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Shigeru Ban’s 10-Unit System for Artek

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Designed by Shigeru Ban, in collaboration with Finland-based Artek, the 10-Unit System is based on L-shaped units that can be combined to make a chair, a table or bench.

Following Artek’s tradition of innovation with natural materials - examples of Alvar Aalto’s solid wood, bent leg chairs from the 1930’s are still in use - the 10-Unit System is made from UPM ProFi, an ‘environmentally innovative wood plastic composite’. Principally made from recycled paper and plastic: ‘It is an environmentally sustainable material that can be recycled back into the production process. All materials in the composite are non-toxic.’

Artek, Shigeru Ban and UPM continue their collaboration from earlier years. ’Space of Silence’, the Artek Pavilion designed by Shigeru Ban for the Milan Triennale Garden in spring 2007, was built from the wood plastic composite. The pavilion was based on a structural unit that was repeated multiple times to form an elongated exhibition space. The Artek Pavilion was extraordinary proof of the efficiency of systems thinking and repetition, distinctive of Ban’s architecture and design. The pavilion was sold at Sotheby’s sale of Important 20th Century Design in 2008.


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