'parupu' paper pulp chairs by claesson koivisto rune for sodra cell at milan design week 09
'parupu' paper pulp chairs by claesson koivisto rune  for sodra cell at milan design week 09 'parupu' paper pulp chairs by claesson koivisto rune  for sodra cell at milan design week 09
apr 26, 2009

'parupu' paper pulp chairs by claesson koivisto rune for sodra cell at milan design week 09

parupu by claesson koivisto rune

‘parupu’ is a chair for children, made of the material ‘durapulp’, a biodegradable plastic based on maize starch. it is durable and waterproof, as well as fully compostable.

‘parupu’ chairs by claesson koivisto rune for södra image © designboom

‘parupu’ is stackable image © designboom

‘parupu’ is a fun chair for children, it consists entirely of renewable cellulose image © designboom

production steps

the material can be moulded and formed. the chair is hot pressed. image © designboom a result of several years of research and development, the material is suitable for industrial production image © designboom

tools for production : the chair mould image © designboom

joakim nygren’s master of science thesis the author contacted designers claesson koivisto rune arkitektkontor in august 2007 regarding his master thesis at KTH. the company had discussed the possibility of creating a chair made from molded pulp. the author was taken on as a manager for the project. the objective was to produce design documentation for a paper pulp chair which was to be launched at the in 2008 milan furniture fair. the purpose of the thesis was to develop a product with scientific methods as well as to investigate how to make collaboration between designers and engineers easier through communication. the project went through four basic stages: information, analysis, synthesis and evaluation. information on paper pulp, molded pulp, chair design, sitting postures and the existing market of molded pulp furniture. a requirements specification was established from that information. the development of the chair was based on different models that would determine different design aspects.

pulp paper chair presentation during milan design week 09 image © designboom

the paper pulp chair has two part structure that utilizes closed geometries, double shells and an inner stool for stability. the two parts are individually nesting, and are joined with corresponding flanges. the paper pulp is mixed with a non petroleum based thermoplastic, PLA, which enhances the material properties. the chair was not ready for the milan 2008 presentation. the project received a grant from the swedish governmental agency for innovation systems.

image © designboom

the research process in 2003, the swedish research company STFI-packforsk was involved in a project to find recyclable materials that could be fitted for car interiors. with pulp as a starting point, researchers looked for other organic materials that could create a durable composite material. that’s when they came across polylactic acid, or PLA, a biodegradable plastic made from maize starch or cane sugar. while the plastic wasn’t ideal for car interiors, everyone involved in the project favoured continued research on pulp and PLA composites. a new project was initiated, a collaboration between STFI-packforsk, södra and a number of other companies and organisations. soon, researchers discovered that when PLA is mixed with pulp and heated to 167 degrees celsius, the PLA encapsulates the paper fibres. the result was a material with the appearance and structure of paper, but possessing entirely different properties.

detail image © designboom

analysis showed that the creep in the material, which determines how it is affected by temperature fluctuations and air humidity, was basically non-existent. compared to cardboard moving boxes that collapse after a few years in the attic, a box made of this new material shouldn‘t be affected by humidity and temperature at all. the new material had a durability normally associated with steel, wood and hard plastic.

the designers

mårten claesson, eero koivisto and ola rune of claesson koivisto rune office portrait © designboom

claesson koivisto rune architecture and design studio was founded in stockholm in 1995.

have something to add? share your thoughts in our comments section below.
all comments are reviewed for the purposes of moderation before publishing.

comments policy
designboom's comment policy guidelines
generally speaking, if we publish something, it's because we're genuinely interested in the subject. we hope you'll share this interest and if you know even more about it, please share! our goal in the discussion threads is to have good conversation and we prefer constructive opinions. we and our readers have fun with entertaining ones. designboom welcomes alerts about typos, incorrect names, and the like.
the correction is at the discretion of the post editor and may not happen immediately.

what if you disagree with what we or another commenter has to say?
let's hear it! but please understand that offensive, inappropriate, or just plain annoying comments may be deleted or shortened.

- please do not make racist, sexist, anti-semitic, homophobic or otherwise offensive comments.
- please don't personally insult the writers or your fellow commenters.
- please avoid using offensive words, replacing a few letters with asterisks is not a valid workaround.
- please don't include your website or e-mail address in your comments for the purpose of self-promotion.
- please respect jury verdicts and do not discuss offensively on the competition results
(there is only one fist prize, and designboom usually asks renown professionals to help us to promote talent.
in addition to the awarded designs, we do feel that almost all deserve our attention, that is why we publish
the best 100-200 entries too.)

a link is allowed in comments as long as they add value in the form of information, images, humor, etc. (links to the front page of your personal blog or website are not okay). unwelcome links (to commercial products or services of others, offensive material etc. ) will be redacted. and, ... yes, spam gets banned. no, we do not post fake comments.


a diverse digital database that acts as a valuable guide in gaining insight and information about a product directly from the manufacturer, and serves as a rich reference point in developing a project or scheme.

design news

keep up with our daily and weekly stories
490,452 subscribers
- see sample
- see sample