by designers Jonas Pettersson and John Löfgren, and ranked at number 39 in the design category of the inaugural Dezeen Hot List.
The studio previously worked with IKEA on the moulded plastic Janinge chair, before developing a kitchen that combines recycled plastic bottles and reclaimed industrial wood.
Odger forms an evolution of the goals of both of these projects. Hedeberg describes it as “the most obvious chair we ever made”.
“You can’t only work with the form in isolation, you need to use the form in order to create a complete product. I think this is what Odger has taught me,” she concluded.
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