Variations in Birch

Historically, Birch has been the prime material for making furniture and tools in Norway, but over the last few decades, it has lost its standing and value in the oil-fuelled national economy. Today, only 2.4% of annual birch growth is harvested for industrial use. To renew interest in this traditional and sustainable material, Nils Stensrud is searching for a new language of forms. His project, Variations in Birch, is intended to highlight the qualities of the material and encourage its use as a beautiful, local and sustainable resource. He started the project backwards, making multiple variations of joints and forms without a clear notion of what kind of furniture would result. The criteria he followed were strength and beauty, novelty and tradition. Studying the even greyish transition of shading in the grain, he decided the overall language should be rounded, emphasising the material’s strong character. The results include the Skala step stool, the day-bed Lulle,  the Ro chaise longue and the PoP coat rack. More products are in the planning.

Nils Stensrud

Nils Stensrud holds a degree in architecture from the Oslo School of Architecture and Design. Having worked several years in the architectural industry, he now runs his own design practice in his hometown of Trondheim, focusing on small-scale architecture and furniture development. His approach is experimental and driven by curiosity, exploring materials and methods to result in products that are rational, useful and new. Stensrud teaches at the Faculty of Architecture and Design at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology. His works have previously been widely exhibited both at home and abroad.