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Milan’s Design Week 2019: Norwegian aluminium and wood – the greener materials of choice

Leading up to the world’s leading design week which takes place in Milan this week, Hydro has worked closely with the Norwegian design community to build knowledge about material selection and design for the circular economy.

interior furnishings
The aim of this year’s exhibition is to promote the role of interdisciplinary collaboration for a more sustainable design and furniture industry. Below, designer duo Vera & Kyte presents the basket “Strand”, made with aluminium from Hydro’s extrusion plant at Magnor, Norway, while the chair “Cyclop” is made in Nordic materials such as wood, larvikite and aluminium by Norwegian designer Tron Meyer. (Photos: Trine Hisdal)

Simple lines and natural materials have always been staples of Scandinavian design, and increasingly so are also using sustainable and recyclable materials, such as wood and aluminum.

Both raw materials are sourced or produced in the Scandinavian countries. Producing 70% of its aluminum using Norwegian hydropower, aluminum from Hydro is among the greenest in the world.

The results can be seen this week at Norwegian Presence, the exhibition promoting Norwegian design to an international audience.

“We are proud to work with Norwegian designers to challenge the way furniture is made. Designers have the power to create a more circular economy by designing for recycling already at the drawing board, choosing renewable materials and considering how the product can be taken apart and go back into the loop after its life time,” says Egil Hogna, Head of Hydro’s business area Extruded Solutions.

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Hydro’s experts have worked closely with selected designers, from the initial design idea to the final prototype presented in Milan. Designers such as Vera & Kyte, Stine Aas and Tron Meyer present respectively baskets, lamps and tables made of 100% recyclable aluminum. The urban outdoor furniture collection Folk by Vestre, made of Scandinavian wood and aluminum from Hydro, is also presented in Italy.

Uniting experts along the value chain

Led by DOGA, Design and Architecture Norway, supported by the Royal Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Innovation Norway among others, the aim of this year’s exhibition is to promote the role of interdisciplinary collaboration for a more sustainable design and furniture industry.

“Through gathering small and large players along the value chain, we want to facilitate collaborations that can both inspire innovation and create more sustainable solutions. In Norway we produce the world’s greenest aluminum, and the marriage between Norwegian design and Norwegian raw materials represents an untapped potential for the industry – and for the circular economy,” says Tor Inge Hjemdal, head of DOGA, Design and Architecture Norway, who is responsible for the exhibition.

Strong, light and versatile, aluminum is a well-suited material for modern sustainable design and production. A 100% recyclable material, making aluminum from recycled metal requires just 5% of the energy used to produce primary aluminium. Hydro produces more than 70% of its aluminum using renewable hydropower, making it among the greenest aluminum in the world.

Visit Norwegian Presence and Hydro at Via Savona 35, Zona Tortona in Milan April 9-14.

Ina Strander John

Ina Strander John

Communication Manager

Milan Design Week

  • Tom Dixon is a British designer based in London, with branches in New York, Hong Kong, London, Los Angeles and Tokyo. Tom Dixon Studio specializes in interior design products, especially in metals, including furniture, lighting and accessories.
  • The collaboration between Hydro and Tom Dixon started in late 2018, with the aim to design and produce a 100% recyclable chair produced locally in the UK.
  • Hydro’s experts work closely with its customers such as designers and architects to advise on how to best design in aluminum – and how to design for recycling already at the drawing board.
  • Hydro produces more than 70% of its aluminum using renewable energy sources, making it among the greenest aluminium in the world. While as much as 75% of the aluminum ever made is still in use, increasing recycling of aluminum so it can go back into the loop is key to enable a circular economy.