Offecct Architecture & Design: Furniture with a mission
Text: Hanna Andersson | Photos © Mathias Johansson
I n a time where being environmentally conscious is more important than ever, it is impressive that Offecct Architecture and Design has actually been thinking like this for almost 30 years. This thinking has become so important for the continually expanding company, that it has formed the foundation for their main project, Offecct LifeCircle, as well as attributed to their constant thrive for a sustainable future.
Offecct architecture and design was founded in the early 1990s by Anders Englund and Kurt Tingdal and it is the company’s passion for sustainable design that has had the biggest impact on their focus ever since. “Our philosophy is clear. We develop and produce leading design in our projects − Offecct LifeCircle and Furniture − with a mission. And that mission is to create sustainable furniture and design that will last for a long time and that is easy to renew and reuse, with, for example, new textiles or new paint. The product’s quality, how it’s made, what material we will use, and its life beyond the initial use, is all discussed and decided in the process,” says communications manager Katarina Fellbrant.
Offecct is still based in Tibro, where it was first founded. Tibro is a small Swedish town located between the country’s biggest lakes, Vänern and Vättern, and around 90 per cent of Offecct’s products are still being made there. However, this will not stop them from expanding internationally. “We are working with an increasing amount of international clients and designers. This generation is more environmentally aware than previous ones, and Offecct’s concepts and offerings can help lead the way for this movement.” Fellbrant says.
The firm’s headquarters have, throughout 2018, grown by 20,000 square metres, which will increase the company’s productivity and assist with making their delivering service more efficient.
The team behind Offecct is a group of creative minds that want to develop good, biological, long lasting, and environmentally friendly products. “All our designers are working towards the same goal − to help create a sustainable future − and it starts as soon as they put pen to paper. We only work with people who are equally passionate about this. Our staff is also trained to know about how we impact the environment and how we can make a difference in this respect,” says Fellbrant.
Offecct R&D – investments into a sustainable future.
“We have a few projects where we work on how we can create a sustainable future. We have a special department called Offecct Lab, where we work with designers and creatives to plan options for the future: what material to use and technical solutions, for example. It is about the day after tomorrow: creativity in the long run.”
Offecct want to use as little of the Earth’s resources as possible, and wish to leave behind products that do not affect future generations. “What will happen to the furniture in its ‘afterlife’? How can we develop products that are easy to recycle and reuse? We work really hard and invest in this, it’s not just pretty talk,” says Fellbrant.
One Offecct design which started as a research project and then became reality is the Jin Chair, designed and created by Jin Kuramoto. The chair has gained a lot of attention, and won a few prizes, most recently the Editor’s Choice in Stockholm’s 2018 Furniture & Light Fair. The chair is made of thin layers of flax fibres on top of each other, which create a shell around a core of air. It is strong, super light, and 100 per cent biological. “It is beautiful and well thought through. We are proud to stand behind this product, and Jin Kuramoto is an excellent designer.”
Offecct’s view on the world, and its desire to ensure a sustainable future, is what keeps the company going. For Offecct, sustainability is not a trend, it is a full lifestyle. Fellbrant concludes: “The owners have always had a clear vision: if we want to make a difference, we have to give it a 100 per cent. This is our way to contribute.”
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