Swe wood export for Chinese furniture design


Design for Sustainable Living” is a collaborative project involving Swedish Wood and seven leading Chinese designers. The aim of the project is to increase their knowledge of how to use Swedish pine in the design and manufacture of eco-friendly furniture, and to further spread the idea of a sustainable lifestyle.

Swedish forest industry knows that its future is directly linked to the protection and expansion of its forests. This, in combination with effective environmental laws, ensures that more trees are planted than harvested.

Chinese designers visited Sweden in 2015, culminating in the unveiling of unique furniture at an exhibition in Shanghai on 20 January 2016.

During their spring trip, they got to see the Swedish forest, learn about sustainable forestry and experience modern sawmills, not to mention visiting an IKEA factory, Umeå Institute of Design and Carl Malmsten Furniture Studies, and meeting up with Swedish furniture designers. As well as providing inspiration, the trip gave the visitors a solid grounding in pine and Swedish furniture design.


Back in China, the designers created and produced various items of furniture in Swedish pine.

“This is a great project where minds, visions and material meet over borders and cultures. It is a project which fits into the increased cooperation and exchange between Sweden and China when it comes to design and innovation,” said Viktoria Li, Consul General of Sweden in Shanghai.

“The Chinese designer furniture in Swedish pine was warmly received at the exhibition. The Chinese designers and furniture manufacturers who took part in the associated seminar were impressed that the material could feel so exclusive,” comments Charlotte Dedye Apelgren, Director of Interior and Design at Swedish Wood.

The furniture will be exhibited in several contexts in China over the year, creating a platform for other Chinese designers, furniture manufacturers, and lecturers in furniture design and importers to experience Swedish pine and exchange ideas with each other. This unique meeting between Swedish pine and top-quality Chinese design is just the beginning. Several of the Chinese designers involved in the project commented that now that they have discovered pine, they would use the material in other projects.

“For me, being modern means going back to nature. Using pine is going back to nature. I will definitely use it a lot in future furniture design, because it is close to life and environmentally friendly. It’s going to be a new trend,” states Zhu Xiaojie of Opal Furniture.

Exports of conifer wood from Sweden to China have grown steadily in recent years. 2011 was the first year that exports exceeded 100,000 m3 and since then the figure has steadily risen year on year. In 2015, we estimate that exports amounted to around 530,000 m3.

China is judged to be one of the markets with the greatest potential for Swedish sawn wood products. Most Swedish sawmills export to China and many of the biggest companies have local sales offices in China.

Also, since three years back, the Nordic Design and Innovation Week in Shanghai has developed into a large-scale event, creating multinational platforms for exchange and inspiration in the fields of design.


In 2016 Sweden, through its Swedish Consulate in Shanghai, was an official partner of the Design Shanghai event on 8 – 11 March.

There, the Swedish pavilionThis is Sweden at work” offered a glance into the future of office design, showcasing inspiring spaces that allow both ideas and people to grow. With office solutions that are stylish yet ergonomic, environmentally friendly and healthy, the Swedish companies represented at the pavilion truly illustrated creativity and innovative thinking through their products at display.

The Consulate General of Sweden, together with Swedish interior design and construction company Muraya, create a Swedish workplace pavilion for Design Shanghai 2016. This is Sweden at Work showcased stylish and functional office design solutions from six different Swedish companies.

Sweden is one of the most innovative countries in the world and Swedish companies are often market leading in their segments. The workplace environment plays an important role for innovation and for providing the right atmosphere for creative and healthy employees.

Swedish design is characterized by clean lines, elegance and functionality. Swedish designers create pleasant office spaces with an air of professionalism for the company.

Sources: Design Shanghai, Swedish Wood, globaltimes.cn

About Joakim Persson

Freelance business and lifestyle photojournalist

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