“We´re a benchmark for what 3D printing can be”
Måns Broman, Strategy and Marketing Director at Reform Design Lab
Could a chair change the world? Have a seat, and you’ll understand why. Reform Lounge Chair – a circular premium chair from Halland – is the world’s first 3D printed piece of furniture manufactured on a large scale.
When designer and Reform Design Lab co-founder Jurij Rahimkulovn designed the Reform Lounge Chair about seven years ago, 3D printing technology wasn’t really a thing yet. Shortly after, Reform Design Lab were contacted by RISE – a research institute cooperating with companies, academic institutes and the public sector on an international level, with the goal of bringing innovations to a sustainable society.
“They had an ongoing project where they wanted to 3D print furniture on a large scale, and asked us for a drawing. Which we were able to provide, since we already had the drawing by Jurij Rahimkulovn. And this was the birth of the 3D printing industry in Sweden,” says Måns Broman, Strategy and Marketing Director at Reform Design Lab.
Måns Broman and Jurij Rahimkulovn both have a background in furniture design, and started Reform Design Lab together. With the support of RISE, they were able to refine the technology until making it possible to manufacture the chairs on a large scale.
We’ve done something that’s actually impossible. I normally compare it to releasing a song exclusively to YouTube. There’s very little chance of it becoming a hit, no matter how great it is. But, as it seems, everything really is possible. Every door we’ve encountered, we found to be open to us. Now we’re basically just waiting for the King of Sweden to give us a call.
The design on everyone’s mind
The short term goal with the Reform Lounge Chair was to appear in design magazines, win design awards and work with renowned decorators and interior designers in order to create a plausible and believable brand. Which is something they’ve succeeded with. Now, everyone wants to work with Reform Design Lab, according to Måns.
“We haven’t really initiated sales yet, which says something about the general interest for a product and design like ours,” Måns says.
Presenting a chair like this as recyclable up to eight times is no longer a selling point on its own. In this day and age, people expect circularity and sustainability.
“Basically, this is about us designing and manufacturing a good looking chair that’s been able to get people’s attention. The fact that it’s a circular, thought through piece is merely a plus,” says Måns.
Reform Lounge Chair has garnered a lot of attention internationally, and this is also where most customers are.
“We’re not selling that much in Sweden yet, only a few select pieces. Our customers are mostly located in the US, Asia and the Middle East. Since we were pioneers in 3D printed furniture on a larger scale, it’s given us a lot of attention in the industry, particularly internationally, but also in the fashion industry. We’ve been in contact with several famous fashion designers and brands, asking to feature the chair in their editorial photoshoots,” says Måns.
And it really isn’t that surprising, according to Måns. A lot of businesses want to be connected to circularity, sustainability, innovation and art. The fact that this is something new doesn’t hurt either.
“It’s a gallant, unrivaled design. We’ve become the benchmark for what 3D printing can do, particularly when it comes to artistic expression. It’s our core value. What we’re doing now is creating a brand able to communicate that.”
Jurij Rahimkulovn, co-founder and designer at Reform Design Lab
Halland a part of the brand
Working with agencies and influential people in Stockholm initially felt like a given, in order to reach out. But after all this success, Reform Design Lab has made an important decision.
“We need to work more locally and utilize Halland as part of the brand. There are a lot of really talented people right here in Halland. At this stage, we have a strong platform and don’t really need the help from well-known names and brands,” Måns explains.
We need to work more locally and utilize Halland as part of the brand. There are a lot of really talented people right here in Halland.
This Spring, there will be an official launch of the chair and the environmental campaign images were shot at Rörbäck Forest Retreat, nested deep in the forests of Halland. Two Halland-based agencies were contracted for the job – Hidvi Group and Deilig Media.
“They make it more fun. Halland isn’t known for its furniture, so we would love for our brand to be able to highlight Halland in general as well as the exclusive environment we have here,” Måns says.
Made in Halland
Reform Design Lab also has plans to take over manufacturing in Halland. Today, the chair is made in Karlshamn, Blekinge in the south of Sweden. But for the moment, the project is put on hold as a result of the current inflation.
“We made the decision to wait. At the same time, our sales have gone up substantially, so we might make this project into a reality in 2023, “ Måns says.
The ambition is high, and the aim is to have production located on several different continents in order to avoid long transports of raw materials as well as finished products.
“Our goal is to have local manufacturing, using local materials, on a global scale. For example, we may find material available in Tokyo more suitable to work with instead of wood from Finland.”