Forest Collection

Forest Collection

Artek, 2023

In 2020 Formafantasma and Artek started a collaboration drawn together by a strong mutual interest in the relation between the forest and its exploitation for wood products.
The partnership was born out of Formafantasma’s Cambio, an ongoing investigation into the timber industry.
Artek and Formafantasma subsequently launched a series of collaborative advocacy projects aimed at translating Cambio's principles within the framework of Artek's supply chain.
№ – Artek visual essay, video still.
With the Forest Collection Formafantasma reassesses Artek’s current strict selection criteria for wood, highlighting the impact of climate change and industrialization on forests. As a result, a new, more encompassing wood selection – referred to as “wild birch” – is now introduced into Artek’s collection.⁠
Due to the limited temperatures and seasonal amounts of light, Finnish forests host a relatively small number of species, primarily coniferous types such as spruce, fir, pine, larch, and a smaller variety of deciduous trees like maple, birch, oak, elm, and willow.
Artek has been focusing on the use of birch wood since the very early days of the company. Birch is a hardwood, very pale in color, that grows naturally in Finnish forests. It is a pioneer species – one that is always among the first to colonize barren environments after clearcutting.
№ – Making of the Stool 60 at the factory
№ – Making of the Stool 60 at the factory
However, in the latter decades of the 20th century, the surge in industrialization and global online commerce fostered a demand for repetition and perfection, leading Artek to adopt stringent criteria for raw material selection, favoring wood without any possible knot, color change, insects trails or any other natural variation in wood’s surface. This worldwide market preference resulted in the discard of a substantial portion of trees and its use for disposable applications.
Nowadays distinctive features such as bark striations, dark stains, wood knots and the trails left by colonizing insects due to climate change, are becoming increasingly prevalent in timbers. Instead of side-stepping these material’s shifts, the collection embraces these features.
Using this more inclusive selection of wood, more of the tree is used, maximizing opportunities for carbon dioxide capture. This significant change in wood selection criteria establishes new benchmarks for systemic change within the furniture industry.
№ – Artek L-leg and bending technique
№ – Artek L-leg and bending technique
The first product to be presented of the collection is Stool 60 Villi which embraces the natural marks and features in birch wood such as:

Wood knots

Knots are an indication of where the branches of a tree once emerged. As a tree grows, many of the lower branches tend to die and break off. The bases of those branches become covered by new layers of wood, resulting in the formation of tree knots.

Insect trails

Climate change and the associated shifts in temperatures and a lack of biodiversity, make trees in Finland more susceptible to damage from insects with wood-boring larvae. Phytobia betulae is a species of flies prevalent in Northern Europe, whose larvae tunnel through the trunk of birch trees. Trees while growing, close over these injuries with new tissue, leaving a dark trail on the surface of wood.
№ – Making of the Stool 60 at the factory
№ – Making of the Stool 60
Wood core

As a tree ages and its trunk grows, the cells near the center of the tree become darker in color as a result of a naturally occurring chemical transformation. The core wood is the oldest part of the tree and, albeit dead, it is stronger than the lighter, outermost layers of trunk wood, but also more brittle. The legs of Stool 60 Core feature these darker wood elements, reintroducing this second-choice material, usually rejected due to its tendency to crack, into furniture production.
From 2024 onwards, the selection criteria for Stool 60 Villi has been extended to other L-leg products.
№ – Artek Stool 60 Villi
№ – Artek Stool 60 Villi


CONCEPT, DESIGN Andrea Trimarchi, Simone Farresin
DESIGN, DEVELOPMENT Jeroen Van De Gruiter, Veronica Camera, Hannah Caroline Sagerkrantz, Simon Ballen
PHOTO CREDITS Jussi Hellsten, Mikko Ryhänen


Australian Financial Review, Why this sought-after Scandi design piece just got even more desirable
AD, How Alvar Aalto’s Design Became the Platonic Ideal of a Stool
AD Italia, Lo sgabello Stool 60 di Alvar Aalto compie 90 anni
Archiproducts, Stool 60 von Alvar Aalto: ein Hocker wird 90
UK Design Week, Artek and Formafantasma “propose new aesthetic of sustainability”
DomusFormafantasma and the evolution of Alvar Aalto’s Stool 60
Helsingin SanomatAlvar Aalto kehitti 1930-luvulla taivutusmenetelmän, josta syntyi klassikko
HyperbeastFormafantasma and Artek are Pushing for a "New Aesthetic of Sustainability"
IFDM, 90 years of Stool 60
Iltalehti, Artekin klassikkojakkara mullistui: Tältä se näyttää nyt
Kurier, Minimalismus pur: Ein ikonischer Hocker wird 90 
PIN-UP, WOOD STOCK Artek’s Subtle Makeover of "Stool 60"
Scandinavian Design, Artek and Formafantasma introduce a new aesthetic of sustainability with “wild birch”
Süddeutsche Zeitung, Lauter Klassiker
Wallpaper*, What’s next for Artek? Formafantasma explores a sustainable revolution for the Finnish brand
Wohnrevue, Ein zeitloser Dreibeiner