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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 aluminium.

Both raw materials are sourced or produced in the Scandinavian countries. Producing 70% of its aluminium using Norwegian hydropower, aluminium 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 aluminium. The urban outdoor furniture collection Folk by Vestre, made of Scandinavian wood and aluminium 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 aluminium, 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, aluminium is a well-suited material for modern sustainable design and production. A 100% recyclable material, making aluminium from recycled metal requires just 5% of the energy used to produce primary aluminium. Hydro produces more than 70% of its aluminium using renewable hydropower, making it among the greenest aluminium 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

About Milan Design Week

  • Milan Design Week is part of Salone del Mobile, the world’s leading design and furniture fair, which was established in Milan, Italy, in 1961.  
  • The Norwegian exhibition, Norwegian Presence, is a collaboration between Design and Architecture Norway (DOGA), Klubben and Norwegian Crafts. The project is supported by The Royal Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Innovation Norway, The Federation of Norwegian Industries, Hydro, Lundhs and Oslo Design Fair.
  • This is the fifth time Norway presents its own exhibition in Milan. This year, the aim of the exhibition is to promote the importance of interdisciplinary collaboration for greener design and production.