Designer Lies-Marie Hoffmann recently dropped a series of sculptural benches made from Elm-trunks throughout the streets of Stockholm. Dubbed “Homage to the Elm trees”, the project investigated how sculptural sustainable designs can influence environmental awareness and the public’s appreciation of nature. The result is a series of immense, chunky seats that encourage us to look at nature with fresh eyes while thinking and acting differently towards it.
Spread around the Swedish capital, the seats have been made from the trunks of Elm trees that had been cut down to avoid the expansion of Dutch Elm Disease, a fungal affliction spread by bark beetles. The arboreal specialists at Nordic Tree Care provide the designer with the local raw material, which she then shapes with a chain-saw to create amazing dovetail joints and expose the trees’ own sensual attributes.
“Homage to the elm trees” is part of the Young Swedish Design exhibition Ung8, which was organized in collaboration between Svensk Form, Form/Design Center and the Stockholm Furniture Fair. The touring exhibition is sponsored in part by Ikea, and it aims to popularize and widen the scope of new, innovative Swedish designers. The tour began at the Stockholm Furniture Fair last month, and it is scheduled to travel around the world in the future.
Designs such as this and the dung furniture collection we featured earlier this month are a great reflection of up-and-coming Swedish design. We love how they are based on the simple luxuries of unspoiled nature, sustainable raw materials, traditional building methods, and few finishing processes – because life is sweet when you can sit on a tree trunk and listen to the birds while breathing clean air.
Photos: ©Lies-Marie Hoffmann