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Mika Lindblad designs Pinot collection without upholstery to highlight its construction

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Pinot easy chair in leather and oak

Graduate designer Mika Lindblad created her Pinot seating collection without using upholstery to showcase the construction of the pieces, which are made from oak wood, linen and leather.

A sofa and an easy chair make up the one-off collection, which Lindblad made for her graduate project from Beckmans College of Design in collaboration with furniture producer Swedese.

Wood-and-leather easy chair
Top image: the collection is made from wood, leather and linen. Above: it was informed by an embroidery hoop. Photo is by Emil Fagander

“The aim was to create a comfortable seat without polyurethane – oil-based cold foam that is traditionally used in upholstery,” the designer told Dezeen. “I wanted to work with natural materials and their inherent properties.”

The Pinot furniture is made from a laminated oak veneer frame, with each thin layer of veneer pressed together using a glue that is free from formaldehyde and isocyanate and formed in a metal template. The frame is completed with a seat made of leather and linen.

“I found inspiration in my wooden embroidery hoop, I was fascinated by the beautiful connection between the wooden frame and the fabric as it suggested an interesting alternative to glue,” Lindblad said.

“The backrest and seat are stretched around the veneer framework by the same principles, providing a relaxed seating angle and good comfort.”

Easy chair by Mika Lindblad
The lack of upholstery highlights the chair’s construction

The designer wanted to draw attention to the inner design of sofas and easy chairs, which is often hidden by layers of upholstery. Taking that away doesn’t affect the comfort of the Pinot furniture, she said.

“I worked on the relation between the soft seat and the wooden frame,” Lindblad explained.

“There is a just-so-slight give in the wooden frame that with the stretch of the woven linen and leather gives a soft and comfortable seat.”

Back of Pinot easy chair
Backrest and seat are stretched around the veneer framework. Photo is by Emil Fagander

Each part of the chair can be separated to be repaired or updated, a deliberate choice by the designer to avoid waste.

“In a traditional upholstered sofa you often find the fabric glued to the cold foam, hiding a complex construction of wood, metal springs and foam,” she said. “Parts that can be recycled but most often end up on a landfill or burned as refuse in heating plants.”

The frames used for the Pinot collection are made from untreated European Forest Stewardship Council FSC-certified oak that is carbon neutral and renewable.

The leather is a by-product from Scandinavian cattle that has been vegetable-tanned in Sweden, and the seating also uses linen that has not been dyed.

The Pinot collection was longlisted for Dezeen Awards 2020 in the seating design project category.

Photography is courtesy of Mika Lindblad unless otherwise stated.

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